Healthcare decision could expand government control


The healthcare law currently before the Supreme Court should be ruled unconstitutional due to the individual mandate that forces Americans to purchase health insurance or else pay a penalty. The individual mandate is another example of government trying to further insert itself into citizen’s private lives. This law is a blatant misuse of the commerce clause and would set a horrible precedent concerning the limits on government power.

The reasoning the Obama administration uses to justify the individual mandate is that the law is supported by Section Eight, Article One of The Constitution. This is also known as the “commerce clause” that allows for the government regulation of commerce and trade. The actual wording of the first part of the commerce clause is as follows;

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States…To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

While The Constitution gives the government the right to regulate commerce, like health care for instance, it does not give the government the power to force anyone to engage in commerce. What this law is trying to do is force economic activity to happen so it can then be regulated.

Another argument in support of the law is that not purchasing health insurance would have a negative effect on in-state commerce and therefore can be regulated. The equivalent would be like punishing an SDSU student for not purchasing a book at the University Bookstore. Just because a producer has lower profits is not a reason to force citizens to engage in commerce and then punish them for it.

The last important aspect of any law that the Supreme Court examines is the precedent that the law would set. In this case, the individual mandate would set a horrible precedent. If this law is approved, it would give congress nearly unlimited power to control and regulate every aspect of the lives of American citizens. The government could mandate citizens purchase anything from vegetables to luxury cars.

This law should be ruled unconstitutional because the government cannot regulate someone solely due to the fact that they exist.