Branstad joins lawsuit seeking to undo “ObamaCare”

Governor Branstad hired Brenna Findley as his legal counsel.  Findley, as you may recall, was the GOP candidate for attorney general who criticized Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller (a Democrat) for failing to join lawsuits seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the national health care reform law.  Today is Branstad’s first full non-holiday day as governor (he was inaugurated on Friday and Monday was the Martin Luther King, Junior Holiday). Findley has completed the legal work for Branstad so the governor has signed onto Florida’s challenge of the health care reform law.  Read Branstad’s announcement, followed by reaction from Miller and others.

Gov. Branstad signs on to health care lawsuit on behalf of Iowans

(DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today signed on to Florida’s federal health care lawsuit, joining 27 other states in this effort, including Virginia, which filed their own lawsuit.

The lawsuit challenges the individual mandate that would force Iowans to buy the federal government’s mandated health insurance, as well as the Medicaid expansion that is costly to states, with its “one-size-fits-all” Medicaid approach that forces states to cut other critical programs.

“I am signing on to this suit as the governor on behalf of the people of Iowa, because I believe Iowa taxpayers deserve to be heard on this critical matter,” said Branstad. “As we begin constructing our five year budget, there is no doubt that the current federal health care law will shackle Iowa taxpayers for billions in unfunded mandates.”

Attached please find the filed motion and amended complaints which add the following states: Ohio, Kansas, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Maine and Iowa. 

Attorney General’s Statement on Governor’s Health Care Lawsuit Sign-On

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  On November 19, 2010 Attorney General Tom Miller, representing the State of Iowa, joined in an Amici Curiae (friends of the Court) brief supporting the federal government’s argument that the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) is constitutional.  The brief stated that the law will help states fulfill their goals of protecting and promoting the health and welfare of their citizens.

“Congress, under the powers granted to it under the Commerce Clause, has the full authority to enact legislation like the ACA that has an enormous effect on interstate commerce,” Miller said.

Today, as Governor of Iowa, Governor Terry Branstad signed on in support of the State of Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, et al, lawsuit challenging the ACA.

According to Miller, the control and decision making concerning litigation involving the State of Iowa is within the authority of the Attorney General, not the Governor.  “However, in this unusual set of circumstances, given what is at stake for the public, Governor Branstad should have the ability to express his viewpoint as Governor,” Miller said.

The Governor’s action, subsequent to Attorney General Miller’s brief, puts Iowa in the position of both supporting and opposing the ACA.

Statement by the President on the Affordable Care Act  (issued as Republicans in the US House prepare to vote on a bill that would repeal the law)
“Today, the American people have greater health security than they did a year ago. Because of the Affordable Care Act, Americans no longer have to live in fear that insurance companies will drop or cap their coverage if they get sick, or that they’ll face double-digit premium increases with no accountability or recourse. Small businesses across the country can take advantage of a new health care tax credit to offer coverage to their employees, and children suffering from an illness or pre-existing condition can no longer be denied coverage. Parents now can add their adult children up to age 26 to their health plans, and all Americans on new plans can access preventive care to keep them healthy with no additional out of pocket costs. Older Americans are seeing better benefits, lower prescription drug costs, and a stronger Medicare. And the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports that improvements in health care delivery system as a result of this law will reduce federal deficits by over a trillion dollars in the next two decades. 

So I’m willing and eager to work with both Democrats and Republicans to improve the Affordable Care Act. But we can’t go backward. Americans deserve the freedom and security of knowing that insurance companies can’t deny, cap, or drop their coverage when they need it the most, while taking meaningful steps to curb runaway health care costs.”

From the Iowa Democratic Party — Gov. Branstad’s First Full-Day: Wasted Taxpayer Dollars, Tax Increases, Less Access to Health Care
Iowa Joins Baseless Lawsuit Against Health Care Reform

DES MOINES – On his first full-day in office, Gov. Branstad has wastefully committed taxpayer resources to fighting health care reform (the Affordable Care Act) in court. Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky released the following statement in response to Gov. Branstad’s decision:

“Governor Branstad’s has chosen to waste taxpayer dollars on a court battle which, if successful, will increase taxes on small businesses and families across the state, while making quality healthcare harder to find and more difficult to afford. Despite Democratic attempts to reach across the aisle and discuss responsible reductions in spending, Gov. Branstad has threatened to lay off a thousand state workers while simultaneously committing state resources to a flawed and baseless lawsuit against the federal government.

“Not only is this choice economically devastating, it sends a clear message that the Branstad/Reynolds administration is not committed to quality, accessible, and affordable health care for Iowans.”

The lawsuit against health care reform was a major issue in the Iowa Attorney General’s race, where Iowan’s overwhelmingly supported Attorney General Tom Miller’s reelection. Despite Miller’s victory over Republican Brenna Findley, Branstad administration officials have confirmed she is giving legal advice to Governor Branstad on the lawsuit. [Radio Iowa, 1/18/11]

Non-partisan research has shown how devastating a repeal of the Affordable Care Act would be for Iowa and the nation:

400,000 jobs annually would be lost nationally as a result of repeal according to Harvard economist David Cutler:
$230 billion would be added to our national deficit over the next decade according to the Congressional Budget office, of which Senator Grassley has said, “for health care budgeting purposes, CBO’s word is the only one that counts.” and 

57,216 small businesses in Iowa would see a tax increase if health care reform is undone. [Internal Revenue Service, 4/19/10]

713,155 Iowa children would once again be excluded from coverage based on a pre-existing condition. [U.S. Census Bureau, 1/7/10]

43,100 senior citizens in the state would see an increase in prescription drug costs as the Medicare “donut hole” is opened back up. [House Commerce Committee, 3/20/10]

247,000 young adults in Iowa would no longer be able to remain on their parent’s health care coverage. [House Commerce Committee, 3/20/10]

788,000 Iowa families would see their taxes soar without tax credits and other assistance in the Affordable Care Act. [House Commerce Committee, 3/20/10]

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. Onw aspect rarely discussed regarding Obamacare is the devastating loss of high-paying medical sales jobs created by its passage. On my web site, , a popular job board for jobs in medical sales, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the number of vacant medical sales and pharmaceutical sales jobs being filled in anticipation of Obamacare.

  2. It’s about time. Dimwit incompetent AG Miller couldn’t find a copy of the Constitution so others had to do his job for him,