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Over the course of this year, it has amazed me how much that I have learned in government and economics. During the last two trimesters, we have covered the topics such as ‘Civics 101’, Foundations, Political Parties, Elections, Congress, and, now, the Presidency.  Covering all these topics has really helped me gain a sense on which side, politically, I agree with. Doing the activities, ‘Fun with Article I’ and ‘Fun with Article II’, have helped aid to my understanding of the U.S. Constitution. Learning more about what is unconstitutional and constitutional has led me to form an opinion on Obama’s health care reform bill. Also, because I am a potential voter this November, I have felt the need to learn more about what happens in our U.S. government. Due to this, it has led me to become more aware of what is going on in our world and has caused me to watch the news almost every day. I have even applied my analytical thinking skills that I have used consistently in this class to help me understand on a deeper level the Supreme Court Case that took place to debate whether or not President Obama’s health care reform bill is constitutional or not.

It has been two years (2010) since the national health care reform bill or the Affordable Health Care Act was signed into law. The goal and concept was to make health care coverage more affordable for all Americans.

The Affordable Health Care Act mandates that every American purchase health insurance. This may come to be unconstitutional according to the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3). This clause states that Congress shall have the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” However the only important words here are that Congress has the power “To regulate Commerce…among several states.” This helps to support that it isn’t right to force Americans to pay for something that is government enforced. Over the past two years many states have started litigation against the U.S. government to repeal Obamacare and since 2009, when President Obama proposed the bill, 52% of all Americans have disapproved. If this bill stands, the government will have more control and will continue to take future freedoms from every American. I think we should take care of the truly poor and disabled, but without the government controlling this issue. America was built on the foundations of democracy and capitalism. If the health care system was able to expand systematically and real competition was permitted, then the United States would be a lot better off. America is a nation where there is continuous and healthy competition among its citizens and the power should remain with the voice of the people. 

During the Supreme Court Case, there was a heated debate for two hours over whether the government can require all Americans to obtain health insurance by January 1, 2014 or face a penalty. Towards the beginning of the debate, the more conservative Justices started by arguing that the new health care mandate will regulate how and when people pay for health care. However the opposing side, U.S. Solicitor General Don Verrilli, emphasized a viewpoint on that health care is unique in that people often have no control over when they need health care. The Chief Justice became skeptical and asked that if the health care mandate succeeded as being a new law, then could the government make everyone buy a cell phone to be ready to call 911? Other Justices tried to prove that this mandate would lead to a government with more power and more involvement in our lives.

In my opinion the Chief Justice made a really good point when he observed and said that not everyone would need pediatric or maternity benefits. It is true that wealthy Americans can afford to pay for health insurance as soon as they need it, but until they need it why would it be useful to have to pay for? After Verrilli sat down, the former Solicitor General, Paul Clement brought up two really good points. He said “in enacting the mandate, Congress was not regulating commerce but instead trying to create commerce; and, if the mandate is upheld, there will be virtually no limits on what Congress can do using its power to regulate commerce.” Under the Constitution it is clear that the health care reform bill violates the commerce clause. Michael Carvin was the third lawyer in the court case to speak and he challenged that health care reform was unconstitutional, which he supported with the commerce clause. He said “Congress can regulate something that has a negative effect on commerce, but it can’t regulate something just because statistically it relates to something that might affect commerce- for example, in this case, because some uninsured people may need health care that they can’t afford, thereby passing the costs on to the rest of us.”

If I were a Supreme Court Justice voting on this topic, I would vote against the mandate due to the unknown affects it could have on America. Freedom was given from the beginning of our nation’s history and it is not right to force every American to pay for something they might not need or want. The Supreme Court Justices who oppose this health care mandate are on the side that every American should be on. If this mandate passes it will open up a bunch of doors that will allow the government to step in and take more control in our every lives and, also, this bill clearly goes against the commerce clause. The United States of America was built on the foundations of freedom, and full American freedom will not be reached until President Obama’s health care mandate is put to rest by the Supreme Court.

Watch Video: Here

  1. govemilys
    May 1, 2012 at 7:55 am

    Brookie, your post was extremely thoughtful and I thought you did a great job backing up your viewpoint with concrete evidence. It was apparent that you did your research and truly developed a strong view of your own. The video you attached at the bottom was also very relevant and interesting and I thought it was a nice way to end your post. However, there was just one sentence that stuck out and needed a little more explanation though: “If the health care system was able to expand systematically and real competition was permitted, then the United States would be a lot better off.” My question after reading this sentence is why would competition benefit the United States? If you expanded this with a sentence or two I think that would make everything much more clear. Overall, wonderful job!

  2. katherinet13
    May 1, 2012 at 8:04 am

    Hi Brookie! You have written a great post that was clearly thought out. I appreciate hearing your opinion, but even more so, how you support your opinion. You provided concrete evidence from the constitution, but connected it well to your opinion that it goes against America’s core ideals. You are very passionate about this topic, as a good American citizen should be, and have made a very good case against Obamacare, however in your last paragraph you talk about how this view is the way all Americans should feel. I think you have made a convincing argument in itself and by telling people what to think, it may rub people the wrong way. Also I might suggest a more intriguing picture. Overall, you have written a fantastic, clear, and thoughtful post!

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