Health Care Bill challenged in Ohio court

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Health care, Dietary supplement

The United States Citizens Association is challenging the Health Care Reform Bill for unconstitutionally forcing American citizens to purchase health care insurance.

The group’s Virginia-based attorney, Jonathan W Emord, says the Bill will force people to increase spending on mainstream health solutions and therefore reduce demand for other healthcare products such as dietary supplements.

The action, lodged this week in an Ohio court, seeks declaratory and injunctive relief” ​from the financial burden of the Bill – formally known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

“Unlike Medicaid and Medicare there is no opt out for those who would rather spend their money on other purchases, such as a dedicated wellness program involving dietary supplementation, nutritional counseling, and healthy lifestyles,”​ Emord told NutraIngredients-USA.com.

“A large number of people prefer to pay for alternative care out of pocket, including vitamin and mineral supplements as a part of that health care regimen. They will now have to pay for conventional care, depleting resources they would otherwise pay for alternative care.

By forcing those who do not want conventional care insurance to buy it anyway, the health care reform law confiscates the very resources these people would otherwise expend on dietary supplements and alternative care. In this way, it will directly reduce market demand for those supplements and that care.”

Emord estimated that under the new rules, a family of four earning $66,370 per year would have to expend over 50 percent of their after tax income on a ‘qualified’ plan, amounting to approximately $5,243 per year.

Unconstitutional?

The legal challenge states the Health Care Reform Bill violates the First and Fifth Amendments of the Constitution by forcing citizens to purchase a product they may not wish to purchase.

The action also says the Bill violates the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Ninth Amendments, “because it compels them to divulge confidential health information to an insurer against their will.”

The United States Citizens Association states on its website that one of its missions is to: “recruit grassroots leaders and activists who believe in taking local and national action to promote free market, limited government and to work against rampant statism.”

Pro-Reform

However some industry groups welcomed the Bill when it was passed by Congress in March, highlighting its potential to drive supplement sales.

The Natural Products Association said ‘community health center demonstration projects’ will establish programs in 2-3 years to:

  • Give omega-3 oils to those suffering cardiovascular problems
  • Give omega-3 oils to pregnant women
  • Give vitamin D and calcium to the elderly

“We are hugely excited by these measures,” ​said Dan Fabricant, PhD, the NPA’s vice president of scientific and global government affairs.

Michael McGuffin, the president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), said botanicals would have their stakes raised in the US healthcare system.

“The new health care law is a starting point for a broader inclusion of CAM within the US healthcare system,”​ said McGuffin.

“If managed properly, greater inclusion of alternative practitioners in health care should open a pathway for increased acceptance of the dietary supplement products they provide.”

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