The individual mandate for Americans to purchase insurance in a Senate health bill may be unconstitutional, one Republican lawmaker suggested Tuesday.

Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) suggested that the provision in the Senate Finance Committee's bill requiring individuals to have health insurance much like they are often required to have auto insurance would not pass constitutional muster.

"I'm very much opposed to the individual mandate," Gingrey told "Dateline Washington," a conservative news radio program. "I frankly think it's unconstitutional to force people not only to purchase health insurance, but tell them what type of health insurance that they can purchase."

Gingrey picked up on an argument made by two Republican lawyers made in the Washington Post late last month arguing that, under a strict interpretation of the Constitution, the Congress lacks the power to require individuals to buy health insurance.

The Georgia Republican said that the provision, along with the public (or "government-run") option were "deal-killers" for him. He suggested that it is "the American way" for individuals, particularly young workers, to choose to pay-as-they-go on healthcare if they so choose.

Gingrey did predict, though, that the public option would be stripped from health legislation in order to take political pressure off of President Barack Obama.

"He's spent a lot of political capital here, and they'll probably strip out the public option, and by the time it comes before us, it will be without a public option," Gingrey said.