Governor Barbour

March 25, 2010


Jackson, Mississippi – Governor Haley Barbour today reaffirmed his commitment to have Mississippi join the bi-partisan, multi-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the healthcare reform legislation approved by the U.S. Congress.

“I’m trying to save the people of Mississippi from an enormous amount of taxes that would be caused by the Obama Administration’s healthcare plan,” Governor Barbour said. “There is a pivotal constitutional argument that needs to be addressed: Does the federal government have the constitutional authority to force American citizens to buy insurance and then tell them what they can buy and at what price?

“America is a people with a government, not a government that owns the people.”

Governor Barbour had requested the Attorney General to join the multi-state lawsuit against the healthcare bill, and he asked for a response by noon today. Attorney General Jim Hood notified the governor today that he needed more time to understand the complexities of a possible legal challenge.

Fourteen states already have joined in a lawsuit seeking to stop the administration’s healthcare plan.

The states in the lawsuit already have determined “the healthcare reform law violates the U.S. Constitution with its unprecedented attempt to regulate an individual’s choice not to engage in economic activity,” Governor Barbour wrote in his response to the attorney general.

“This law will also prove disastrous for the economy, for state and federal budgets, and for taxpayers who will see their premiums and taxes increased to fund it,” Governor Barbour wrote, adding that the bill “represents an alarming intrusion by government into the most intimate of personal decisions.”

Governor Barbour said Mississippi will join the lawsuit by the time the lawsuit is amended – shortly after President Barack Obama signs it into law.

“If, by that time, you have determined you wish to represent the State, I would appreciate your office’s doing so,” Governor Barbour wrote to the attorney general. “If you decide otherwise, I will retain outside counsel and provide your office with a copy of the contract for your ratification.”

To read Governor Barbour's response to the attorney general, click here.