Monday, May 17, 2010
By Paul Martin

By Attorney Jonathan Emord
May 17, 2010

On May 12, 2010, the U.S. Citizens Association and five individual plaintiff members of that association (Nathan R. Glick, Christopher Barr, Shane K. Ellison, James Grapek, and Eileen Dannemann) filed an historic suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, challenging the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Pub. L. No. 111-148, H.R. 3590), as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (Pub. L. No. 111-152, H.R. 4872) (what the public knows as Obamacare). The suit is unlike every other filed to date against Obamacare. It is filed on behalf of individuals who do not have health insurance and do not want it. The U.S. Citizens Association plaintiffs present a direct challenge to the most significant aspect of Obamacare, the mandate that every American obtain health insurance.

By 2014, every American who volitionally elects not to buy health insurance will be forced to buy “qualified” private plans under Obamacare or suffer a tax penalty. Millions of Americans do not have health insurance of their own free will, not because they cannot afford it but because they choose not to expend their money on it. Their reasons are many. Some prefer alternative medicine that is not covered by health insurance. Others wish to place the thousands of dollars that would otherwise have to be spent on health insurance in savings or investments. Still others wish to devote that money for the acquisition of goods or services other than health insurance. In the end, this suit is about those Americans’ freedom of choice.

Can the government constitutionally compel an American citizen to spend his or her after tax dollars to purchase a single product, health insurance, against that citizen’s will? The plaintiffs in this suit contend that their liberty right under the Fifth Amendment, their right to privacy protected by the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments, and their freedom of association protected by the First Amendment forbid that compulsion.

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