The following is a press release from SBE Council, a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship.

Hailing U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson's ruling of the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as unconstitutional, the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. said that the decision is an important win for small business owners and the self-employed.  The Florida judge ruled that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and not severable, and therefore the entire health care law is void.  

"Forcing individuals to buy health coverage or pay a fine, as Judge Vinson has ruled, is an abuse of federal power.  Forcing self-employed individuals to buy health coverage they cannot afford is just plain wrong," said SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan.

Rather than impose a mandate on individuals or business owners who cannot afford health insurance for themselves or their families, SBE Council has supported alternative and common sense reform measures  -- like tax credits, a national health insurance marketplace, flexible choices in health insurance, and tax parity for the self-employed - to provide them with affordable options in health coverage.  The group agreed with President Barack Obama when, in his campaign for the presidency, he rejected the individual mandate and argued that individuals would purchase health coverage if it were affordable.  The President changed his policy tune in supporting the mandate in PPACA.

"The Administration's rational for the mandate is both twisted and misguided.  Making people buy things to achieve laudable goals may seem like a nice idea, but Congress must operate within the parameters established by the constitution as Judge Vinson ruled.   Congress and President Obama overstepped, and entirely so," said Kerrigan.

SBE Council chief economist Raymond J. Keating added: "When pushing massive governmental intrusions into our economy and society, too many federal elected officials decide to ignore the U.S. Constitution, particularly the Commerce Clause. That was the case with the new health care law and its mandate to buy health insurance. Given the massive costs that come with increased government taxes, regulations and mandates, the health care law makes no sense from an economics perspective, from a consumer perspective, from an entrepreneurial perspective, and as is made clear by the 26 states bringing this lawsuit and Judge Vinson, from a constitutional perspective."

SBE Council is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to protecting small business and promoting entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit www.sbecouncil.org.