Monday, January 3, 2011

(Posting #4) Judicial Review of Health Care Reform?

Please use this thread to continue the dialogue we began in class today: does federal Health Care Reform with mandates (aka the Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare) violate the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution? Should the US Supreme Court hear the case?

GO FARTHER! Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum is a leading voice advocating legal challenges to Federal health care reform legislation. Read his thoughts (unfiltered) at McCollum's blog. St. Petersburg (FL) Times columnist Howard Troxler offers his opinion HERE. A conservative federal District Judge in Virginia has issued a ruling that may render parts of the health care law unconstitutional. Talking Points Memo reports on its blog that the Department of Justice will appeal, and suggests HERE that the case raises issues of partisanship within the judiciary.

THREE REMINDERS:
1. To satisfy requirements for this assignment, you must either: 1) post your opinion - thoughtfully; and/or 2) respond to one of your classmates' posts - in the spirit of deliberative dialogue. (Daily Work grade)

2. Criteria for Grading
: To guarantee a ‘Gentleman’s C’, so to speak: a) write respectfully and thoughtfully, b) write a minimum of 5 sentences, and c) attempt to be “remarkable” — to borrow from Mr. Monaco's chapel speech — so that visitors will want to “remark” about your post.  Beyond that, write in a way that is meaningful and compelling. Period.  Students’ submissions will be individually evaluated based on overall thesis/ideas/creativity/style.

3. Remember to 'sign' your post with first name and last initial - so that you'll earn credit.

66 comments:

Erin said...

Although I disagree with President Obama’s Health Care Reform, it is constitutional. It is constitutional because it was voted on and the Republicans lost, so it was fair. It is also constitutional because in the Commerce Clause it says that Congress has power to regulate commerce between states. Honestly I think that the States should stop with the law suits because it was decided in a fair way by voting, but the Health Care Reform won. I do think that we should have thought more about it, like think of the consequences of what would happen, which might have changed the idea of the Health Care Reform as a good idea to a bad idea. It is too late for all of these states to have law suits because it was already voted on before. What could be unconstitutional is the idea that there is no loophole for people to go through for this. Everyone has to have health care. It is not like care insurance where people can just ride the bus or other transportation instead of having car insurance and a car, but for the Health Care reform, no one has a choice, which goes against what the founders though, people have more choices and freedoms. I still think it is constitutional because it was voted on, but it is a tough call.

Alexis Richter said...

The health care reform that was passed was constitutional. Even though I do not agree with it the Commerce Clause supports its constitutionality because the government can regulate commerce between states. What Bill McCollum says in his blog about the struggles that small business will face is accurate because this new bill will smother their rights. Though I think the bill is constitutional, I think that the states should still keep trying to repeal the decision. The effort that they are putting into their opinions shows just how mad some people are about this and I think that the Supreme Court should hear them out. Though it was voted on, their are some points that people have to fight its constitutionality in their opinion.

Alexis R.

Pacman said...

The Health Care Reform has become a very controversial topic in our nation today because it is affecting everyone. I believe that the Health Care Reform does violate the Commerce Clause of the US constitution. I believe this because although Congress does have the power to regulate private companies and what they must do, but regulating what the individual can do I believe violates our unalienable right to liberty. Violating this is unconstitutional because this right is one that is said to not be able to be taken away, and it gets taken away when the government requires us abide by their rules leaving us with no choice in having health care or not. This is even worse because although health care is very important it is not always necessary for some individuals to have. Although there are all of these cons for health care pros are not gone. One being that with this mandate it allows everyone to be able to have health care, even with serious pre-existent conditions and for people who have a high chance of something serious to happen which is very helpful for those types of people. So through all of these pros and cons towards Health Care it leads me still to believe it is unconstitutional but, I still believe that the US Supreme Court should take this case because of the pros and cons that there are, making it one of the most important cases that there has been recently. So if the case gets to the Supreme Court the final ruling could set a precedent for other reforms that will be passed in future to come.
Tanner P

Caitlin said...

I agree with you for the Health Care Bill being constitutional, but I am stuck on the fact that the people as a whole are being told what to do by the government. If these type of laws start to become passed by Congress the government could gain too much power. I believe this is the start of people giving up their Perfect Freedoms for safety. The United States was founded for the very reason of going against this potential downward spiral we have entered. The colonists fought extremely hard to separate themselves from the English tyrannical views and government. I am not saying America will become some tyrannical country, but I do believe that we are slowly moving into giving the government too much power.

I believe that this case should go to the Supreme Court. The two different rulings from the District Courts came from men that were appointed by people from the two major political parties. U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson, was appointed by President Bush in 2002, he ruled that the bill was unconstitutional. While the U.S. District Judge, George Caram Steeh ruled the bill constitutional. He was appointed by Bill Clinton. The Supreme Court should view this case because they will be able to come to a ruling that is not influenced by a particular political party.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-12-13/u-s-health-care-law-requirement-thrown-out-by-judge.html

Caitlin C.

Alex Yonks said...

I agree with Caitlin in that the Health Care reform act is giving government alot of power. I also agree with the comment that congress could continue to pass laws that are theoretically consititutional but giving the governmet way too much power. However, while this is a potential concern I think that people are blowing it way out of proportion. This is one reform that is intended to help everybody in america. While it affects some people more than others, It doesnt harm anybody either. It seems like people are more upset about the government than they are the actual health care reform.

I also think the case should go to the supreme court. The judges are not associated with a particular politcal party and as part of their job, they will declare the case either consitutional or unconstitutional with what they believe is the right thing to do.

Alex Y.

xojordanxo0 said...

My thought on the Health Care Reform is that it is unconstitutional. To start out I'd like to say that yes, due to the 3rd clause in the 8th section of the first section, it does state that government has the right to regulate commerce. Therefore, I can see how some would argue that it is constitutional, but to further elaborate I would like to say that the government can do things such as regulate trade among individuals or among companies as long as it is within that company. I do not think it is right or constitutional for the goverment to try to force individuals into a certain company, or commerce, by forcing them to pay money they have earned personally. I believe it is of the right of the individual to decide to spend money on what they please, and decide what benefits them for all. As for the 10th amendment, I believe that that shows how the Health Care Reform is unconstitutional: powers not given to the government within the Constitution belong to the people. Health Care was not a power given to the government; I believe it is the choice of every individual and should not be forced. The money one person makes is their own and they are free to purchase, or not purchase, whatever they please. I believe that the government is getting too involved in something they don't have a right to be involved in and to have so much control over citizens can become dangerous, so I believe the Health Care Reform is unconstitutional.
-Jordan J.

hds2012 said...

HALLIE SPARKS

The health care reform is a controversial subject on whether or not it is constitutional. I believe these mandates are constitutional for many reasons. All citizens have responsibilities, among these is the responsibility to particiipate in the economy. Forcing everyone, the healthy and unhealthy, to purchase health care keeps the economy running, which is our duty. The commerce clause allows congress to regulate and interfer in individual and business' relationships. Also, all Americans are aware that we give up or perfect freedom in exchange for security and protection from our government. These health care mandates are constitutional.

Taryn said...

During our classroom discussion today, I felt as though the Healthcare Mandate was completely unconstitutional since it forces citizens to buy and participate in something that they may or may not want to do. But as I researched a little on my own once I got home, I learned more about what the Commerce Clause is and what it entails. This helped me come to the conclusion that even though I wish it wasn't, Obama's Healthcare Mandate is in fact constitutional. While I see it as completely unfair to force someone to buy something against their will, technically it is not going against their constitutional rights. The Commerce Clause states that Congress has the power and ability to deal with foreign commerce, interstate commerce and Indian commerce. If we look closer at interstate commerce, it strictly deals with trade between different states or American people. This explains why the government sees it to be constitutional as well as necessary to regulate trade between companies and the American people, since it falls under the "interstate commerce" category. More specifically, this explains how the healthcare mandate is constitutional since the government is regulating commerce between these health care companies and the people. While many people, including myself, view this mandate as forceful and unfair, it is still considered constitutional in the eyes of our government because of the Commerce Clause. Since there is so much controversy regarding this topic, I feel like it is important enough to face the Supreme Court. So many people have so many strong feelings regarding one side or the other that with the Supreme Court's ruling, maybe Americans would just take the fact and live with the result.

-Taryn D.

kendall.healyv said...

I am not sure whether Obamacare is in fact constitutional or not, but it isn’t really my place to say. I haven’t studied the constitution well enough, and there are so many different ways that one could adapt it that I think this issue could easily swing both ways. There are already 20 lawsuits against it, with 2 having judged it constitutional and one judged it unconstitutional. I think that having 20 federal lawsuits isn’t going to change anything in this situation because if one state says that Obamacare is constitutional and one says it isn’t than that wouldn’t be fulfilling the idea that it is universal healthcare for everyone. I think that the only way to fully solve it is for all the cases to be taken up into one major case in the Supreme Court. The supreme courts main job is to in fact decide whether things are constitutional or not, and there are no preceding cases quite like this one, so it would be a perfect candidate for a Supreme Court trial. That way every state won’t feel the need to speak up for themselves because people whose job is to review the constitutionality of things will have already judged whether it is a good choice for the United States or not.
-Kendall H.

Bri Sharp said...

I think that the Health Care Reform is unconstitutional. However, the Commerce Clause can consider it constitutional due to the fact that it states that Congress has the power to regulate commerce between states, meaning business or trade. I do not think it is right for the government to force people to pay for this, when some people do not even want it. People have the right to choose what they spend their money, especially since they earn their money on their own. This will make people unhappy with this reform since most would choose to spend their money on what they want, rather than what the government wants. The health care is not even needed for some people and they would want that money to spend based on their own decisions. People have their own rights and the government should not enforce something upon them, it was not a right given to the government. The government should not decide what people spend their money on, but rather allow the person themself to decide since it is their own money. This reform should be about the individual’s decision, rather than the government’s. The Health Care Reform is unconstitutional due to the fact that it is stepping in and enforcing people to spend their own money on something that they do not want.

-Bri S.

Dallas Alderton said...

During our classroom discussion on whether or not that the mandate on the healthcare reform is constitutional or not, I believe it is because Erin like she said it is constitutional because it was voted upon and the republicans lost. Even though it does violate the peoples rights in the constitution we have to go by it because of the voting process.

-Dallas A.

Arin said...

Health care reform has been very controversial for the citizens of the United States and our government as well.  I believe that the health care mandate is important for our country and is constitutional because it provides an equal opportunity for all citizens to get affordable health care. The mandate also protects other citizens from having to cover the costs of uninsured people through higher premiums. While this is the point of view that I see, I can also understand the idea that the mandate is unconstitutional.  The 10th amendment does reserve rights for the citizens and while it is not directly stated, the purchasing of goods or services could be one of them. While this is true, I believe that health care is not something that can be considered a waste of money.  Most people will need health care and some point in their lives, and the mandate protects them from overpaying and not being covered. 
Arin M

Caitlin Harrington said...

I think that ObamaCare does not violate the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The buying and selling healthcare can be considered commerce, so Congress has the power to control what can be bought and sell. It also is Constitutional in another way. Some people say that the government is overstepping its boundaries when it comes to deciding whether or not people have to buy healthcare. The government's job is protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of the people that gave the government it's power. For the government to protect the life of all the people, they need to enforce the buying of healthcare. By forcing the population to get healthcare also makes sure that all people have equal opportunities and freedoms, which is another big part of American society. It will help protect everyone and give all people the same opportunities to live healthy, long, and prosperous lives. In regards to whether the US Supreme Court should hear the ObamaCare case, I think they should. There has never been a case like this to pass through the court system, so there is no precedent on how the judiciary branch should rule. Whatever the Supreme Court decides, that will set a precedent for cases similar to this one that come in the future. If they don't hear the case, then there will be no precedent set and if another case like this comes through the systems, there will be another big debacle on what the court should decide. The mandate in Obamacare should be ruled constitutional after being heard in the Supreme Court because it helps give everyone an equal chance to be protected as well as sets a precedent for future cases.

Caitlin H.

Aaron said...

According to the Commerce Clause, it is within the rights of Congress to regulate healthcare. This clause allows Congress to regulate commerce between states. The buying and selling of health insurance can be clearly classified as "commerce": money is being exchanged for services and profits are made. And because healthcare is clearly commerce, Congress has the right to regulate it by establishing rules, regulations, and even mandates. The Supreme Court should not hear any of these healthcare cases because the actions of Congress are clearly justified by the Commerce Clause and are without any conflicting precidents.

Aaron D

pesbiotealc said...

I believe that the health care mandate should be required because it is better for all individual's health and personal outcome. Although I also believe that according to the constitution the health care mandate is unconstitutional. The government cannot require people to pay for the health care reform according to the commerce clause.

Teal Cooper

Elianah Gorin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elianah Gorin said...

I believe the Heath Care mandate is unconstitutional because nobody should be forced in to a situation when were are clearly stated as free people. The current situation is buying health care. There has yet to be a time where buying something was mandated to all people not just people who fall under a certain category, such as buying a car and needing insurance for that vehicle. No matter if it is for the good intent of the people a non state by state decision of the mandate should be unconstitutional. In a utopian world, if government wanted every person who lived under there reign to have heath care it would be free; but the reality of that happening is zero to none. Although I do feel that every person should have the availability to low health care coast and protection I don't think that it should be mandated by law that every person should have to buy if they do not see fit to.
Elianah G.

kty1876 said...

In class we discussed the Health care reform, which a very controversial subject on whether it is constitutional or unconstitutional. I personally believe the health care reform as a unconstitutional act. The 10th amendment states "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." With reading the amendment states above i believe that the power in the constitution does not belong to the government but with the people. I also think that the government does not have the right to tell us where to spend our own money, especially towards the people who are unable to afford much. The government should not be allowed to force people how to spend their own money that they earn, especially we some people don't even need health care. Although health care is very important i believe this bill to be unconstitutional.
Katherine D.

Addison said...

The Healthcare Mandate has brought much controversy to citizens, and both sides have very good points. One side believes that this mandate does not viloate the constitution due to the Commerce Clause. On another positive note this mandate can help a lot of people, since everyone will now be covered no matter what past illnesses may be or how much money the person has. On the negative note it doesn't seem very Constitutional to have the government telling citizens they have to pay for something. I can understand both sides of the issue, but it is true that the decision has been made. The bill was voted for fairly so the States shouldn't continue the trial. If they feel they must then they should take it up with the Supreme Court to get the final decision.

Addie A.

Alix H said...

Despite the good intentions that I feel were behind this bill (health care for all, companies accept everyone, providing for the poor) the compromise made to satisfy the health care companies is unconstitutional. I have drawn this conclusion from several parts of the constitution, the first being the reserve clause. Since the power to require a purchase is not given to congress or the national government in the constitution, it is a power that remains with the states or the people. Also, similar to the reasoning used to strike down campaign donation limits, people have freedom of speech, which I interpret as freedom of expression (through clothing, speech, and other media). To tell a person what they must buy is limiting that freedom of expression. It is easier to see it this way: if the government made a law that banned "goth" clothing, or requiring citizens to buy more mainstream clothing, that would be an obvious violation of the first amendment. This is the same issue, just presented in a different way. I do think, though, that the ideas behind this mandate are pure and important steps for our country to take. Perhaps congress can reach a different compromise with the health care companies to make the benefits of this program possible.

analisa said...

I believe that the new healthcare Obama is trying to instill does not violate the Commerce Clause, because everyone needs healthcare, and everyone deserves equal coverage. Even if people do not need healthcare during their 20’s and 30’s they will most likely need help and treatment when they grow older. It seems as if most of the people who are opposing this law are only looking at the next 5 years, not the next 10 or 20. This is not necessarily just for the elderly, but this bill could help people who are younger and who have an unexpected accident. If a young person gets sick unexpectedly or has a car accident and does not have health insurance and cannot afford to pay for her medical bills, the taxpayers are forced to pay for her care. So, this bill is potentially good for all people, because taxes will decrease. This bill is also good for the wealthy, because their healthcare costs will go down. As Logan said in class, we are statistically way behind other countries. I completely agree with him, because most other countries already have a healthcare plan and America is falling behind. Healthcare is a right to all citizens- everyone should have benefits, not just the wealthy. However, I can see where people are coming from when they say that we would be giving the government too much power and we would be giving up our civil rights. It is true that the government really should not have the power to tell us what to buy, but if you look back at history there is a example of how successful this was- Social Security. Most people thought that the economy was going to crash and that the government was getting too much control. Social Security, as you all may well know, became a huge success and the Democratic party was in charge of this. Those who do not have healthcare coverage run the risk of becoming wards of the state or at least a huge burden on society, our society to date has not approved of the abandonment of those who are weak or sick. In fact, we send our money and doctors all over the world to help those in need, how then can we turn our backs on our own citizens in need. I think that just like this, the healthcare program will be accepted by society and I think that it is something that needs to be done in order to insure that everyone gets equal treatment and coverage.

Analisa A.

Eric Edwards said...

Obama's healthcare plan, also know as "Obamacare," is a widely controversial topic due to its mandates. In my opinion, I think that the healthcare mandates are unconstitutional because it doesn't seem fair at all that completely healthy people should waste their money on a healthcare plan that they don't want or need. But the reality of it is, is that is constitutional (according to the 10th amendment in the U.S. Constitution). Some people refer to other laws too, such as the the requirement to have basic car insurance if you drive a car. I don't see the need for the Supreme Court to review the case. This healthcare package was already passed and has been put into effect. What's done is done, and although most people may not like it, they just need to come to peace with it and move on.

Eric Edwards

Allie said...

I believe that requiring the population to purchase healthcare does violate the Commerce Clause and, is therefore, unconstitutional. The Commerce Clause states that regulation of "commerce with foreign nations, among several states, and with Indian tribes" is indeed constitutional. However, it depends on ones views in whether the Constitution should be taken straightforward or if there is room for interpretation. If one believes there is room for interpretation, then they MIGHT extract enough information to conjure a valid argument to justify the healthcare mandate, but I believe that those who take the Constitution in a literal mindset will be much more successful in finding evidence to argue their case. In my opinion, the Commerce Clause does not provide evidence to justify the healthcare mandate. In the 10th Amendment, the Reserve-Clause states that powers not granted DIRECTLY by the constitution are reserved to the people. Nowhere in the Constitution does it directly say that federal government can require purchases...while it can be "interpreted" from the Commerce Clause, I believe the Founders would have worded it in a much stronger, clearer way that leaves no room for doubt, as the requirement of purchases is an extraordinary right for government. When Congress requires a person to purchase anything, it crosses a very thin line, and can sometimes be hard to go back. Once government is extended the power to TELL us what we have to buy, the federal government is indeed overstepping their boundaries and it's just a downhill slope from there. Requiring a purchase is intrusive to our personal freedoms and liberties, and it is quite disconcerting that we have come so close to his reality. The Supreme Court should definitely take this case, as there have been no others like it, and it has sparked so much controversy. Not to mention, it will directly affect our nation and everybody in it.

-Allie A.

Cameron Casey said...

Obama's Affordable Care Act does not go against the constitution. On the contrary it goes with it. However, I believe that this Act should be taken to the supreme court because it is unconstitutional to force healthcare upon citizens. It is similar to someone selling a CD then congress requiring everyone to buy it even though somepeople might not like the artist. There are no precedents on this subject which just stand as another reason why the Supreme Court should have a look at this case. Wheather or not it is best for the country, the citizens MUST have a choice regarding heathcare.
-Cameron C.

Mason.Reiter said...

It has been debated numerous times whether or not Obama's new health care reform is constitutional or unconstitutional. In my opinion, I feel that the new Health Care mandate is unconstitutional. It is in direct violation of man's right to make his or her own/independent decision. It is not right for the government to require every american to pay for a service that is not needed. A perfectly healthy man or woman should have the choice, whether or not to pay for a service given by the government. I strongly agree with an earlier point written by Allie. She stated that in the 10th Amendment, the Reserve-Clause states that powers not granted directly by the constitution are reserved to the people. This only validates the argument that the health care reform is unconstitutional. There is no article or section in the constitution that states that the government can force someone to make a purchase. Each branch of government was created to enforce what fell under their powers. There is no branch of government that should be allowed to force a healthy american to pay for something that they do not need! If and when this case reaches the Supreme Court, those involved should look hard at why this mandate is unconstitutional; it forces americans to pay for a service that not all need, and it is not stated in the constitution that the government can require purchases. If this bill is put into action, it will undoubtedly hurt our economy and send the U.S. taking steps backward, instead of forward.

-Mason R.

Meghan Mitchell said...

Yes the federal Health Care Reform violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S Constitution. It violates the U.S Constitution because the Congress imposed to have a fine system instead of imposing a new tax. The Congress did this because they were scared of the electorates backlash if they were seen imposing a tax burden on the American people. Instead they chose to enact a law that imposes fines based upon your failure to purchase Health Care. Yes the Supreme Court should hear it because it is an unjust law because they are not allowed to fine you based upon your failure to purchase a service for yourself.

Johne McMahon said...

The new Health Care Reform that has passed under Obama has become one of the most controversial topics in America today for many reasons. One primary reason is the mandate the Health Care has meaning that it is mandatory for everyone. I believe that the Health Care Reform does violate the constitution because congress has no right stated in the constitution to regulate the individual. Although congress does have the right to regulate private companies, they do not have the right to take away rights that are said to be unalienable rights. The liberty that is being violated is government has literally taken away the decisions for Americans to choose if they want health or not. I believe that there are good things that come from the health care reform but however the good things only benefit very poor and rich Americans and the middle class has to pay to the difference. Hopefully the Supreme Court will take this case and rule it to be unconstitutional and ultimately allowing there to be some sort of comprise to be made to the bill to make it less radical.
- Johne M.

hlax22 said...

I personally believe that the new Health Care Reform Act that has been passed by Obama and his legislative is a threat to the values our country was originally built upon. The new act denies citizens the right to be able to choose how they want to spend their money and if they want to purchase health care in the first place. It violates the rights of every citizen given to them in the 1st Amendment by taking away their ability to choose where their finances should be placed. Furthermore, I believe that the government should not be able to regulate or require citizens to purchase their healthcare plan - like I mentioned before, it is the citizens' money, and if they choose to not purchase healthcare, then let them suffer the possible consequences. The poorest of the poor are already offered healthcare (Medicad) and those who have enough money to buy their own most likely have it or are supplied already. It's a risk you have to take, but that's life. I agree with the chief on page 309 of our textbook when he says, "government has ventured into areas that it has no right to be," and it is up to the Supreme Court to decide whether the new Healthcare Reform is unconstitutional or not. Hopefully they will be able to see past the nonexistent "benefits" and like Johne said, find a way to make the bill a lot less radical.
-Haley R.

Nathan G. said...

Obama's Health Care Reform Act is highly unconstitutional Throughout the Constitution is talks about how it was power to the people and that people could live freely. Even though it is a good idea and everyone who can afford it should have healthcare, the government has no right to make everyone in the country buy something. As you said in class, if a family has to chose between putting food on the table and getting healthcare, it would be a very easy choice. If they were forced to buy healthcare then that could harm the family's health and prevent them from buying other necessary items. Even though healthcare is a good idea and should be had by many people, making it a rule that you have to buy it unconstitutional.

Ben Harden said...

As much as I want it to be unconstitutional, it definitely seems to be. I certainly feel like it is on the fringe of being unconstitutional, it does fall under the guidelines of the constitution. It will benefit those who cannot afford proper healthcare, but the people who already have adequate funds to pay for healthcare feel like it will not benefit them. I think that while it is not popular with many people, it will indeed help out, and accomplish most of what Obama set out to accomplish with it (If it follows through all the way). I think it is a good idea that could be executed better, and be made more appealing to more people.

Asante said...

Before our discussion on health care in class, I was not aware of how it worked, or of how many people strongly disagreed with it. After I sat back for a while to listen to my peers, I found that the majority of them have the same overall look on the reform being passed. They do not like it because the government is making people pay for something that they may not necessarily want to buy. Though this may be true, I find that this is done all the time by our government. For example, who do you guys think pays for the service of our police force? We Do! There are people out there who say they can protect themselves, and who say they don’t like, or need them but we still have to pay for them. Another thing the government MAKES us pay for is judges. Many of us can’t afford them, we didn’t ask for them to be here, yet we still have to pay for their services. If our money is being taken for all of these things without us necessarily wanting them, what makes the government forcing us to buy healthcare any different. I personally agree with the Healthcare reform act. Its not like Health care is not affordable. On top of that, strong efforts are being successfully made to help make it affordable to everyone. Tax credits are there for those who need help to buy coverage and hardship waivers for those who can’t afford it. To my peers, the health care reform also reduces “hidden tax” which is used to basically cover the charges of people without insurance. And to my friends who think that health care reform will lead to a government takeover of health care, this is simply not true. Due to the “Affordable Care Act”, people are placed in charge of health care, not health insurance companies or government. This law strengthens the authority that people have over their own health care by implementing landmark consumer protections. As I stated earlier, Families and individuals that cannot afford health care are given tax credits, to help them purchase coverage. For those of you who feel that this bill does nothing to bring down the cost of health care; you guys are mistaken too. According to health policy experts and economists, health insurance reform will reduce by $100 billion in this decade and by more than $1trillion dollars over the following 10 years. And I will happily say that the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution is not being violated since the clause, regulates Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes. Also, I do not feel that the Supreme Court should hear this case because it does not violate citizens Constitutional Rights. If this case was to be held in court; every other thing that the government “makes” us pay for should be held in the Supreme Court as well. Some of these include the services of Police officers, Judges, and sadly, the “service” of firing missiles at poor people in Pakistan from mechanical machines.

Alanna M. said...

The issue on Health Care Mandate is a very controversial topic because while it is helping people, it may also go against the constitution and the rights of the people. I feel that it is unconstitutional because the government is telling people what they must buy. This violates the freedoms of the people. I know that the constitution states that the government has the right to regulate commerce, but I feel this doesn’t mean that the government can tell me what to buy. What I choose to buy as a consumer, should be my personal chose. I also see it as the government is charging people for simply living. I understand how this could apply to auto insurance because I have the chose to drive, however I shouldn’t have to think that I have the chose to live. Therefore, this mandate is unconstitutional.

ABBY said...

I feel like I am in between the walls just like Howard Troxler the author of McCollum’s blog about the lawsuit. I cannot decide if the Health Care Reform is unconstitutional or constitutional because I see the cons and pros. I feel that the health care has become a necessity for everyone sooner or later in today’s society, so the federal government wants to insure that everyone is qualified to get health care. On the other hand, I think that the mandate is unconstitutional because according to the Tenth Amendment the federal government does not have the power to obligate the people to buy anything. The mandate might have negative consequences because the federal government would obtain more power to eventually control what people must buy. However, the federal government has the Commerce Clause to support that the Health Care Reform is constitutional because they have the power to regulate interstate commerce. As a result, I am stuck in the middle of making my own solid decision if the Health Care Reform is unconstitutional or constitutional.
Abby G.

Max said...

During our discussion about the Health Care Reform, I was open to all of the opinions that were shared in our class room. I thought long and hard last night about the pros and cons of the Health Care Reform, and came to the conclusion that I didn’t approve of the Health Care Reform and its mandate. To me it doesn’t seem constitutional that we should be forced to buy something that might not want. And it only seems logical if the public chose not to buy healthcare and they got hurt or critically ill, then they should face the debt of paying a large amount of money. I believe that we should not be taxed more than we used to, just to make it easier for other people to buy more affordable health care. I think our government should find a neutral line and try to make health care affordable, but to an extent where we shouldn’t be forced to buy health care and to have high taxes. This might be impossible though because this contradicts the Health Care Reform that Obama wanted, and many conservatives disapprove this reform with a passion. The reason why I’m against the Health Care Reform is because, it sounds very unconstitutional, and this mind set might keep growing in our government if we are not careful.
Max-M

George Rodriguez said...

I believe the Health Care Reform passed by Obama is unconstitutional. Barack, in a sense is trying to take our rights of freedom and liberty away by requiring that everybody gets health insurance. The people that choose to not get health insurance may be doing this for a specific reason. So, by making them get the health insurance could possibly be messing up their plans in the future. Some poeple like saving money and others just feel they want more money by not buying health insurance. Forcing americans to do something they do not want to do is unconstitutional. What i want to buy or what I choose to do should be my decision. As well as spending my money the way I want to should be my choice.

Meggan Sher said...

I think that the Health Care reform is unconstitutional. The constitution does not allow for people to be forced to pay for anything they do not want. Although health is an important factor it is not always peoples first priority.People have the freedom to do what they please, and by forcing them to buy health care is stripping them from their freedoms. People have a choice on what they spend their money on. Violating peoples freedoms is unconstitutional, hjust as this health care reform has done.

-Meggan S.

Connor Fagin said...

I agree with Meggan and George's views of Health Care reform. Like we discussed in class, national health care doesn't give Americans the option to purchase health care, it is simply mandatory for all. One of the things that makes America great is freedom of choice, and by Obama requiring health care for all, our freedom of choice is greatly diminished.

Logan said...

Although the content of the health care reform bill is a hotly contested issue the fact that the bill itself is constitutional remains unchanged. Just because the bill would extend the power of the federal government does not mean it is unconstitutional. The notion that this is the first time the federal government has forced the people to pay for something they dont necessarily want is absurd. How do you think the government builds roads, create jobs, pays for federal services, or fights wars? They force you to pay taxes, which goes towards paying for these things the only difference between this and creating a mandate for people to buy healthcare is the mandate has a more direct approach for financing. The federal government has ALWAYS forced people to buy things they dont necessarily want in no way shape or form is this idea new. The law was passed in both parts of congress, has the signature of the president, and does not overstep a single clause of the constitution whether it is in the best interests of the people has absolutely no bearing on the constitutionality of the law. It is a grave mistake to label a law "unconstitutional" just because one disagrees with it. A bad law is not necessarily unconstitutional.

kinsey budagher said...

The new Health Care reform has many aspect that can help the United States government, but at the same time has a great possibility of impeding the progress of the United Stated economy. However many people are taking the possible positive outcomes of this reform and are not thinking about the actual contitutionality of this reform. I believe this reform is violating our natural born right to individual freedoms. We are granted individual rights and with this i do not believe we can be grouped together and forced into reforms because we are granted individual freedoms, and with this reform we are all being treated as one unit instead of the individuals that we are.

srallegro1234 said...

I think that the Health Care reform is unconstitutional. The constitution does not and will not ever tell and or force people to do anything to buy anything to do want to. Even though I do agree that it is important to have health care, it is not always in the peoples best interest. All American people have the freedom of speech and have the freedom do do what they want with their money and by forcing the people to buy health care is taking away all of the American peoples freedoms and rights.

Sarah A.

Iram said...

In my opinion, this mandate is helping people. It may raise taxes a little but insurance goes up without a doubt when people without health insurance cannot pay off their hospital bills. Some people think they are invincible and that nothing will happen to them. No one has the powers of God; they will most likely have a few trips to the hospital when they get old and fragile. The two judges that ruled for the act were thinking in the same direction I am, the government is trying to help the people that need help, and I like helping people. Maybe Bill McCollum has a point about it being a bad financial move and against what the constitution about the government not being allowed to decide health care system for the states. No one really knows how it will affect the future. "Maybe he is a nut, and the other two are right. Or maybe he is the smart cookie and the other two are wrong." -St. Petersburg Times. If this new mandate was brought to the Supreme Court, it could go either way; no one knows for sure whether establishing health care for the whole country will help or fail.

Haley B. said...

The mandate is unconstitutional. The government has the power to deal with businesses, but it has no power to tell individual people what they have to buy. People should be able to choose what they want to do with their own money that they have earned. When the government requires people to buy something they have stepped over the line, they are violating people's personal freedoms. The idea of health reform sounds great, but in reality the chance of the government actually achieving much is slim. Of all the adults I have talked to none of them approve of health care reform, each has countless reasons why they dislike this change. I think that if the majority of Americans were opposed to health care reform then Obama should have listened.

Austin Miller said...

I think that the health care mandate is unconstitutional because the government shouldn't be able to mate people sound money on something they don't feel they need. Yet I do feel that it is in the best intetions for the nation, but I do not agree that someone should be told what they should spend there hard earned money on. Even if they do believe it would help out the economy and all the citizens.

Matt Willis said...

I believe the health care mandate is unconstitutional. I believe this for a number of reasons. First off, I feel as if we give congress the right to enforce upon the people what we should or should not buy is tyrannical, which is what this country was trying to escape. Giving congress this power creates too strong of a central government, and I feel as though once we grant them this right, where does it end? When will the pass a law saying we must buy a specific brand of bread? Now I know thats a little bit of an extreme but theoretically, thats what we're giving them the power to do. Bringing me to my second reason, I know that there's not anything in the Constitution about whether or not Congress can create a mandate like this, but that then places the decision in the people's hands as stated in the 10th Amendment. However, I also understand that the statement about Congress regulating commerce is vague, and can have implications allowing them to create a mandate, but there has never been a case to determine whether or not a mandate is included in this vague statement regarding the powers of Congress. I feel that in this instance, the ruling should go to the people, primarily because the government is supposed to be one run by the people, and should not be tyrannical, as I feel it is being by issuing this mandate. But, I'm not a Supreme Court judge so I don't necessarily have a voice in this ruling. I do think that the Supreme Court should hear the case, and make a decision on whether or not a mandate is implied in the list of the powers of Congress. I personally believe it should not be and therefore the Health Care Reform bill should be repealed or edited to erase the mandate. As for my opinion on the Health Care bill overall, I can honestly say I don't know enough about it (considering I haven't read it) to know whether or not I think it will hurt or help the American public in general.

Matt W.

aroo47 said...

I completly agree with what Iram and Asante had stated earlier. I believe that health care is a RIGHT for a all people, and that the recent "health care mandate" is constitutional. This law is constitutional because the constituion gives the federal government the power to regulate commerce in the "Commerce Clause" of the 10th ammendment, therefore it is completly within there rights to force people to buy health care. Forcing people to buy health care is great, because the last thing you would want if you were deadly ill is to have no health care. I greatly admire President Obama for all that he is done for us through this mandate and can't wait to witness the rest of the great things he will bring us during his next "6 years in office". (yes, I am stating that it is given he will be re-elected in 2012"

Andrew V

Andrew said...
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Moriah said...

I think that the Health Care Reform is constitutional. No one is trying to take away peoples rights and freedom. I beleive that the Obama administration is trying to do what is best for America. Im confident that the American people would definately try and stop government from taking things too far with violating their rights, since they people feel so strong about it right now. This health care reform could do alot for America. People say that the government is trying to take away their rights but Americans must give up some of their rights to be protected. And like Logan said in class, people who have a higher income wouldnt have to pay extra for their health so that people who may decide not to get health insurance are covered.

Haley said...

The Health Care Reform is great in many ways and leads the country towards a positive outlook. But I believe it is unconstitutional in that it is forcing people to unwillingly buy something they necassarily don't want. I do believe that this law can be edited in a way that does not force american citizens to buy health care, but it does give oppurtunities to people that could not afford it because they are unemployed or because health insurance companies won't provide it for people at risk. I do feel like the government is on the right track to improve the current situation of health care, but needs to take a step back and change some of the idea's in the law.
Haley M

george said...
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george said...
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george said...

What Dallas alderton said above is important, he mentioned that even though we may not agree with it, it was voted upon. I am unclear however whether you believe that it is unconstitutional or not. If it violates the constitution, even if it is voted upon, it cannot change the constitution, but rather amend it. If they were to vote on making an amendment it would be different, but if it were to violate something already in the constitution, then that would pose a serious problem. The matter at hand however is whether it is constitutional or not. I personally believe that it is unconstitutional because it is taking too much power over individual rights and freedoms. The voting however may make some difference, but it does not make the proposition constitutional at this time.
George Collins

Amber Stephens said...

Although there is no "correct" answer to whether or not the Health Care mandate is constitutional, I think that it goes against the Constitution. It seems unfair to me that the government can force anyone/everyone to pay for health care -- that should be a individual decision. By making people who do not want health insurance buy it, the government is violating the people's unalienable rights. If someone chooses not to buy health care, they have the risk of getting hurt and not being covered by insurance. I also hate the fact that people who do not have health care can still go to Parkland Hospital (...etc.) and get free care in which the people with insurance must pay for them. I think everyone should be responsible for themselves and they should be able to make their own decisions. If the Supreme Court rules that everyone must partake in health care, the government will only gain more power.

Amber S.

Andi said...

I agree with Amber's comment above because government cannot violate peoples rights by forcing them to buy health care. If people do not want to purchase health care it is under there own risk! Also having the wealthy be taxed more in order for everyone to have health care is absolutely wrong. I think that just because the wealthy has more money does not mean that taxing them more is right. People should be responsible for there own decisions in life and not forced to buy anything by the government. This is just causing the government to become tyrannical which is exactly what we don't want to become!

-Andi W.-

Santiago Zapata said...

I think the health care reform is unconstitutional because government isn’t supposed to force people to buy things they do not desire to buy. Power should not be extended to the federal government and by this health care reform; it will extend the power to the federal government to obligate the people to buy health care. The fact that government is forcing the people to buy health care violates the Tenth Amendment. If the federal government successfully passes this reform, it might trigger more mandates to be pass. The Americans should have the right to vote for the health care reform.
-Santi Z.

Henri Levy said...

As with most controversial things, this topic is vague and could go either way; personally though i think that a mandate on health care would be unconstitutional due to the 10th amendment which basically says that anything not expressly stated in the constitution/amendments is up to the states/people. Since this argument is solid and not vague, it is the best one to agree with unlike the other arguments that say congress can control commerce (which in my opinion is misinterpreting the words in this situation

Blake said...

In my opinion the new health care legislation is constitutional. I agree with many of my fellow peers that the commerce clause justifies the passage of health care and “ mandates”. However many of the concerns associated with the constitutionality deal with forcing individuals to buy something and enter into the market place. I find this argument to be absurd and frankly unpersuasive viewing health care through a strictly consequentialist framework, the repealing of health care could according to new estimates increase the budget deficit. In a Washington post article on January 6 it is noted “A new CBO estimate released Thursday forecasts that repealing the law would increase federal budget deficits by roughly $230 billion from 2012 to 2021. In addition, the CBO says, the Republican-sponsored repeal legislation "would increase federal deficits in the decade after 2019" by about half a percent of gross domestic product. U.S. GDP currently stands at about $14.7 trillion. (Washington post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/06/AR2011010603518.html?hpid=moreheadlines, Jan 6). Furthermore conservatives and libertarians alike appear unresponsive to the arguments that health care will reduce the deficit in a significant way. This means a couple of things first, tax payers are forced to bite the bill of repealing health care (which in turn forces them into the same situation as a mandate), and that ultimately individuals will have to cover the costs of health care policies whether mandated or available in a more free- market sense. Republicans have responded to these claims in particular Boehner responded, “I don't think anybody in this town believes that repealing Obamacare is going to increase the deficit." Although opposition to the implementation of health care evokes an image of a corrupt government the status quo of high premiums and unreliable health care makes me disillusioned with these claims, and more willing to support studies such as the CBO. Furthermore this in turn leads me to believe that first the commerce clause allows the u.s. to regulate the passage of health care and second that health care is justified under democratic principles and rule.

Abby Winslow said...

The health care reform is extremely controversial and go really go either way. However, I think that there is enough evidence in the Constitution to say that it is constitutional. The commerce clause allows congress to regulate individuals and business' relationships and the health care reform falls in under this clause. Although I think it is constitutional, I do not think it is necessarily right. I think that individuals should be able to decide on what they spend their own money on and not be told to spend it

lizzie-sanders said...

I feel like although Obamacare has good intentions it still is a violation of our independent freedoms. I think universal healthcare is unconstitutional because the governement cannot force an individual to pay for insuarance or health care if they do not want to pay for it. People who choose not to pay are putting their self at risk because they will have to pay a lot of money if they are to get into a accident but that is their problem. I do not think its fair to make us the people pay higher taxes in order to pay for those who cannot afford health care it is violating or constitutional rights and every individual should have to take care of his or her self.

Holly Williams said...

Being a disaffected on the political spectrum - finding no genuine interest in the matter - I do however find myself coming to the conclusion that this health care mandate in unconstitutional. The idea of congress having the power to tell individuals the U.S. what to or what not to buy is appalling and congress should never be granted that amount of power. The symbol of America is freedom, afterall, and there is no way our country could hold true to that if this mandate were to pass. Looking back, the defense in this unconstitutional act is found in the 10th amendment which basically says anything that is not stated or agreed upon in the constitution is then agreed upon by the people. People have the power to determine what comes out of their wallet and for what purpose it is to serve them, and for the health care mandate to pass would be a violation of this 10th amendment right.

Catherine G said...

I believe that the health care mandate is unconstitutional. The commerce clause seems so broad that it would be very hard to understand exactly what the original writers were trying to articulate in that section and how it applies to this mandate. Also, I think that the mandate was more of an afterthought. The original goal of the government was to try and make health care more affordable to those who didnt have it. They realized that the huge companies were not about to lower their rates without the promise of a bigger profit. The government offered this bargain to get them to agree to the government's terms. I think they should try out some other options rather than folding to give the large companies what they want. Even though healthcare for everyone would not be a bad thing I just think that we should look into other ways of getting there.

Shahrukh Lalani said...

There is no doubt that there is a huge controversy in America over the health care reform. As with all new policies, there are always pros and cons, but for this particular mandate, most Americans are only looking at the cons. However, none may say that the health care reform is unconstitutional. The Commerce clause states that Congress has the power to regulate commerce between states. This new policy was voted on and resulted in the affirmative. This does not mean, however, that the health care reform is perfect and should be a new policy in America. The government should look at all scenarios and look at the point of views of all Americans.

Shahrukh Lalani

Maui Puebla said...

The Health care reform bill is indeed constitutional whether or not we like it. It is the duty of the Senate and the House of representatives to represent the majority of the people and they decided to pass this bill. Though, the bill was not approved by a single conservative person, causes the bill to be challenged as people believe that it is taking our rights when in the constitution clearly states that the government has a right to regulate commerce and trade. We are forced to do many things such as purchase insurance for our car and pay taxes to our government. The health care bill is something that prepares people for the future and not so much the present because when one is in good health, they do not think about getting health insurance.- MAui puebla

hayden said...

I believe the Health Care reform bill is unconstitutional and I think changes need to be made. The three mandates that are listed are all unconstitutional. I believe that you should not be forced to pay for health insurance, it is against the United States constitution to force someone to pay for something. you cant force anyone to do anything and forcing someone to pay force something is wrong. You could give it to them for free and then tax them heavily which would make up for it.

Chris said...

i think the health care reform is necessary and constitutional. in class mr o was talking about how he has not been to the doctor in years and has been very healthy this entire time, even though there are probably alot of people out there that are genuinely healthy people they cant predict the future, there is no was of knowing if they will be driving and get hit by a drunk driver or some other kind of crazy accident. and without proper health care hospitals that are forced to provide emergency services and surgeries to them are also forced to pay for these procedures. where if they jus had health care there would be no conflict.

-chris k

Andrew said...

I had a really long essay typed out for this project. But I lost it and I really don't feel like retyping two pages of why Health care is unconstitutional. I'll cut right to the chase. Health Care Reformation is unconsitutional. The Federal governemnt should mandate an individual to purchase unwanted health care reforms. Despite those critics who argue that government is regulating trade; that proposal isn't compatible with the ideas that our for fathers had intended when they constructed the constitution.

z-man said...

In a strictly Constitutional sense, the Health Care bill does not violate the Commerce Clause. Because the Clause gives the government the right to regulate trade within the states, it is correct to assume that an insurance good such as Health Care falls within a regulatory category for trade. However, there are many goods that the government does not regulate, and because of that a peace is maintained between the states and government. If the government chooses to regulate as many things as it can, people would complain that it is going farther towards Socialism than it needs to. Technically, the Supreme Court should not take the case because there is no violation of Constitutional law.

Zander Mapes