HHS asks federal court to drop Virginia's lawsuit challenging healthcare reform law

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The Department of Health and Human Services is seeking to dismiss Virginia's lawsuit involving the healthcare reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The state is challenging the constitutionality of the requirement that most Americans have health insurance by 2014. It has recently enacted a statute exempting Virginians from any federal requirement to purchase health insurance. But the government argued to a federal court that the state does not have standing to challenge the law's mandate in federal court. It also argues that the provision is within Congress' authority to act under the Commerce Clause.

Separately, 13 states, under the leadership of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum (R), have filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the individual health insurance requirement and other healthcare reform provisions.