Constitutional Law

New Challenge to Health Insurance Mandate

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Today the U.S. Citizens Association, a conservative group in Ohio, filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's individual health insurace mandate. A press release from lead attorney Jonathan Emord sums up the constitutional arguments against the mandate:

The suit challenges the Health Reform Law's mandatory requirement that every uninsured American purchase health insurance. The suit contends that the federal government has no constitutional power to compel citizens to purchase a particular product with after tax dollars.  No such power exists in Article One of the United States Constitution under the Commerce Clause (U.S. Const. Art. I, ยง 8, cl. 3).  The suit also contends that the mandatory requirement violates the freedom of association protected by the First Amendment (U.S. Const. amend. I) by forcing Americans to obtain unwanted insurance; violates the liberty provision of the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause (U.S. Const. amend. V) by forcing Americans to buy a product, insurance, that they wish not to buy; and the right to privacy protected as a liberty right under the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments because it compels them to divulge confidential health information to an insurer against their will.

The lawsuit is here (PDF). I criticized the the mandate's crazy constitutional logic in a column last March. More on the mandate here.