- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2010

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter said Monday that he and other Republican governors are already meeting today — just hours after Congress passed a $940 billion health care reform plan — to discuss how they can repeal the legislation.

“If Congress goes ahead with this financial and economic insanity, which is unconstitutional, then we’ll sue,” Mr. Otter told The Washington Times’ “America’s Morning News” radio show.

The Democrat-controlled House late Sunday passed the Senate’s version of President Obama’s health care initiative 219-212, without the support of Republicans and 34 Democrats.

Mr. Otter said he will meet Monday with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour.

However, they cannot take action until the Senate approves the House changes to the legislation and Mr. Obama signs the bill into law, he also said.

Mr. Obama is expected to sign the legislation Tuesday.

Mr. Otter said he wants to take action today, but governors first must talk to their lawyers and attorneys general before they can “advance and enumerate every grievance.”

Among their biggest concerns is that the legislation will force Americans to buy health insurance.

Mr. Otter signed a bill last week stating Idaho would sue if residents had to buy insurance.

Virginia and 35 other states are considering similar legislation.

Mr. Otter acknowledged that federal law supersedes state law. But such a legal challenge would be valid because the U.S. Constitution says the states must be treated equal, which didn’t happen in congressional deals such as the “Louisiana Purchase.”

“Everybody wants to read into the Constitution, especially if they’re of the mind big government [should] control everything,” he said.

Another concern is the cost of the legislation, which Mr. Otter said includes hiring 17,000 more IRS agents, to ensure Americans buy the insurance.

“If you like what the IRS has done in the past, you’re going to love the next episode,” he said.

A group of state attorneys general already has held a teleconference about their plans.