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BILL RADKE: The most closely-watched legal challenge to the health care reform law goes before a federal judge today in Florida. Twenty states filed the lawsuit. It says the law is unconstitutional. Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer joins us live from Washington. Hi Nancy.
NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Hey Bill.
RADKE: What is the basis for the lawsuit?
MARSHALL GENZER: The suit centers on the law’s requirement that, starting in 2014, almost everybody has to have health insurance. Otherwise, you pay a fine. The states behind the lawsuit say this requirement is unconstitutional because it violates rules on interstate commerce. And the National Federation of Independent Business has joined the lawsuit. It says the health care law would create a financial burden for small businesses.
RADKE: OK. And what argument do supporters of the law make?
MARSHALL GENZER: Well, they point out that since the 1930s, the Supreme Court has ruled that Congress does have the power to regulate the economy. And they say, individuals are being affected by this mandate, not the states — since individuals are the ones being required to buy insurance. So individuals should be filing the lawsuits and this isn’t the state’s business.
RADKE: And this Florida decision, Nancy, is this going to be the last word?
MARSHALL GENZER: Most certainly not. This case is expected to wind up before the Supreme Court here in Washington. And by the way, Bill, there’s another case making its way through the courts. Virginia has filed a separate lawsuit, along the same lines, saying that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
RADKE: Marketplace’s Nancy Marshall Genzer, thanks a lot.
MARSHALL GENZER: You’re welcome.
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