The controversial health care law enacted last year suffered another blow Monday with a second federal judge ruling it unconstitutional. In finding that Congress exceeded its authority by including a mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance, Judge Roger Vinson called for the law to be voided in its entirety.
Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), who earlier this month voted to repeal and replace the law, praised the ruling and called for renewed debate on proposals that would expand access to care without growing the size of government.
"I certainly agree with Judge Vinson that it is unconstitutional to force every American to buy a product," said Kingston. "Today it is health care. Tomorrow it will be a certain type of food or clothing. Taking away the freedom of choice impedes a fundamental American right. As this case makes its way to the Supreme Court, Congress needs to debate in earnest better reforms that bring down the cost of care and increase access to affordable and patient-centered care."
The case on which Judge Vinson ruled was brought to the court by 26 states including Georgia as well as the National Federation of Independent Business. One of nearly two dozen such cases, it is just the fourth to receive a verdict and the second ruling to find the individual mandate unconstitutional.
Though the case is widely expected to reach the Supreme Court, Kingston says Congress is ready to debate alternatives now. From allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines to allowing small businesses to group together when purchasing insurance and medical liability reform, he believes Congress can come together to address the issue without costly court battles.