Liberty Council lawsuit
Liberty Counsel’s health care lawsuit was dismissed in federal court in December, but the battle in court is not over yet, according to Dean of Liberty Law School and President of Liberty Counsel Mat Staver.
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond has set the oral argument for the week of May 10-13. Staver will argue the case on one of those days and from there the case will case will mosmost likely head to the U.S. Supreme Court as early as June 2012, Staver said.
“The bill affects individuals. It forces them to buy something that they might not want to buy,” Staver said.
Liberty law student Michele Waddell is a plaintiff in Liberty Counsel’s lawsuit, because the health care law violates her freedom of choice, she said.
“I am very comfortable with the choices I have made,” Waddell said. “I enjoy my doctor and the relationship we have. Medical decisions are very personal and the government should have no part of it.”
While Waddell was volunteering at Liberty Counsel last year, she read the legislation and realized “just how negatively the bill would affect me.”
The IRS can penalize individuals who cannot afford health insurance, according to Waddell.
“I am single and a full time student who lives on student loans,” Waddell said. “Health insurance is not something I can currently afford.”
The law will also be expensive for Liberty University, because it will have to conform to the government’s standards or it will face steep penalties, according to Staver.
Staver is also concerned that the health care law could be the beginning of more government mandates, he said.
“I fear that the government could tell you what food to buy and what car to drive,” Staver said.
Waddell shares Staver’s fears.
“If the government can tell us what insurance to buy, where do we limit them? It is a slippery slope to a totalitarian regime. How much freedom are we willing to lose?” Waddell said.
Her background as an insurance agent also helped her understand the cost of insurance and differences in plans, she said. As a result of her work experience, she chose to pay out of pocket instead of purchasing an insurance plan, she said.
“I tell my doctor upfront that I do not have insurance, so he does not charge for many tests and I found that I either receive samples or could go to Wal-Mart for $4 prescriptions,” Waddell said.
As a plaintiff, Waddell hopes to show that educated people do not need the government to make decisions for them. Health care is a private issue between the doctor and patient, she said.
“If a person cannot pay his doctor bill, how in the world does the government think he can afford to pay monthly premiums to an insurance company, then co-pays and deductibles on top of that?” Waddell said.
Both Staver and Waddell hope that the U.S. Supreme Court deems the law unconstitutional.
“I also hope that it serves as a reminder of how easily a government can take away our freedom,” Waddell said. “If this bill is upheld, I hope that my family and friends can feel pride knowing that I was able to stand up for my beliefs and my rights as an American.”