Ohio Republicans Urge Cordray to File Suit Over Healthcare Mandate
Republican Leader John Boehner (R-West Chester) joined Congressman Jim Jordan (R-Urbana) and other members of the Ohio Republican Congressional delegation in a letter to Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray (D) asking that he join his fellow Attorneys General in challenging the constitutionality of H.R. 3590, the recently-signed health care overhaul bill.
The bill, signed into law by President Barack Obama yesterday, contains a controversial "individual mandate" provision requiring, under penalty of law, that every American purchase health insurance. Failing to comply with this new federal mandate can result in a prison sentence and monetary penalty of up to 2.5 percent of a person's income. To date, a bipartisan group of thirteen (13) state attorneys general have launched legal action against the measure.
"Through phone calls, faxes, emails and visits to the Capitol, Ohioans have made it clear they do not want government-run healthcare," said Jordan. "They deserve to know that their leaders are examining this from every possible angle to make sure it meets constitutional muster." Added Rep. Pat Tiberi, (R-Genoa Township), "The government is inserting itself into very personal family decisions and Ohioans as well as all Americans have a right to have the constitutionality of the individual mandate fully examined," said Congressman Pat Tiberi.
"It is hard to comprehend civil and criminal penalties for not having health care, or a plan deemed "insufficient' by the Federal government. Under this bill, the IRS will hire thousands of new agents to harass people and levy penalties against them, in a clear abuse of bureaucracy. I call on our state's top law enforcement agent to stand up for all Ohioans to ensure this bill does not reach beyond the freedoms and liberties laid out in the United States Constitution," said Rep. Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green).
"With the stroke of a pen, President Obama enacted a trillion-dollar healthcare bill that will ultimately result in higher costs, lost jobs and fewer freedoms," Boehner said. "I urge our Attorney General to stand up on behalf of Ohio's middle-class families and small businesses who will be hurt by this government takeover of our health care system."
These bipartisan Attorneys General are not alone in their push to opt-their states out of the individual mandate in Washington Democrats' government takeover of healthcare. Governors in Idaho and Virginia recently signed legislation to ensure a patient's right to make their own health care decisions, while legislatures in 36 other states, including Ohio, have introduced similar proposals.
Note: In an effort to encourage these types of initiatives put forth by reform-minded governors and state officials outside the Beltway, Boehner and Reps. Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Mike Rogers (R-MI) last year launched the GOP State Solutions project.
The Honorable Richard Cordray
State of Ohio
30 East Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Dear Mr. Attorney General:
As you know, attorneys general from more than a dozen states have announced plans to file suit in federal court to prevent implementation of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which President Obama signed into law today.
Among the provisions of H.R. 3590 is a requirements that all Americans purchase health insurance either through their employers or individually. Failure to comply with this "individual mandate" can result in a prison sentence and a monetary penalty of up to 2.5 percent of a person's income.
The Constitution of the United States limits and enumerates the powers granted to Congress. On a bipartisan basis, many of our colleagues question the constitutionality of requiring anyone to purchase any good or service as a condition of citizenship. We fail to see how the Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce can be interpreted to regulate the non-commercial action of failing to purchase health insurance.
We ask that you review the legality of this unconstitutional and unprecedented federal mandate contained in H.R. 3590 and join your fellow attorneys general to protect the constitutional rights of all Ohioans.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to hearing from you on this matter.
Fourth Ohio District
John A. Boehner
Eighth Ohio District
Steven C. LaTourette
Fourteenth Ohio District
Robert E. Latta
Fifth Ohio District
Patrick J. Tiberi
Twelfth Ohio District
Michael R. Turner
Third Ohio District
Second Ohio District
Seventh Ohio District