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Watchdog agency files lawsuit over health care

An Arizona-based government watchdog group has filed a lawsuit against President Barack Obama and others in an attempt to derail the federal health care law.

The sweeping health care law, passed earlier this year, requires most Americans to carry health insurance through an employer, the government or by buying their own insurance.

The Goldwater Institute filed the lawsuit on behalf of a small Tempe computer business owner, GOP members of Arizona’s congressional delegation and 29 Republican state lawmakers.

Goldwater Institute litigation director Clint Bolick said Thursday the lawsuit is intended to bring down one of the most sweeping invasions of individual liberty and state sovereignty.

“The federal health care bill is a sledgehammer to solve a problem that needs the precision of a scalpel. This is the most overbearing and intrusive way possible to try to address America’s rising health care costs,” Bolick said.

Nick Coons, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, said as a small business owner, he pays for all of his medical care out of his own pocket and he wants to continue making his own health care decisions.

“The government is making me spend money on something that I don’t want,” Coons said.

The Goldwater Institute maintains that under the federal health care bill, Coons will face significant fines from the Internal Revenue Service if he doesn’t buy a health insurance plan that has been approved by the government by 2014. If Coons purchases insurance, the Goldwater Institute says he will have limits on doctors and medical services and will have to divulge intimate personal information in violation of his right to privacy.

Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, says the Constitution couldn’t be more clear on the health care issue.

“Health care decisions belong to individual Americans and health care policy decisions belong to states,” Adams said.

Democratic State Rep. Kyrsten Sinema of Phoenix served on a White House Health Reform Task Force comprised of state lawmakers from around the country.

She told The Associated Press on Thursday the argument that a federal government health plan requires individuals to participate in federal health insurance is not true.

“There’s no requirement that individuals join any kind of government system whatsoever. People who have private health insurance like me can keep it. I intend to keep mine. I’m not changing,” Sinema said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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