By Matt Sissel
Since the federal health care law was enacted, at least 10 legal challenges have been filed. Mine is one of them. I filed a federal lawsuit at the end of July.
I’m a 29-year-old veteran and small-business person with no political ambitions. So, why would I take this dramatic step?
I’m challenging the constitutionality of the health care law’s “individual mandate.” Beginning in 2014, nearly everyone but the poor will be required to purchase a private health insurance plan if he or she isn’t already covered by an employer.
Not just any plan will be allowed. For example, because I’ll be older than 30 when the mandate kicks in, I won’t have an option to buy low-cost, high-deductible insurance that would pay only for catastrophic medical situations. I’ll have to buy a more costly plan with a broad range of federally prescribed coverage.
The government should not limit our choices about such intensely personal matters or burden us with expensive and inflexible mandates.
I’m a healthy young man fresh out of art school. I’m starting a small business, based in Iowa City, as a fine artist. I have limited means and struggle to achieve my modest dreams. But the federal government is slowing down my progress — and the progress of every other productive man and woman in this country — in its drive to socialize the American health care system.
As a business person, I intend to cover my medical expenses, and I want the flexibility to do my own budgeting, including setting aside money for medical needs. I don’t want the federal government dictating my personal financial decisions. It can’t even run its budget.
In my lawsuit, I’m represented by Pacific Legal Foundation, a watchdog organization for limited government. We are invoking the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Congress is authorized to “regulate commerce … among the several states.” But that is not a license to compel anyone to engage in commerce or to force us to buy federally dictated products.
I proudly and voluntarily served our country in the Iowa Army National Guard, spending two years in Iraq and eventually being awarded the Bronze Star. But I object to being conscripted into a federal health care program that is at odds with basic constitutional principles of individual rights and limited government.
My lawsuit is a battle for my freedom and all Americans’ freedom to live life to the fullest without costly, one-size-fits-all government dictates.
Iowa City resident Matt Sissel has filed a lawsuit, Sissel v. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, in the U.S. District Court in Washington. Comments: email@example.com