Sunday, March 25, 2012

Health Care, Supreme Court, and the Commerce Clause

This week, the Supreme Court will hear 6 hours of oral arguments on the question if parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act (which has been branded “Obamacare”) are constitutional.[1]  Lower courts have come to different conclusions.[2]  One of the major questions is can congress mandate Americans to buy health insurance.  Some say the can under what is called the “Commerce Clause” in the constitution which states that congress are, “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes[3]” Others would say that there are limitations to this clause which the founders never meant for congress to overstep.  The Supreme Court has given more time for oral arguments in this case then other cases they hear.  This is really the first case of its kind when dealing with the Commerce Clause.  It will be interesting to see what their decision will be when it is decided in a few months.   

[2] Ibid
[3] The Constitution of the United States of America, elecronic ed. (Oak Harbor WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1998).

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