MADISON (WKOW) -- Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen speaks out for the first time about his decision to join the multi state lawsuit against the federal health care reform law.
Van Hollen has said from the beginning the health care law is unconstitutional. Van Hollen says, "Never before has the federal government ever mandated that an individual actually have to purchase something."
The constitutionality of the Obama administration's health care law was front and center during this panel discussion at the Madison Club. Van Hollen spoke not about the politics of the law but how he says it violates people's rights by forcing them to buy health insurance.
Van Hollen says, "I truly believe in my legal study and my legal research that Congress has overstepped their bounds, that we have a federal over reach of power with in the context of this federal health care law."
Ilya Somin, a law professor from George Mason University also spoke at the event. Somin agrees with Van Hollen and recently wrote about the chance that this challenge could actually prevail in the end.
Somin says, "Once again you can use the same logic to justify any kind of mandate to purchase just about anything."
Representative Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee) spoke against the law suit arguing Wisconsin should have never joined in. Rep. Richards says, "There are people who need health care at some point and people who have catastrophic injuries that require a huge amount of payment from hospitals to treat them and they don't get covered so that is the reality."
But Van Hollen says the current health care law takes us down a slippery slope. Van Hollen says, "It makes this law new, it expands the scope and power of Congress beyond anything that it has expanded to in the past under the Commerce Clause."
The current health care reform law states that everyone must purchase government approved health insurance by 2014 or pay a fine. 26 states, including Wisconsin, have now joined the multi-state lawsuit which started in Florida. Virginia and Oklahoma are challenging the law in a separate lawsuit