Skip to comments.ObamaCare Gives Federal Government Too Much Power
Posted on 04/03/2012 8:18:13 AM PDT by forty_years
Starting on March 26th, the Supreme Court listened to three days of arguments concerning the constitutionality of the healthcare act that has come to be known as Obamacare. Their ruling, which wont come until the end of June, will shape the future of American healthcare. While the healthcare issue has been off the front pages since it was signed in March of 2010, the constituently of one of its more controversial requirements has been in and out of the federal court system. The ruling addresses an issue at the heart of how our nation is governed.
The Constitution gives a few, well-defined powers to the federal government. As stated within the document that lies at the heart of our nations very day-to-day existence, states have all those rights that are not defined within the Constitution. One of those powers that is granted to the federal government is the ability to regulate commerce between the states, in order to insure equitable commerce for citizens. This does not include the right to force citizens into buying specific items, which is the reason the Supreme Court will listen to whether the government has the right to force people to buy health insurance.
The main issue in this case is whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Acts, signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010, requirement that most people carry insurance or pay a fee, known as the individual mandate, violates the Constitution. However, if the court decides that this part is unconstitutional, that doesnt mean that the entire healthcare bill will disappear.
The court could simply remove that part of the law, leaving the rest of the laws provisions in place, it could remove that requirement and all of the rest of the law that is closely linked with the mandate; which could include the rules that insurance companies stop denying policies to customers who have a pre-existing health condition . Even more confusing, is the fact that there is a federal law called the Anti-Injunction Act which requires tax-payers to pay their assessments before they can challenge a levys legality, which would mean, since the law wont come into affect until 2014, the court may not be able to make a judgment on the constitutionality until after the full law comes into effect.
There are several ways to bring about the lower insurance cost results that the President and Democrat Congress intended with the passing of the act. Deregulation of state-by-state sales of insurance policies has always been an option, and most importantly, one that is certainly constitutional. This ruling isnt about whether or not Americans deserve higher availability to healthcare and/or lower healthcare costs, but whether the United States executive and federal government have the right to interpret the Commerce Clause in a way that allows them to dictate to states.
This administration has not been shy to mix and muddle the difference between the three branches of government, a situation that the Constitution was created to avoid. This mandate is an example of a slippery slope. If the government is allowed to dictate to the states, and by direct connection, the citizens of those states, what they should buy, there is nothing to say where this practice will stop. There are many that will argue that the Constitution is an antiquated document created by a group of wealthy men of direct European descent and that as such, the reserved powers of states is an antiquated idea. But this is basis for our government and nation. We, as the peers of one another in our locality, have the right to choose. It is not the duty of the federal government to pick and choose when it adheres to the Constitution, it is our duty as American citizens to force the federal government to live within the structure of the document that gave us our system of government.
Why? Because if they did grant the power that Congress has attempted to exercise - they did not bequeath to their posterity a government of limited and enumerated powers - but one of limitless and innumerable powers.
And that is not even getting to the ‘slippery slope’ of a “compelling government interest” once the Federal government is in charge of paying for health care. Suddenly there is almost no action by an individual that would not be subject to a “compelling government interest” due to possible effects on the individuals long term health.