NFIB wins ruling on health care lawsuit

Judge Rules in Favor of NFIB, Allows Healthcare Lawsuit to Continue
By National Federation of Independent Business

Washington, D.C., October 14, 2010— Karen Harned, executive director of National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center, issued the following statement in response to U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson’s decision, allowing NFIB and 20 states to move forward in their lawsuit against the federal healthcare law:  “Today we are one step closer to overturning the unconstitutional federal healthcare law. NFIB is pleased Judge Vinson ruled in favor of allowing our case to move forward. It is critical to small business owners and all Americans for the court to weigh in on the important constitutional questions at the heart of our lawsuit over the individual mandate.

“Judge Vinson correctly recognized that the individual mandate, which forces all Americans to purchase health insurance, whether they want it or not gives the federal government an unprecedented amount of power over our individual lives.

In his opinion released today Judge Vinson stated (pages 63-64):

“The individual mandate applies across the board. People have no choice and there is no way to avoid it. Those who fall under the individual mandate either comply with it, or they are penalized. It is not based on an activity that they make the choice to undertake. Rather, it is based solely on citizenship and on being alive. As the nonpartisan CBO concluded sixteen years ago (when the individual mandate was considered, but not pursued during the 1994 national healthcare reform efforts): “A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.” See Congressional Budget Office Memorandum, The Budgetary Treatment of an Individual Mandate to Buy Health Insurance, August 1994.

“NFIB along with the 20 states that have joined this lawsuit strongly believe that the Commerce Clause does not give Congress the power to force individuals to purchase something simply because they are alive. We intend to prove that the individual mandate in the healthcare law is fundamentally unconstitutional, and, as a result, the entire law should be struck down.”

Oral arguments on the merits of these claims are scheduled for December 16 in the federal district court in Pensacola, Fla.

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