Several months ago, the Supreme Court of the United States heard arguments about the Constitutionality of The Patient Protective and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as ‘Obamacare.’ What is being argued? What is the basis for the arguments on each side? How will the Supreme Court rule?
Opponents of the law say that it is unconstitutional because it violates the Commerce Clause. The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce. However, opponents of the individual mandate state that the power given to Congress is the power to regulate commerce BETWEEN the states, not INSIDE state borders.
Other challenges are:
The healthcare law with its individual mandate is in violation of contract law, because individuals are coerced into purchasing insurance; ‘you must do this-or face a penalty.’
The individual mandate cannot be justified under existing Supreme Court precedent.
Opponents also feel that the individual mandate extends the powers of the federal governments far beyond what the Founders would ever have dreamed of and point out that if this bill is declared Constitutional, there would be no limit to the power of Congress.
The video below is long, but telling, for the truly interested.
But, proponents of the law say that the individual mandate IS Constitutional because of the EXISTENCE of the Commerce Clause.
Also, they cite that on several occasions, after the signing of the Constitution, that there are several instances in which the framers or Founders of our Constitution required that insurance be purchased or provided by an employer:
On one occasion they required that a ship owner buy health insurance for its seamen. Then 8 years later, the Congress required that employers provide drugs coverage with this healthcare insurance. These separate bills were signed by George Washington and other framers. Also, it is argued that nothing in the text or history of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause indicates that Congress cannot mandate commercial purchases.
So, is the bill Constitutional or Unconstitutional?
- ObamaCare May Be in Legal Trouble, But the New Deal Is Not (reason.com)
- If Health Insurance Mandates Are Unconstitutional, Why Did the Founding Fathers Back Them? (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Do You Think the Individual Mandate is Constitutional? (thedailybeast.com)