Obama Healthcare Insurance Mandate is Unconstitutional

Mar 22, 2010


Congress lacks the authority to force healthcare coverage on people and businesses

Washington, DC – The Obama healthcare insurance bill is unconstitutional because Congress lacks the authority to mandate health insurance coverage for individuals or private businesses. Liberty Counsel will file suit challenging the constitutionality of the bill if it is signed by President Barack Obama. Liberty University, the largest and fastest-growing Christian university in the world, with over 50,000 students, is one of the plaintiffs in the suit. The suit will also raise the concerns of individuals, private nonprofit and for-profit businesses and organizations, and religious institutions.

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, said: "Congress does not have unlimited authority to regulate private actions. If the Constitution does not give Congress the power to act, then Congress cannot act. Congress clearly lacks the constitutional authority to force individuals to have, or private businesses to provide, health insurance. Congress' attempt to force health insurance coverage on the nation is a stunning example of what Congress cannot do."

The Taxing and Spending Clause and the Commerce Clause are the two primary provisions of the Constitution that enable Congress to act. The healthcare bill does not fall under the Taxing and Spending Clause. Moreover, unlike some other laws Congress passes which impose requirements on states that accept federal funds, the healthcare bill imposes requirements on individuals and private employers who refuse to accept the government mandate. The U.S. Supreme Court has cut back on Congress’s authority to regulate private or local matters of concern.

Staver concluded, "If Congress had the power to force each person to have health insurance, then individual liberty would be meaningless. No matter the desires of President Obama and the Democratic leadership, there are some things Congress cannot do. No one wants the federal government or a pencil-pushing bureaucrat in Washington policing private medical decisions. No one wants IRS agents to become the health insurance police. The threat to liberty posed by the healthcare bill goes beyond healthcare. If Congress can get away with this expansive power grab, then individual liberty and state sovereignty will vanish. The Obama administration and the Democratic-controlled Congress are incapable of fiscal responsibility. This political power grab will push the country to financial ruin. The bill funds abortion, destroys liberty, and is patently unconstitutional. Quoting then-Senator Obama when campaigning for President, 'You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.'"

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