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Health-care reform: Why I'm suing to get back my freedom

A small-business owner and former Iraq war combat medic explains why he's challenging the new health-care law's requirement that everyone buy insurance.

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Since the new federal health care law was enacted in March, some 21 states have joined or filed legal challenges. Everyday Americans have, too.

I’m one of them.

I filed a federal lawsuit at the end of July. Depending on how the briefing is scheduled, oral argument could take place in the first quarter of 2011.

I’m a 29-year-old veteran and small business owner, with no political involvement or ambitions. So, why would I take this dramatic step?

Individual mandate

The answer starts with explaining what exactly I’m challenging: the constitutionality of the health care law’s “individual mandate.” Beginning in 2014, nearly everyone will be required to purchase a private health insurance plan if he or she isn’t already covered by an employer.

Not just any health insurance will be allowed. For example, because I’ll be older than 30 when the mandate kicks in, I won’t be given an option to buy low-cost, high-deductible insurance that would pay only for “catastrophic” medical situations. Instead, 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.

Consider my situation. 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 specializing in realistic drawing and painting. I have limited means and struggle to achieve my modest dreams. Every penny counts in the service of my career goals, but the federal government is intent on 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.

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