Iowa

This article is part of the State Status and News series related to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

An effort to repeal national health care reform came to Des Moines today, led by former New York Gov. George Pataki.

“Obamacare is not just wrong, it’s unconstitutional,” Pataki told a cheering crowd of about 100 people today at Embassy Suites.

Pataki is chairman of Revere America, a national campaign to gather signatures of people who want to repeal and place this year’s healthcare reform. The name of the group is in step with Paul Revere’s efforts 235 years ago to warn Americans that their freedom was in danger. The group will use the signatures partly as a way to gain support for Republican candidates in November elections.

Pataki and several of his supporters said a national healthcare mandate will cripple the quality of medical services and raise taxes on all Americans.

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Pataki said replacements to the health care reform should include allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines and medical malpractice lawsuit reforms.

“Two hundred and thirty five years ago Paul Revere said the ‘British are coming’ and the American people heard it,” Pataki said. “Now, to those unresponsive politicians in Washington, we’re going to say ‘The people are coming and you are going to hear.’”

Also speaking at the event was Republican Party of Iowa Chairman Matt Strawn and president of Iowans for Tax Relief Ed Failor, Jr.

Brenna Findley, a Republican candidate for Iowa Attorney General, said forcing citizens to purchase health care coverage is unconstitutional. She criticized Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller for not joining nearly 20 states who are suing the federal government.

“We know our own taxpayer-funded lawyer is working against us right now,” Findley said. “And we know that our constitution does not give Congress unlimited power to tell us what to do.”

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Clayworth, Jason. “Reverse ‘ObamaCare,’ Pataki says in Des Moines”. DesMoines Register (blog). April 20, 2010. Available online as of 2010-04-20.

A University of Iowa law class will spend the fall semester examining the 2,000-page health care reform legislation passed in March.

The historic legislation fits the bill for the Innovation, Business and Law Center at the U of I College of Law, which is offering the class, said Herbert Hovenkamp, a law professor and one of the center's faculty members. The center explores legal topics that cut across multiple disciplines, Hovenkamp said.

“This was just a natural because there aren't many statutes that cut across so many disciplines,” Hovenkamp said. “It is a very timely, very hot topic that will keep going through the elections next November.”

The colloquium-style class will meet weekly through the fall semester.

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The health legislation is appealing because it touches so many different aspects of the law, such as economics, human rights, antitrust, insurance, employment, poverty and constitutional, Hovenkamp said.

The new law should create a demand for lawyers who understand the nuances, Hovenkamp said. With students facing a tough job market, the class could be a good opportunity for students to gain marketable skills, Hovenkamp said.

“There are lots of hospitals, business, the government, who are going to have to figure out how to comply with this law,” Hovenkamp said.

“I would hope students who take this class would find themselves in a better position when they come on the job market.”

Morelli, B. A. “University of Iowa law class in fall to examine health bill”. Iowa City Press-Register. April 22, 2010. Available online as of 2010-04-22. Emphasis added.