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Iowa Democrats defend health care reform in federal court

Two Democratic members of the Iowa Senate are among more 150 lawmakers from 26 states who have filed a friend of the court brief in defense of last year’s federal health care reform, placing them in direct opposition to Gov. Terry Branstad who joined the suit against the law.

By signing an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Sens. Jack Hatch of Des Moines and Joe Bolkcom of Iowa City say that they are “standing against the right-wing attorneys general and governors,” including Branstad, “who are playing politics with the health security of Iowa families by pressing a partisan lawsuit at odds with the framers’ vision of the Constitution.”

“There is no question that the framers of the Constitution would have viewed the health law as constitutional,” said Hatch, “and we have confidence that the courts will ultimately agree.”

The brief is reprinted in full below.

“So many Iowa families have benefited already from the new health law, and many more will benefit from the additional choice and competition in the future,” Bolkcom added. “Now is not the time to go backward as those behind this lawsuit desire — it is time to strengthen the law in a way that works for families.”

In January, U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled the health care reform as unconstitutional because it was “based on a fundamentally flawed vision of the constitutional role of our federal government and its partnership with the states — a vision that contradicts the original meaning of our founding charter.”

Bolkcom, Hatch and the other signatories on the brief argue that the framers of the U.S. Constitution, “including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton,” would have supported the constitutionality of the law.

~~A request for comment from Branstad’s office was not immediately returned, but will be added to this report upon arrival.~~

According to Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht, “the Governor continues to believe this is an unaffordable, unsustainable and unconstitutional piece of legislation.”

Amicus Brief

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