Business group picking up the tab for multi-state challenge to health reform

Posted Feb. 21, 2011, at 10:24 a.m.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the cost so far borne by Florida, Maine and 24other states challenging the constitutionality of national health reform totals a measley $46,000 — with the balance being covered by the National Federation of  Independent Businesses. The group opposes the law because of unconstitutional costs and regulations it imposes on private businesses.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says the state and its partners in the lawsuit are  “thrilled” to have the financial backing of the business group, but some lawmakers are troubled.

“My concern is if it’s a lawsuit on behalf of the people of Florida, then I would believe it should be the people of Florida footing the bill,” said state Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, a member of the House Health and Human Services Committee. “When you have an outside party paying, then every aspect of the AG’s office might be up for sale. This type of thing raises all kind of red flags.”

The National Federation of  Independent Businesses refused to disclose how much it has paid so far or expects to pay in the future, but a law professor at the University of Florida ballparks the cost of the lawsuit at “millions of dollars and probably tens of millions of dollars.” Read the whole story here.  – Meg Haskell

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