The “Health Care Reform” Law Hits The High Court

It is looking increasingly likely that Supreme Court will hear an appeal of the ever-controversial “health care reform” law, and soon.

Both sides to a lawsuit — the Department of Justice in favor of the law, and 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses in opposition — have asked the Court to accept an appeal and decide whether the law should be upheld or struck down as unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court has the discretion to decline the appeal, but the fact that the appellate court declared the law unconstitutional, and the fact that both sides to the case are seeking review, should increase the chances the high court will hear the case.

Stripped of its partisan baggage, the appeal poses a fascinating legal issue:  how far does Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce extend?  In prior cases, the Court has articulated an expansive view of that power.  However, opponents of the new law argue that this case is different because Congress — through the “individual mandate” provision that requires all citizens to buy health insurance — is for the first time assuming the power to compel unwilling citizens to engage in commerce.  Proponents of the law respond that, when it comes to health care, every living American is already affecting commerce, because those who don’t have insurance and then need health care are imposing economic burdens on the rest of us.  A Supreme Court decision on this issue would go a long way toward defining, once and for all, the full extent of Congress’ power to regulate the daily lives of Americans.

If the Supreme Court takes the appeal, it would be likely to rule in the summer of 2012 — just before a presidential election where the wisdom of the “health care reform” law is likely to be a very hot topic.  And the decision will come against the backdrop of a recent report that shows a sharp increase in health care costs, which undoubtedly will cause Republican candidates to blame the unpopular new law and redouble their attacks on it.

2 thoughts on “The “Health Care Reform” Law Hits The High Court

  1. I’m a huge fan of health care reform. I actually do wish that much of Obama’s health care policies had come to pass. I am an emergency Department Nurse, and i see patients each and every day with almost no access to health care. They attempt to use the emergency room for all sorts of things. We can help many of them, but for example, a guy came in the other day with 4 months of a sore throat…it was a tumor. We can not fix a tumor in the emergency department. He had no insurance, and said he would have gone to a doc much sooner if he had been able to. Had he gone sooner, the tumor would have been much smaller and quite easy to treat. now, the man was having trouble swallowing foods. So we see this, which is disheartening, and then we are also required to see people who arrive complaining that their left toe has hurt for ten minutes. I sure would love it is we could make health care more affordable for all, and more accessible. I am not sure why it has to be such an inflammatory issue. I mean, we are supposed to be an advanced country. I think I’d rather pay a bit more in taxes to support affordable health care, but I a m probably in the minority. As Americans, I know we are said to give generously to charity, but we sure can be selfish….

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  2. mizunogirl, I agree with you. An advanced country uses its taxes to create a healthy, safe (which also means healthy), educated society. We use most of our taxes to defend other countries with our military, so they can provide health care for their citizens. There are plenty of greedy people who have gotten wealthy off of our spending on military projects, industries which do not all add to our defense. It is time for Americans to become more informed about how our priorities have been wrongly placed. We buy civilization with our taxes. It is time to look at the imbalance that causes our citizens to be left out of the right to have health care, including preventive care.

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