3 from Miss. sue over health care law

Lifelong Laurel resident Richard Conrad is one of several Mississippians who say the federal government is overstepping its bounds by forcing individuals to purchase insurance to comply with the newly adopted health care law.

Conrad is taking his objections to court in what appears to be the first known legal challenge in the state to the health care reform package.

State Sen. Chris McDaniel, R-Ellisville, and Hattiesburg attorney K. Doug Lee filed a lawsuit in Hattiesburg federal court Friday against the Obama administration on behalf of Conrad, Ryan S. Walters, also of Hattiesburg, and Michael E. Shotwell of Ellisville.

“To be an American citizen and be forced to do anything is kind of contrary to our nature,” Conrad said. “If I understand the constitution correctly, we’ve never been made to purchase or buy a product or service from a private entity.”

The plaintiffs say they oppose a mandate, effective in 2014, that would require citizens to purchase healthcare insurance or pay a fine.