GOP forces vote on constitutionality of health bill

The Senate on Wednesday will have to take an unplanned vote on whether the Democratic health care proposal is constitutional.

Sens. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and John Ensign, R-Nev., on Tuesday raised a point of order against the legislation on behalf of a caucus of conservative senators.

Ensign said the bill violates individual freedom of choice by requiring people to purchase health insurance or be subjected to fines and penalties.

“Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,‚Äù Senator DeMint said. “This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance.”

The Senate is planning a Christmas Eve vote on final passage of the bill. There is no word yet on how the additional vote will impact the Democrats' self-imposed deadline of passing the bill before Christmas.

Beltway ConfidentialUS

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