Washington, DC – Today, Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) and Health Subcommittee Chairman Wally Herger (R-CA) issued the following statement in reaction to a Florida federal judge ruling the Democrats’ health care law’s requirement that nearly every American purchase government-sanctioned health insurance, even if they can’t afford it, is unconstitutional. In the case brought by 26 States, the National Federation of Independent Business, and two individuals, Judge Roger Vinson held that the individual mandate is not a constitutional exercise of Congress’ Commerce Clause power. Additionally, in an important development, Judge Vinson struck down the entire law citing the lack of a severability clause, meaning that if one part of the law is found to be unconstitutional, the entire law is deemed unconstitutional.
“Today’s decision by Judge Vinson reinforces what most Americans already believe: that Congress does not and should not have the power to require nearly all Americans to buy government-approved health insurance. The federal government has never before compelled its citizens to purchase any commercial product. Doing so contradicts the basic notions of freedom and individual choice that we hold dear as Americans.
“The individual mandate is just one example of how the Democrats’ law simply goes too far. That is why the House of Representatives has already voted to repeal the unconstitutional health care law. As the legal battles make their way to the Supreme Court, Congress must continue to work to repeal the Democrats’ government takeover of health care and replace it with true health care reform that provides all Americans with access to affordable coverage that meets their needs.”
- The 26 States participating in the Florida lawsuit are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
- This is now the second federal court to strike down the individual mandate, as Virginia federal district court Judge Hudson ruled in December 2010 that the individual mandate violates the U.S. Constitution.
- On January 21, 2011, Oklahoma became the 28th State to challenge the constitutionality of the individual mandate filing a lawsuit against the Administration in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.