Congressman: Following Yesterday's Court Ruling, White House Must Cease Implementation of Obamacare

Posted: Feb 01, 2011 4:55 PM
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) sent a letter to President Obama today containing a message for the White House and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius: Until legal challenges to Obamacare are resolved, cease and desist.  The text:

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing to ask that you immediately halt implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) that was signed into law on March 23, 2010.  As you are aware, this law requires, among other things, that individuals purchase federally-approved health insurance by 2014 or face monetary penalties.   

On January 31, 2011, Judge Roger Vinson of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida ruled in State of Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, a case brought by 26 states against the federal government, that the PPACA is unconstitutional because the individual mandate violates the Constitution’s Commerce Clause.  The Florida decision follows a recent ruling in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia which found the PPACA unconstitutional because it “would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers.”

Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling is clear: “the individual mandate falls outside the boundary of Congress’ Commerce Clause authority and cannot be reconciled with a limited government of enumerated powers.”  Because the healthcare reform law was drafted without a “severability clause” to allow the unconstitutional provisions to fall away while the rest of the law stands, the entire law must be struck down as unconstitutional.

Until healthcare reform makes it way through the courts – and likely all the way to the United States Supreme Court – I ask that you abide by law as declared by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida and halt implementation of the PPACA.  The court states that there is a long-standing presumption that “officials of the Executive Branch will adhere to the law as declared by the court.”  The law has been declared by the court.

I believe that the current healthcare reform law is unconstitutional and must be replaced with legislation that works for families and small-businesses across the country.  I ask that you abide by the District Court’s decision, halt implementation of this unconstitutional law, and work with Congress on a better solution to our nation’s healthcare challenges.