Healthcare law to have its day in court
Despite the Obama administration’s plans to move forward with the health care law, a bit of controversy is on the horizon. Officials are preparing themselves for the possibility that a Virginian federal judge will soon rule the central provision of the health care law as unconstitutional.
The law’s requirement that most Americans obtain insurance is the issue judge Henry E. Hudson will decide the constitutionality of.
The question before the courts is whether the government can require citizens to buy a commercial product, like health insurance.
Kevin Sack and Robert Pear noted in a New York Times Article published last Friday that “because the Supreme Court has said the commerce clause allows Congress to regulate activities that substantially affect interstate commerce, judges must decide if the failure to obtain insurance can be defined as an activity.”
Earlier this year, attorney generals from 13 states sued the federal government claiming the bill was unconstitutional only minutes after Obama signed it into law. The lawsuit says, “the Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage,” according to an article published in USA Today.
The lead attorney for the case, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, said in the USA Today that the healthcare law will cause “substantial harm and financial burden to states” and that this legal action is to “protect the American people from this unprecedented attack on our system of government.”
How is it a plan to protect the American people when the law is made to help them? Under the law, health insurance would be available to 32 million Americans who are currently uninsured.
The uninsured and self-employed would be able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges, and funding is available to states to establish the exchanges. Opposition to reform the most non-functioning and broken part of our nation is incomprehensible.
Travis Gumphrey is a communications sophomore and may be reached at [email protected].