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Constitution The Mandate that Individuals buy Health Insurance - Research Paper Example

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There have been divisions on whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Act of 2010 is constitutional. It has been contested with divisions emerging between Democrats and Republicans. There have been…
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Constitution The Mandate that Individuals buy Health Insurance
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"Constitution The Mandate that Individuals buy Health Insurance"

Download file to see previous pages s lacked the authority under the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to force Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty for the failure (Rourke, 2012, p.3).
According to the proponents of the issue, the mandate modifies the internal Revenue Code and thus constitutes a tax. It, therefore, offers Americans a choice to either purchase health insurance cover or pay a tax equal to the cost of purchasing health insurance. However, people exempted from the tax include the poor, dependents, military personnel, citizens living overseas, or individuals with a religious objection (Bluestein, 2011, p.27). This subsidizes the government’s health care program hence making it cheaper both to the government and health insurance companies as well as to families wishing to buy a health insurance.
However, the introduction of the penalty for those with no health care insurance is unconstitutional since it makes Americans pay taxes. The central issue relates to the Commerce Clause. Congress argues that the Commerce Clause empowers it to compel private citizens not currently involved in commercial activity, to buy insurance from private dealers or pay a penalty to the national government. However, the Congress has no powers through the Commerce Clause to enact laws imposing such penalty (The Editors, 2010, p. 2). By passing the individual mandate and penalty as components of the Patient Protection and Affordable Act of 2010 (PPAA), Congress exceeded the powers granted by the constitution. This is because resolving such a suit remains the role of the federal courts as noted by O Conor in New York v United States (1992). This is the traditional and foundational function of the federal courts (Barnett, Stewart & Gaziano, 2009, p. 1).
However, since no Congress has ever tried to apply the Commercial Clause in the issue of APPA casts great doubt as to whether Congress has the authority to do the same. The Supreme Court in Printz v United States (1997) noted the same; the reality ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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