The Supreme Court is expected to announce its decision today as to the constitutionality of portions of the 2010 health care reform law enacted by Congress and encouraged by President Obama. Many Republicans – including the Tea Party – and GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney refers to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as “Obamacare” in a disparaging way, and has taken to social media to rally opposition to the law.
“Both Obamacare AND the #hhsmandate have to go. I stand with those who are rallying to support religious liberty,” Mitt Romney Tweeted when the court was debating the bill.
The main problem with the law that the court has been deciding?
Whether Congress has the power to require almost all Americans to secure health insurance or pay a penalty. The law requires that most Americans have health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty on 2015 income tax payments. The court also has considered whether taking down the mandate means bringing scrapping the entire law, or just certain parts of it. A group of 26 states and the National Federation of Independent Businesses argue that the government has exceeded its authority and that individual liberty is at stake – can the government compel individuals not engaged in commerce to buy a product (health insurance) from private companies?
The word “mandate” itself is a turnoff to most Americans. But the Obama administration has argued that by power of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, Congress has the authority to impose the “minimum coverage provision” to regulate interstate commerce to solve national economic problems. The administration has argued that this law is necessary to increase coverage of Americans who have thus far gone without health insurance.
One in four people think the Supreme Court should keep health care reform intact, according to a March CBS News/New York Times poll, while 38 percent said the entire law should be abolished. Another 29 percent would like the court to strike down only the requirement that nearly all Americans obtain health insurance if they don’t already have it.
Tell us: What do you think the Supreme Court should do about the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act?
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