CARSON CITY — Governor Jim Gibbons today issued the following statement after the U.S. Department of Justice filed its motion to dismiss the constitutional challenge to the federal health care act brought by Nevada and 19 other states, the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), and persons affected by the individual mandate:
“Nothing in the Justice Department’s motion filed last night changes my view. We will prevail,” Governor Gibbons said, “Not only does the U.S. Department of Justice contradict public statements made by the President and Congressional leaders, it demonstrates in its motion to dismiss that it seems to view this lawsuit by the 20 states and NFIB as a significant challenge, signaling this lawsuit may pose more of a threat in its chances for success.”
The lawsuit challenges the individual mandate requiring every citizen and resident to purchase health insurance as an unprecedented and unconstitutional exercise of governmental power. Furthermore, the federal government is threatening Nevada’s state sovereignty with unprecedented expansion of federal powers and commandeering of state resources. “This is not acceptable and it is illegal”, Governor Gibbons said, “The Reid/Obama Nationalized Health Care plan has already cost Nevada taxpayers almost $150,000 in tax money and that is just the beginning of the cost for pre-planning.” Governor Gibbons added, “The backdoor deals and corrupt atmosphere in which the Reid/Obama Nationalized Health Care plan was drafted has created a law that will crush working families in Nevada and burden state taxpayers with $600-million in new costs, then use the Internal Revenue Service as a weapon against the constitutional freedoms of all Nevada citizens.”
The original lawsuit against the Reid/Obama Nationalized Health Care plan was filed on March 23, 2010 with 13 state plaintiffs and was amended on May 14, 2010 to add seven additional states, including Nevada, and the National Federation of Independent Business, as well as two individual plaintiffs. The lawsuit alleges that the new law infringes upon the constitutional rights of individuals by mandating all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. By imposing such a mandate, the law exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution. Additionally, the tax penalty required under the law constitutes an unlawful direct tax in violation of Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution.
The lawsuit further claims the Reid/Obama Nationalized Health Care plan infringes on the sovereignty of the states and Tenth Amendment to the Constitution by imposing onerous new operating rules that Nevada must follow, as well as requiring the state to spend billions of additional dollars without providing funds or resources to meet the state’s cost of implementing the law.