Why aren’t health care companies suing over ObamaCare

Obama Watch News
25 May 2010

Today Kathleen Sebelius asked a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare. The suit was filed by Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and will soon be joined by a separate suit brought by twenty other states — but notably, no health care corporations are among the plaintiffs.

The Obama administration asked a federal judge Monday to dismiss Virginia’s challenge of the health-care overhaul law, arguing that the state has no standing to sue over the law and that Congress’s power to regulate interstate trade makes the measure constitutional.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) filed suit against the act moments after President Obama signed it into law in March. His suit is separate from a broader effort filed in Florida that includes 20 states.

Cuccinelli argued that Virginia was uniquely positioned to challenge the measure because of a law, adopted by the General Assembly this year, stating that individuals could not be forced to buy health insurance in Virginia.

While state AGs have stepped up to the plate to sue the government, health care companies themselves have been largely complacent. There have been some tense negotiations with Sebelius (particularly over health care giant Wellpoint’s huge rate hike this year) but no real attempt by health providers to fight the bill. Instead the corporations helpfully tipped off Congress about the shortcomings of the bill, such as its initial failure to cover uninsured children with preexisting conditions. Obama promised that his health care plan would take health care companies to task. Why aren’t they suing along with Cuccinelli?

As the Washington Examiner previously reported, far from being upset, the Pharmaceutical Researchers of America, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, and the AARP were cheering the night health care reform passed. All this was after PhRMA, the lobbying arm of the pharmaceutical industry, helped write the health care bill. It was all crony capitalism: The feds and the corporations teamed up for reform and stuck the bill to the states and the people. The $12 million that health care companies donated to Obama’s 2008 campaign paid off.

The states’ lawsuit centers on the individual mandate which forces all Americans to buy health insurance. That’s 12 million potential new customers for the health care companies, many of them propped up by state and federal subsidies. It’s a pretty good deal if you can get it.

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