United States Constitution and Health Insurance

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Obamacare
Deanna Lee
American National Government
Dr. Stewart
August 6, 2012

Obamacare or The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law on March 23, 2010 by President Obama. It has been the most significant overhaul in the United States healthcare since Medicare and Medicaid passed in 1965. Obamacare is aimed at helping the underinsured be able to gain insurance, when there would be no other way for that person to have insurance. With this plan everyone would have health insurance regardless of income, or anything that would prohibit the person from attaining health insurance. This policy raises issues of “federalism” because some find the fact that mandated health care can be considered unconstitutional. Some view the fact of the government telling the citizens they have to have healthcare goes against the constitution. In this act the government would require us, as US citizens, to buy healthcare from private companies and keep it for the rest of our lives or we would be mandated to pay annual penalties. Some see this as unconstitutional because it is forcing Americans to “buy” insurance so their health needs can be covered. Congress looked into this act to find out whether or not it was unconstitutional so they came out with a way to make it more constitutional. Congress found the mandate to “purchase” this health insurance from these private companies “is commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce.” Congress also chose not to refer to the penalty one would get if not attaining health care and keeping it as a “tax” but as a “penalty”. Congress said that this couldn’t be referred to as a “tax” because it didn’t allow the use of traditional tax enforcement to collect the penalty. With this mandate it marked the first time Congress required citizens of the United States to buy a product that was disguised as regulating the economy. The nature of this mandate is...
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