Congressman David Rivera (FL-25) released the following statement today after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the individual mandate in the health care legislation that was signed into law by President Barack Obama last year unconstitutional.
"At a time when our national debt is at more than $14 trillion and nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed, we need to encourage economic growth and prosperity instead of imposing punitive measures on American families and job creators.
"In today's 11th circuit court decision, the three judge panel wrote that the individual mandate "represents a wholly novel and potentially unbound assertion of Congressional authority: the ability to compel Americans to purchase an expensive health insurance product they have elected not to buy.' I agree with the court that it is completely beyond the powers granted to Congress to force individuals to buy products they don't necessarily want or need.
"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. The individual mandate not only places a burden on the freedom of Americans, but on our pocketbooks, as well.
"I applaud the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on their decision, and it is my hope that the courts will continue to realize that this legislation infringes on the freedoms on the American people. Democrats and Republicans must 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."