Thursday, March 22, 2012

Brookings Video: Russell Wheeler- 'Supreme Court Hears Health Care Challenge'

Source:Brookings Institution- talking to lawyer Russell Wheeler.

"Russell Wheeler: This case is about more than just who gets health care coverage; the high court's decision could have a profound impact on American constitutional policy and Congress' authority to regulate commerce." 

I'm not a lawyer (obviously) but I think the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion is obvious. This is a Federal/state health insurance program for low-income, as well as disabled Americans. Congress and the Obama Administration expanded it in 2010 under the Affordable Care Act to cover low-income workers and not just unemployed workers or people who are at home collecting Welfare Insurance. 

Medicare was expanded in 2003 to cover prescription drugs, by a Republican Administration and Congress. (By the way) There's no infringement on individual or states rights here, other than perhaps whether the Federal Government can take Medicaid money away from the states, if they don't expand their Medicaid programs to cover low-income workers, as well as non-workers. That might be the question there. 

As far as the individual mandate, if it's ruled by the Supreme Court as a tax, then it becomes constitutional just from that alone, because the Federal Government obviously has taxing authority. But, if the mandate is just ruled as a regulation, then the question will be does the Federal Government have the authority to require Americans to buy something over the private market or not. And again, I'm not a lawyer.

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