Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) issued the following statement today in response to the ruling on the constitutionality of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals:
"Today's ruling is helpful and supportive of what I have always advocated, and I commend the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals for ruling that the individual mandate included in the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. This ruling is a victory for the millions of Americans and small businesses who are depending on the Affordable Care Act by finally providing them with the care they deserve -- care that is affordable, accessible and actually meets their health needs.
"The minimum coverage provision, an idea first proposed by my Republican colleagues and central to Governor Romney's health reform plan in Massachusetts, falls well within the bounds of congressional authority and recognizes that when individuals are uninsured or choose to go without health insurance those with insurance and the taxpayer are unfairly left to pick up the tab. This provision is critical to reducing unnecessary emergency room visits, and thus, lowering the costs of health care for all Americans.
"I am confident that the historic reforms included in the Affordable Care Act are constitutional and I am grateful that today's ruling upholds that belief."
On January 21, 2011, Congressman Dingell, along with members of the House and Senate Democratic leadership, filed a bicameral amicus brief with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal affirming his views on the case. Earlier this year, a Michigan court ruled that Congress had the authority under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution to mandate the purchase of health insurance. Today's ruling by the Sixth Circuit is the first time an Appeals Court has ruled on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.