So, the Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly called Obamacare.
At issue is the Constitutionality of the “individual mandate.”
The legal complexity of this thing is astounding. But from my (simplistic) view point, the Government coercing a private citizen to purchase a product (insurance) from a private company, merely on the basis of “you are alive,” is abhorrent.
Don’t even try to bring car insurance into this. It’s not the same. People who do not own or drive cars do not buy car insurance. That’s not the case with Obamacare. If you are breathing, you must buy insurance. Plain and simple.
“But it would help people! Don’t you have a heart!?” Oh, great. So apparently benevolence is the altar whereby we sacrifice our individual liberties. Forgive me, I must have missed that memo.
Besides, even the Congressional Budget Office: ObamaCare Mandate Won’t Solve Uninsured, Health Costs. There’s a shock, they weren’t being honest with us when they crafted the bill that they had to pass so we could find out what’s in it. (Remember this gem? Pelosi: “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”)
From the article:
Despite the mandate, there will still be 27 million uninsured a decade from now, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The promised uninsured rate — 10% in 2022 — isn’t much better than in 1980, when it was 12%, according to theNational Center for Health Statistics.
The law also tries to cut the uninsured population by making it illegal for insurers to deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, called “guaranteed issue.
But fewer than 4% cited poor health as a reason for not getting coverage, according to the CBO. Meanwhile, 71% cited the high cost of premiums.
So, let’s get on to the meat and potatoes of my commentary. From the CNSNews article:
(CNSNews.com) – In oral arguments in the Supreme Court this week over the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s health care plan’s requirement that individuals must buy health insurance, Justice Antonin Scalia posed to Obama’s solicitor general a fundamental question that the mandate raises about the nature of the U.S. government.
“If the government can do this, what else can it not do?” asked Scalia.
Scalia asked the question in the context of quizzing Solicitor General Donald Verrilli on the administration’s claim that forcing people to buy health insurance is justified by the clause in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution that allows Congress to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.” In this case, the administration argued that the “foregoing power” that made forcing people to buy health insurance a “necessary and proper” act of Congress was the Commerce Clause.
The Commerce Clause says Congress shall have the power to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”
Solicitor General Verrilli argued that by not purchasing health insurance Americans are really participating in health-care commerce “among the several states” because by not buying insurance they are having an “effect” on interstate commerce in health care. Therefore, he argued, it is necessary and proper for Congress to force these individuals to buy insurance as a means of regulating this interstate commerce.
The argument seems a little slim if you ask me. But, what do I know. I’m not a lawyer. Or a judge. Or a congress critter.
So, what are your thoughts on the Constitutionality of either the individual mandate, or the entire act itself?