Dr. Boozman's Check-up

We’ve made some progress that will prove to be critical on the health care front in the form of repealing this flawed legislation this Congress, and our courts are also playing a role. Earlier this week a federal appeals court heard oral arguments regarding a recent Florida ruling that declared the health care law unconstitutional. I applaud state officials leading the effort to stop this intrusive law from being fully implemented.  

26 states joined forces to challenge the law requiring every American to have insurance. Back in February, Florida District Court Judge Roger Vinson ruled that because the individual mandate was unconstitutional, the entire law was unconstitutional. The hearing will decide whether or not Judge Vinson’s ruling still stands.  

Passed in 2010, the health care law requires every American to have health insurance and sets up state-based insurance exchanges from which to purchase insurance. While several minor provisions, such as the provision to allow children under 26 to stay on their parents’ insurance plan, have been enacted since the law’s passage, the state exchanges will not be put into full force until 2014.  

As an optometrist, I understand the importance of a quality health care system. Before coming to Capitol Hill, I volunteered at a clinic serving low-income families. However, the new law places too many burdens on individuals and small businesses for it to produce the results touted by its proponents. What we need are common sense solutions to lower the cost of health care that do not reach deep into the pockets of average Arkansans, many of whom are struggling to afford rising gas prices and find jobs.   

This week’s hearing is part of a drawn out legal process that will no doubt take time to climb through the nation’s legal system. I remain optimistic that the individual mandate will ultimately be deemed unconstitutional. As a U.S. Senator, I have voted to defund this flawed law. Although the measure failed I will continue to do my part to oppose any measure that furthers the implementation of the health care law.