The High court today considers the rule that is the critical for financing President Obama’s health care insurance plan — and is also the main argument cited from the law’s legal opponents.
It is the requirement that the majority of Americans buy health care insurance, or pay a superb.
The “individual mandate” — an expression that never appears within the 2,409-page medical care statute — may be the law’s most controversial element from the time its passage on March 23, 2010.
The Supreme Court hearing starts at 10 a.m. USA TODAY’s Brad Heath and Richard Wolf look examine the way it is here.
The true reason for for example the mandate is not hard: The law bans insurers from discriminating against individuals with pre-existing conditions or high medical costs, either by denying coverage or inflating premiums. For insurers to achieve that without raising rates on everyone, they desire workout . buying insurance.
The argument and only the mandate is every bit clear: Millions of Americans without insurance — including those who can’t afford it while others who will be relatively healthy but risk catastrophic illnesses or accidents in which they can pay — pass their costs on to the government, businesses and also other Americans.
The National government argues the mandate is legal within the Constitution’s commerce clause, giving Congress the power to control interstate commerce. Additionally they repeat the penalty for non-compliance can be a tax, allowed under Congress’ spending and taxing authority.
Opponents, however, say a real mandate is unprecedented. They make a distinction between economic activity and inactivity; they say not buying health care insurance is not a type of commerce subject to federal regulation. When it is, people say, what’s to halt Congress from mandating that Americans eat broccoli or join a health club?
The precedents go back centuries. The situation frequently cited is from 1942, when the Top court ruled Congress could fine a farmer for growing too much wheat, even though it absolutely was for personal consumption, because that affected his participation in interstate commerce.
A number of the medical care law’s defenders even hearken returning to the Militia Act of 1792, by which men called to service were needed to have weapons and ammunition.