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Sen. Hatch: Authority for Congress to Mandate Health Insurance ‘Isn’t There’ in the Constitution

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Christopher Neefus
Wednesday, Dec 30th, 2009

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that gives Congress the power to compel individuals to buy health insurance.

“It isn’t there. It isn’t there,” Hatch said last week at the U.S. Capitol, when CNSNews.com asked where in the Constitution Congress finds authority to create an individual mandate to purchase health insurance.

CNSNews.com talked to Hatch, a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, while he was on his way to take part in a series of procedural votes on the Senate’s health-care reform bill last Wednesday that paved the way for its eventual passage. The votes included a constitutional “point of order” that Republicans raised, challenging the constitutionality of an individual mandate.

The Senate bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, contains a historic provision that requires every American to purchase health insurance either individually or through their employer. If they do not, they can be penalized with a surtax ranging from $500 to nearly $1,500 per year.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 5:32 am

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