Affordable Healthcare…at What Cost?
Who would be against affordable healthcare for all citizens? Healthcare cost in the United States has skyrocketed in the past several decades. We have all heard of aging couples on fixed incomes being forced to decide whether they will purchase food or buy their medicine. We have all seen the collection cans at the register of the local convenience store for persons who have received a terminal diagnosis and have no health insurance coverage. These situations play on the strings of our hearts as Americans. We live in the land of opportunity and promise and no one should be without proper medical treatment! The question is, should the federal government step in and takeover healthcare?
In 2010, Congress enacted and the president signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as ObamaCare. In theory,this law will provide an avenue for all legal residents to purchase health insurance at a reasonable rate by compelling everyone to buy a government approved healthcare plan. At first glance, the law sounds promising, but it is mere camouflage for the largest and most dangerous expansion of federal government power in the history of America. This law has allowed the ever-reaching tentacles of federal government into the nations healthcare industry and in our personal lives; thus, threatening our way of life and our Constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property! ObamaCare is unconstitutional because of its Individual Mandate, its usurpation of power over the states sovereignty, and due to the blatant power grabs of the executive branch to keep the law afloat.
First, let us turn our attention to the unconstitutional Individual Mandate imposed by ObamaCare. The Individual Mandate is the linchpin for making this law work. This mandate forces all legal residents to purchase a government approved healthcare package. If a person, doesn’t purchase a plan then they are subject to a “tax” (penalty) from the federal government. This “tax” was ruled by the Supreme Court as constitutional due to the Commerce Clause found in the Constitution. The Commerce Clause states that Congress has the authority to “regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states”. But has Congress overstepped their constitutional authority? In his article, ObamaCare vs. Constitution, Paul Beard III states, “with the Individual Mandate, the government has, for the first time in American history, enacted a law that forces individuals to engage in an act of commerce” (Beard, 14). All other cases give precedence for regulating acts of commerce that a person willingly engaged in, but with ObamaCare you are being compelled to engage! If the government can “tax”(penalize) us for not participating in forced commerce, then where will the line be drawn? ObamaCare is illegal and should be repealed for its unconstitutional Individual Mandate.
Secondly, this law is unconstitutional due to federal encroachment upon the states sovereignty. The Tenth 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”. In the article, The Constitution & Healthcare Reform, Joe Wolverton II wrote, “The fact that Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law demonstrates that neither the legislative nor executive branch of the national government is bothered by constitutional restrictions on their power” (Wolverton, 26). Healthcare is not mentioned in the Constitution of the United States, let alone, how to deal with our current crisis! There has always been a struggle for power with the national and state governments, but this is a grotesque move aimed at gaining control. Simply said, ObamaCare has breached the duel federalism put in place by the Constitution.
Furthermore, the unconstitutional power grabs to maintain the law after passing it should be enough to prove it needs to be repealed! Our nation is a nation of laws. Our entire form of government is founded on the Constitution. The roles of each branch was clearly stated within this all important document. The legislative branch was to make laws, the executive branch was to enforce laws, and the judicial branch was to interpret the laws. Yet, President Obama has rewritten the law many times since its passing! He has delayed mandates for religious organizations and large companies through his unconstitutional use of executive orders. The law is poorly written and cannot be executed without such illegal grabs for power. This is in direct violation to the Constitution! It is scary to think this administration’s actions are setting the precedence for future presidents. The American people should not take this kind of executive tyranny. This law is unconstitutional and it has taken unconstitutional actions of the government to get it this far. We need to repeal this law immediately!
In Conclusion, it is plain to see as the cost of healthcare soars there needs to be some sort of reform to provide relief to the citizens of the United States. There is not a simple solution to this problem, but it is definitely not the responsibility of the federal government to come to our rescue. It can clearly be seen that ObamaCare is a unconstitutional grab for power by looking at the required Individual Mandate, the encroachment upon the states sovereignty, and the abuse of executive orders to keep the law moving forward. I would like to remind the reader of an important truth expressed by one of our Founding Fathers. Thomas Jefferson is quoted to have said, “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have” (Berkes). We all would like to see affordable healthcare for everyone, but not at the risk of losing our personal liberties.
Beard, Paul J., II. “ObamaCare v. the Constitution.(Essay).” The Objective Standard 2011: 11. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Berkes, Anna. Monticello. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2007. Web. Feb 17, 2014.
Wolverton, Joe, II, and J.D. “The Constitution & healthcare reform: though ObamaCare has been enacted into law, it is patently unconstitutional. The states can nullify this federal power grab within their own borders.(HEALTHCARE).” The New American 2010: 26. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.