Constitutional Challenges To The Health Bill
Orrin Hatch and Kenneth Blackwell lead the "intellectual" charge:
First, the Constitution does not give Congress the power to require that Americans purchase health insurance. Congress must be able to point to at least one of its powers listed in the Constitution as the basis of any legislation it passes. None of those powers justifies the individual insurance mandate. Congress's powers to tax and spend do not apply because the mandate neither taxes nor spends. The only other option is Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce. [. . .] It is one thing, however, for Congress to regulate economic activity in which individuals choose to engage; it is another to require that individuals engage in such activity. That is not a difference in degree, but instead a difference in kind. It is a line that Congress has never crossed and the courts have never sanctioned.
Even if this were true (and it is not as the bill's enforcement mechanism is a tax on persons who do not purchase health insurance), Hatch's argument is faulty. While mandates applied to individuals is not an everyday occurence (the differentiation of participation in a federal pension and health insurance system (Medicare and Social Security) is not apparent to me), application of mandates to corporations is quite routine. Hatch would argue that businesses are "choosing to engage" in such activity, but it would be the only time ever Hatch will have made such a distinction. More . . .
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