Obama to sign health bill; states to challenge overhaul

By By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - A South Lawn ceremony is planned at the White House, as President Barack Obama signs the landmark health care bill. However, states are already lining up to sue the federal government over the constitutionality of the measure.

His spokesman says Obama is inviting all of the lawmakers who supported the bill, along with other Americans whose stories represent the need for health care reform.

Later in the week, Obama will be traveling to Iowa, as he starts talking-up the benefits of the bill on behalf of House members who cast risky votes.

And he still has to see a companion bill through the Senate.

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the legislation -- a formality before Obama's own signature -- she said the House had "made history." Pelosi says the legislation is "on a par with passing Social Security and Medicare."

Debate is expected to begin as soon as tomorrow in the Senate on a companion measure making a series of changes sought by House Democrats.

Republicans plan parliamentary objections that could change the bill and make it go back to the House.

Officials in at least 10 states have agreed to file a lawsuit challenging the legislation.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says he plans to file the complaint "the moment Obama signs the bill."

Other states planning to challenge the bill are Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Utah and Washington.

Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning said the measure "tramples on individual liberty."

Bruning, a Republican, did not explain in his statement why he believes the bill is unconstitutional. But other attorneys general have said it violates state sovereignty by mandating that all Americans have some form of health insurance.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

What's On