Health care Mandate
This week I took over David’s helm on the blog to share with our clients. Some of you may not know, but I love the study of constitutional law, and I’m delighted to write about the health care mandate. After all, for better or worse, we will all be effected by whatever happens this June. – AN
The county is abuzz with President Obama’s health care mandate going before the United States Supreme Court to determine its constitutionality. There are a lot of opinions circulating about whether it will survive after June when the Court makes its decision. Let me break down the legal arguments. Whether you’re blue, red, purple, or polka-dot in your political leanings, tell us what you think.
The 26 states argue that the federal government can not force individuals to buy health insurance because there is no grant of power in the constitution for the federal government to do so. Maybe it has been a while since you perused the Constitution, and unless you’ve taken Con-Law recently, why would you? The Commerce Clause grants the federal government power to regulate interstate commerce. It was expanded for some of the Court’s history, but since the 1990s, it has lost some if its expansive authority. Some of the most recent federal laws challenged for constitutionality as part of interstate commerce included guns and domestic violence. Without getting in to the cases, if you’re a conservative, those topics might strike as completely unrelated to interstate commerce. Today’s Court, primarily, four of the current sitting judges, follows a stricter interpretation of the Commerce Clause. If the past decade of rulings is any indicator of how the health care mandate will turn out, the future does not look great for the law.
The Administration’s Argument
The Administration argues that its constitutional and finds it basis in the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. Everyone at one time or another is going to need health care, which means that at some point or another, you will be part of the multi-billion dollar industry and requiring care. If everyone at one point is going to need services and health insurance involves interstate commerce, shouldn’t individuals be required to purchase health insurance? Under the Necessary and Proper Clause, this law is reasonably adapted to not infringe on your rights or the power of the States, but to ensure that all Americans will have some form of insurance and we will not bankrupt the country with health care costs.
Again, what are your thoughts about this law? Do you think that the government has the right to mandate health insurance? Do you think it’s the government’s obligation to make sure everyone has affordable health care?