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Arkansas group preparing to file lawsuit over health care plan

Arkansas will not join other states in lawsuit over the health care reform bill. But one citizen's group says it will file suit after President Obama signs the bill into law.
Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said Monday the state will not join a multi-state lawsuit against the federal government over the constitutionality of the health care reform bill.  A statement from his office said it would be highly unlikely to win a suit like this against the federal government.  But one citizen's group says it will file suit after President Obama signs the bill into law.

The group Secure Arkansas isn't only filing the lawsuit, it's also trying get a measure put on the ballot in November to let Arkansas voters decide whether or not to be a part of this health care plan. 

"The majority of people, according to the polls, are against this federal healthcare mandate," said Todd Sharp with Secure Arkansas. 

He and group chairwoman Jeannie Burlsworth hit the airwaves at KARN radio asking people to come to their rally at the attorney general's office Wednesday.  They want Attorney General Dustin McDaniel to approve a petition for a ballot initiative that would allow Arkansans to vote on participation in the health care plan. 

"We need for him to hurry up.  We don't want him to delay our time span to gather these signatures," says Burlsworth.

Burlsworth says the plan puts too much power in the hands of the government, making citizens choose between getting healthcare or paying penalties to the IRS if they don't. 

"This isn't about healthcare, it's about control," she said.

Governor Beebe says the plan would cost Arkansas between $100 million and $200 million a year. 

"My first obligation is to our taxpayers and our budget and I am still concerned about any unfunded mandates," says Beebe.

The attorney general's office gets 10 business days to make a decision on the petition.  Secure Arkansas would have until July 2nd to collect enough signatures to get the item on the ballot in November.
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