Within minutes of the healthcare act being signed into law, then-Attorney General Bill McCollum was filing the lawsuit that was finally decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This is not lawful. It may have passed Congress, but there are three branches of government.”
Months later, a federal judge in Pensacola was one of the first to rule most of the act unconstitutional. The current Attorney General, Pam Bondi, campaigned saying she would continue the lawsuit.
Nat sot Bondi Campaign Ad
“And I will take on the federal government’s healthcare takeover,” said a campaign ad for Pam Bondi.
The Governor and his cabinet took a break from their clemency board duties as the decision was being announced. A few minutes later, Bondi appeared visibly shaken by the decision.
“[I’m] surprised, um, shocked. The court did say, however, that they cannot do this under the commerce clause,” said Bondi.
Then, three hours later, the Attorney General was claiming partial victory.
“We also learned that there are enforceable limits on Congress’s power to force the states through the use of the spending power,” said Bondi.
But details on the state’s options remain sketchy. Both Bondi and Governor Scott call the act a tax on Floridians.
“If you look at every government program in the world, they over-promise, they run out of money, they underpay providers, and then that rations care. On top of that, as bad as it’s going to be for patients, it’s going to be just as bad for taxpayers. We’re not going to be able to afford this,” said the Governor.
The full impact of the decision could take days to sort out.
As one of his first official acts, Governor Rick Scott refused a one million dollar federal grant to begin implementing the health care law. Pushed for what the state does next, Scott said he needs to read the full opinion before deciding.