More states join lawsuit against health care reform

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TEXT OF STORY

Stacey Vanek-Smith: Today seven more states join a lawsuit against the Obama administration's health care plan. All told, 21 states are now protesting the requirement that everyone buy health insurance. Jill Barshay reports.


Jill Barshay: The new law requires virtually all Americans to carry health insurance by 2014. Robert Muise is an attorney at the Thomas More Law Center. The group has also filed suit. Muise says the government is allowed to regulate interstate commerce, but:

Robert Muise: That doesn't necessarily mean that the federal government can force people to engage in commerce, i.e. purchase things or engage in a commercial transaction.

It's rare that the federal government has ever made us buy stuff. Constitutional lawyer Ian Millhiser at the Center for American Progress had to go back to the Second Militia Act of 1792.

Ian Millhiser: Which required a significant percentage of the U.S. civilian population to purchase guns and bayonets and other military equipment, just in case they were ever called up for military service.

Millhiser says there's a good reason for the new law: so that people don't wait until they're sick before they buy insurance. Or else premiums for the rest of us will go up.

I'm Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

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