A couple of recent articles in The Salt Lake Tribune discussed the effort to declare the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional.
The ACA was an effort to provide health coverage for a greater number of Americans, many millions of people by all accounts. It also had provisions within it which did away with the exclusion for pre-existing conditions and the elimination of lifetime maximums. Of course, there are many millions more people who are seeing the benefits of Medicaid expansion which was part of the legislation. The act has done and continues to do a lot of good for a lot of people.
Could it be better? Of course. Unfortunately, measures were taken by a number of partisan ideologues to tear it down instead of trying to make it better. One has to wonder why they would act to take it apart and try to kill it while still offering nothing as a better alternative.
The individual mandate required all people to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Seems to me that this is very similar to the requirement to have automobile insurance or pay a penalty if one is found not to have the insurance.
Although I’m not formally educated in the field of law, it seems crystal clear that there is absolutely no basis for any argument declaring the ACA unconstitutional.
In the Preamble of the Constitution, that portion of this document that broadly illustrates the document’s goals, is the phrase “promote the general Welfare.” I understand that “general welfare” means the general well-being of We the People.
Based upon clear empirical evidence that the ACA works toward achieving one of the basic goals of the Constitution, promoting the general welfare, it is illogical to try and have the courts declare the ACA invalid and unconstitutional.
I look forward to a rebuttal of this reasoning.
Richard J. Roginski, West Point