A news release from the small business trade group said the reform measure violates a basic NFIB belief – that employers should be able to run their own business affairs.
“Small business owners everywhere are rightfully concerned that the unconstitutional new mandates, countless rules and new taxes in the health care law will devastate their business and their ability to create jobs,” said Dan Danner, NFIB president and CEO, in the statement. “They are also concerned about their personal freedoms. This law is the first time the federal government has required individuals to purchase something simply because they are alive. If Congress can regulate this type of inactivity, then there are essentially no limits to what they can mandate individuals to do.”
The NFIB outlines two main legal claims related to what it termed the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate. The NFIB said that the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution does not give Congress authority to regulate inactivity, and that the individual mandate requirement is in direct violation of the Fifth Amendment. “Requiring NFIB members to obtain and maintain healthcare coverage deprives our members of their liberty and property interests, without due process of law,” according to an update on the organization’s Web site. “…forcing individuals to purchase healthcare coverage or face a fine deprives citizens of their property rights, also protected by the Fifth Amendment.”
The group joins 20 states that have previously become a part of the suit filed in U.S. District Court in North Florida (see Georgia Joins States Challenging Health Reform Bill).
More information on the NFIB action is available at www.NFIB.com/hclawsuit.
The Obama Administration recently put forward for the first time its argument favoring the reform measure in a separate court challenge to the health law (see Government Responds to Health Care Reform Lawsuit).