Affordable Care Act is overreach of power
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Thursday, June 7, 2012 12:06
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has been the subject of much debate since being signed into law on March 23, 2010. After it passed, attorneys general from 27 of the 50 states filed suit against the federal government stating the law is an unconstitutional expansion of the federal government’s authority and must be struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now, more than two years later, arguments for and against the legislation have been presented to the court from both sides of the aisle, and the deliberation process that must take place before a final vote can be reached has begun. This leaves us with two questions: What does the court’s verdict mean for us as a nation, and secondly, how will the outcome affect conservatives in the upcoming elections in November?
Among the litany of other problems that are associated with Obamacare, such as the increased burden on the healthcare system and the decrease in quality of care, the real issue lies with the individual mandate. This is referencing the provision in the bill that states all Americans must purchase health insurance or face a penalty in the form of a fine. If a court chooses to uphold the legislation, a judicial precedent will have been established supporting the idea that the federal government does have the constitutional authority to mandate that one must engage in economic activity whenever they see fit.
While it may seem minor, we must look at the bigger picture. Upholding this legislation will signify a fundamental shift in what authority the federal government has. In fact, it stands as the great tipping point that those who wish to remove our liberty have been seeking for years. A ruling upholding Obamacare will give them the ability to teach a new generation of children that the federal government does know what is best for you and holds the authority to tell you how and when to do it, an idea contrary to our founders’ belief in an individual’s inherent right and duty to determine these things for himself.
A ruling striking down the legislation will halt another attempt by the left to barge into our everyday lives and tell us what we must and must not do.
The topic of removing certain parts of the legislation like the individual mandate and “salvaging” others has been brought up many times. This is not a valid option since the crafters of the bill did not include a severability clause (giving the courts the ability to remove certain parts of a piece of legislation) in the final draft. The lack of one in Obamacare states that the crafters had no intention of giving the courts the ability to pick and choose what parts of the legislation to keep. Instead, they intended for the bill to live or die in its entirety. Thus a verdict striking down even one major provision of the law would render the entirety of Obamacare invalid.
Now, how this will affect a conservative victory in November? A Gallup poll taken in November of 2011 stated that 47 percent of people wish for Obamacare to be struck down by the Supreme Court while 42 percent want the ACA to be upheld. This indicates a significant level of opposition to the healthcare law. We as conservatives agree with this majority in our stand for the right of the individual to make his or her own choices and bear the consequences of those choices, and healthcare is no exception.
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