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AZ, NV to join suit over federal health care bill

April 7, 2010

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PHOENIX—The governors of Arizona and Nevada say their states will join 14 others suing the federal government over health care reform.

Gov. Jan Brewer announced Arizona was joining the suit Tuesday night. She signed a bill April 1 that gave her the authority to skirt the state's Democratic attorney general, Terry Goddard, who declined to sue on the state's behalf.

Republicans say the bill signed by President Obama is unconstitutional in part because it requires people to buy private health insurance. Goddard and other Democrats say a suit would be unlikely to succeed and thus a waste of taxpayer money.

Also Tuesday, Gov. Jim Gibbons signed an executive order for Nevada to join the multistate challenge to the federal legislation.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, refused an earlier directive from Gibbons to join the suit.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Gov. Jim Gibbons has signed an executive order for Nevada to join 14 other states suing the federal government over health care reform.

The Republican governor on Tuesday said the state would be represented by Las Vegas lawyer Mark Hutchison.

Democratic Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto refused an earlier directive from Gibbons to join the multistate challenge to the health bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.

Gibbons says the measure will cost Nevada taxpayers $2.4 billion in additional state and federal taxes.

Hutchison says Nevada's objections to the law will be similar to other states.

But he says the suit will be stronger with Nevada taking part.

Masto has said any outcome would apply to Nevada whether it joins the suit or not.