N F I B Determined To Overturn Health Law In Its Entirety
WISCONSINREPORT.COM (02/01/2011) - A Florida judge ruling the federal health care law unconstitional is not the end of the story. Wisconsin congressional representative Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis) says she is confident the reform that took nearly two years to push through Congress will survive. Wisconsin U.S. Congressman Reid Ribble (R-Wis) is not so sure. He says some kind of reform is needed, but, making it mandatory to buy insurance is not the right way to go, and the NFIB agrees.
The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is the only business organization in the country to have joined 20 states in a lawsuit against the measure. Since NFIB filed its case, six more states, including Wisconsin, have joined, rejecting the federal law as an intrusion into their constitutional rights.
"Itís no surprise that a Federal Judge ruled parts of President Obamaís Healthcare Law unconstitutional. Make no mistake, we need reforms to our healthcare system, but an individual mandate forcing Americans to buy insurance is not the solution," Wisconsin U.S. Congressional Representative Ribble said.
"Though I support certain ideas contained within this law, we need to scrap it and start again with real reforms that will lower costs and increase the quality of care," Ribble continued.
"The healthcare law is simply too expensive, saddles us with too much debt, and has already proven to increase our healthcare costs,Ē Ribble said.
Wisconsin Congressional Representative Tammy Baldwin believes that the constitutionality of the Health Care Reform bill will be upheld in the end.
"This is not the first, nor will it be the last, challenge to the health care reform law that will, ultimately, be decided by the Supreme Court," Baldwin said.
"I am confident that, when all is said and done, the constitutionality of the health care reform law will be affirmed," Baldwin added.
Newly implemented health care reforms are:
- Closing the Medicare Part D donut hole, making prescription drugs for seniors more affordable;
- Allowing parents to keep their children up to age 26 on the family health care plan;
- Preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.
Representative Tammy Baldwin says these reforms are now in place, with more to come as the new law is fully implemented.
"I will continue to focus on strengthening and improving the health care reforms that are already making such a positive difference in the lives of so many Wisconsin families," Baldwin said.
Meanwhile, The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) applauded the ruling in federal court overturning the controversial Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Bill G. Smith, the organizationís state Director, said the decision is a major victory for small businesses in Wisconsin.
"The mandates, penalties and regulatory burdens imposed by this law are costly and confusing to Wisconsin small businesses," said Smith.
"We are very pleased by the judgeís ruling today and we are confident that higher courts will agree that the law is an unprecedented and unconstitutional power-grab by the federal government," the NFIB Director said.
While NFIB claims costs to small businesses are staggering, the organizationís main objection focuses on the so-called individual mandate.
"The federal government has no authority in the Constitution to mandate that private citizens purchase a commercial service or product," said Smith.
"If the federal government can order people to buy insurance, then it can order people to do virtually anything else it considers appropriate. Wisconsin small businesses do not want to be ordered into commercial contracts by strangers in Washington, DC," NFIB Director Smith stated.
Karen Harned, Director of NFIBís Small Business Legal Center, said the law violates the Constitution because it concentrates too much power into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington.
"NFIB is extremely pleased with Judge Vinsonís decision," said Harned.
Harned says the NFIB joined the case to protect the rights of small-business owners to own, operate and grow their businesses free from unnecessary government intervention.
"The individual mandate, which forces citizens to purchase government approved health insurance, undermines this core principle and gives the federal government entirely too much power," Harned said.
In his decision, Judge Vinson ruled that Congress lacks the constitutional authority to force citizens to purchase health insurance.
Key parts of the Florida Judge's ruling:
"Because the plaintiffs maintain that an individualís failure to purchase health insurance is, almost by definition, inactivity, the individual mandate goes beyond the Commerce Clause and is unconstitutional." Page 13
"In every Supreme Court case decided thus far, Congress was not seeking to regulate under its commerce power something that could even arguably be said to be ďpassive inactivity." Page 41
"It would be a radical departure from existing case law to hold that Congress can regulate inactivity under the Commerce Clause." Page 42
"Because the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, the entire Act must be declared void." Page 76.
NFIB Legal Center Director Harned says, on behalf of small-business owners nationwide, NFIB is determined to overturn the law. Harned says the decision represents, what Harned calls, the first significant legal victory "on our way to having the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately strike down this law in its entirety."
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