Florida AG Bondi to Newsmax: How We’ll Defeat Obamacare

Friday, 23 Mar 2012 03:26 PM

By Martin Gould and Kathleen Walter

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President Barack Obama’s healthcare initiative is the biggest attempt at a government overreach in U.S. history, Pam Bondi, Florida’s attorney general, who is leading the fight against the program, tells Newsmax.TV.

And that is why Bondi is confident the Supreme Court will vote to overturn the Affordable Care Act after three days of hearings next week.

“We’re optimistic that they will rule in our favor because this is so much bigger than healthcare,” said Bondi in an exclusive interview. “It’s the biggest attempt at an overreach in our history. So we have to fight it and we have to stop it.

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“That’s why 26 states, along with the National Federation of Independent Business, are challenging this and that’s why we have been given an unprecedented amount of time, six hours, in front of the court.”

The hearing will start on Monday and go through Wednesday. Attorney Paul Clement will argue the states’ case before the nine justices, while solicitor general Donald Verrilli will defend the law.

“The bottom line is this: the Constitution’s limits on the federal power are real and they must be respected, even if they are inconvenient for the Obama administration’s goal to take over one-sixth of our economy,” said Bondi, a Republican.

The states’ main case is that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to insist that citizens buy anything, including health insurance. “If they can force us to do this, they can force us to do anything,” said Bondi.

Part of Bondi’s optimism is that there has already been a bipartisan decision in favor of striking down the law in the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. “People were playing the numbers game … saying we were going to lose because they had two Clinton appointees and a Bush appointee and look at the opinion we got out of it.”

She is confident that all Supreme Court justices will follow the law and not be guided by their own political views. “I believe when they hear our argument that they will know that this is such an overreach by the federal government,” she said.

Bondi said the Supreme Court case will be split into four distinct parts:

• Monday there will be arguments on the anti-injunction aspect of the case, which states that a tax cannot be challenged until it is paid;

• Tuesday is “the big day” when arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate will be heard;

• Wednesday morning is on severability – whether any part of the act can remain if the individual mandate is struck down;

• Wednesday afternoon will be arguments whether Washington can instruct states to expand Medicaid.

On the lesser-known aspects of the case, Bondi said she believes the government should accept the states’ argument about anti-injunction, otherwise, she said, it would mean there could be no arguments about the law until it is fully up and running. “What are they saying? It’s not a tax, it’s not a tax, it’s not a tax. How many times have you heard our president say that?”

And she said she is also confident about the Medicaid issue. “Our argument’s going to be that Congress cannot force us to increase our Medicaid that would put our state out of business or threaten all the states by losing all of our funding. It’s clearly coercion by the federal government and our Constitution protects us from coercion.”

At the end of it all, Bondi said she believes that “Obamacare will be no more.”

“That’s our hope. That’s what the law should be. It’s unconstitutional and we’re going to do everything in our power to present the best argument possible.”

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