Should Constitution be relevant to health care decision?
The U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling upholding the individual health insurance mandate prompts yet another discussion about what is or isn't "constitutional" to heat up this summer's political climate.
The Affordable Care Act, upheld in a June 28 court ruling, requires that those who do not have health insurance may expect to pay tax penalties by the year 2014.
While health care reform efforts have been under way for quite some time, it seems that they consistently face opposition from not-so-thrilled opponents.
One of the main arguments against the Act is that requiring Americans to buy a private service would be unconstitutional. As this point often acts as an end-all to further reasoning, it seems that the time is right to question how extensively we should base America's future decisions on the sanctity of a document signed more than 200 years ago.
While I certainly don't think ignoring the Constitution's legal power will get us any further in the decision-making process, it seems that it may be holding us back in terms of our ability to solve bipartisan conflicts, such as the health care debate.
The Constitution definitely provides a very good outline to base an argument on. However, an important thing to keep in mind is its ability to hold its worth over time.
It would have been nearly impossible to anticipate every obstacle that our country would face upon the Constitution's construction. Fully adhering to it would eventually be impossible due to an ever-changing society.
In short, simply stating that the health care bill is "unconstitutional" may hold some truth, but in order to truly judge its intentions we should look at it from all angles, and not just whether it fits within the Constitution's limited lines.
For one, the health care bill does not impose any totally foreign concepts. For example, Minnesota already requires drivers to carry auto insurance.
Though many of its opponents view the bill as a potential tax increase, passing it may be one more step toward low-cost, universal health care.
It's also important to keep in mind that this bill is certainly not the final product of health care reform.
Depending on how well it is perceived, it may be the beginning or the end of more changes in the future. Either way, any decision we make should be made solely because it improves our society, not because it stays within the boundaries of a document created centuries ago.