Judge suggests he will allow states to sue federal government over healthcare reform

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Frontline, ProPublica slam assisted living sector in documentary airing tonight
Frontline, ProPublica slam assisted living sector in documentary airing tonight
A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law is likely to advance. A federal judge in Florida this week said he would rule on the merits of the suit by Oct. 14.

Twenty suits are challenging the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law. Their main argument is that the federal government is overstepping its bounds in requiring people to purchase health insurance. Some 16 attorneys general are plaintiffs in the Florida lawsuit, which is one of only two to advance to this stage. A suit filed by Virginia's attorney general is slightly further along.

Besides unfairly forcing people to buy health insurance, states also argue that the new law effectively coerces states to pay for the expansion of the joint state and federal Medicaid program. While the federal government initially will pay for the growth, states will start paying a share in 2016 that eventually rises to 10%.