Congressman James Lankford (R-OK) released the following statement after joining fellow Members of Congress and the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) in filing an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Commonwealth of Virginia v. Department of Health and Human Services. The brief challenges the Obama Administration's defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) citing the individual mandate as unconstitutional and an egregious extension of the Commerce Clause.
"The federal government has no authority to mandate citizens to buy government-approved health care or otherwise face a penalty," said Congressman Lankford. "This is one more step down a slippery slope where Washington tells Americans how they should live their lives using a skewed vision of the Commerce Clause as a shield. Our goal should be to create an environment in which health care decisions are made between doctors and their patients, not an overreaching regulatory environment where a strong central government claims to have all the answers. Since its passage last year, the constitutional case against ObamaCare has only grown stronger as more people see the dire effects of the law. I am encouraged to see momentum has remained strong for overturning the individual mandate and I join the ACLJ in full support as the court continues to consider the constitutional facts. Overturning the entire law will truly be a positive step in restoring individual freedom. We must restart the solution process to solve the rising costs of health care and begin building a health care system that will work for people, not Washington.
"I urge that this case be fast tracked to the Supreme Court as soon as possible. The individual mandate, the centerpiece of ObamaCare, has already been determined as unconstitutional in two lower courts. States are already beginning to implement the law and its many regulations despite strong objections. It is not right to place states in limbo while a court battle drags on for years. The Supreme Court should give all states a definitive answer quickly to ensure they are not operating under misplaced perceptions of the future of health care in America."