Sen. Lamar Alexander announced Wednesday his teaming up with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to reintroduce legislation geared at repealing a key component of the Affordable Care Act.
The individual mandate portion of President Barack Obama’s health law, set to be implemented in 2014, would require all Americans to purchase some form of health insurance or be forced to pay a penalty. In June of last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled to uphold the mandate as constitutional, categorizing the penalty as a tax.
Alexander and Hatch’s bill, the American Liberty Restoration Act, would repeal the mandate.
Alexander, who is the ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said he was bringing the bill forward once more in order to help remedy a “historic mistake.” During the 112th Congress, 30 senators signed on to the bill as co-sponsors, including Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker.
“This health care law is a historic mistake that expands a health care system we already can’t afford, drives up individual premiums and then taxes Americans to pay for it,” Alexander said in a news release. “Congress should repeal the law, especially the individual mandate, and then proceed step by step to reduce the cost of health care, so more Americans can afford to buy insurance.”
States across the country have been working to implement components of the law. Last month, Gov. Bill Haslam opted against accepting funds to form a state-run health insurance exchange in Tennessee, instead leaving the task of creating and maintaining an online clearinghouse for health insurance options to the federal government.