David Rivera: Health Care Individual Mandate Violates Constitution


While people across the state and nation wait for U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of the Northern District of Florida to release a decision on the constitutional challenge launched by Florida against the federal health care law backed by President Barack Obama, Florida Republican U.S. Rep. David Rivera offered his take on the matter.

“Our nation is facing serious economic issues with a $14 trillion national debt and 9.4 percent unemployment,” said Rivera. “We need to be encouraging economic growth and making sure that our economy prospers, instead of imposing punitive measures on the American people and on businesses across the country.

“It is completely beyond the powers granted to Congress to force individuals and businesses to buy products that they don’t necessarily want or need,” added Rivera. “The framers specifically wrote the Constitution in a way that only grants the federal government limited powers, and that does not include mandating anyone who is without health insurance to buy it. Requiring individuals to buy health insurance not only places a burden on their freedom as Americans, but also on their pocketbooks.

“The legal battle about the health care law will not end today with Judge Vinson’s decision,” pledged Rivera. “Just as I supported the repeal of the health care law that passed in the House of Representatives, I hope the courts will continue to realize that this piece of legislation infringes on the freedom of the American people, and that it will ultimately be overturned. Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to work together to replace this health care bill with patient-centered measures that will help all Americans -- such as ensuring that people with pre-existing conditions have access to coverage, that young adults can stay on their parents’ plans until the age of 26, letting people purchase health insurance across state lines, and allowing small businesses to pool together to make it easier and more cost-effective for them, and their employees, to buy health insurance.”

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