The Health Care Reform law (The
Patient Protection and Affordable
Care Act.) passed congress in 2010.
Incidentally, the passage of
this law, was not using reconciliation
(which requires a simple senate majority) but with
60 votes in the senate.
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3,
of the Constitution known as "the
commerce clause" empowers Congress to regulate Commerce.
That is the provision of the
U.S. Constitution that gives Congress
exclusive power over trade activities among the states.
The term commerce as used in the
Constitution means business or
commercial exchanges in any and all of its forms between citizens of
different states, including purely social communications between
citizens of different states by telegraph, telephone, or radio, and the
mere passage of persons from one state to another for either business
That law is being challenged on
the basis that the federal government
has no right to force an American citizen to buy health insurance.
The challenge contends that the
decision to not buy HC insurance does
not constitute economic activity.
We contend that it does. How?
Because there is a high
probability that an American will need a health
care provider (Higher probability than having an automobile accident)
and when that happens, he/she may not be able to pay:
Hospitals, Urgent Care centers or Emergency centers, Ambulances
2- Medications, devices provided to a patient in the E.R. or in the
3- Services rendered, such as radiology and pathology (heavily involved
in interstate commerce)
The institutions providing health care to the uninsured, used
construction materials, furniture, and equipment.
All the entities, items, and
services mentioned in 1-2-3 and 4 are
heavily involved in interstate commerce and that may be affected by the
provision of health care to the uninsured.
In addition, It may be point out
that individuals decision of not
buying health insurance may affect the price others
may have to pay for it.
The federal government was
trying to solve known problems in the US
Health Care system,
high cost, availability (large
percentages of uninsured) and quality
(Uneven and often poor).
Julio C. Postigo, M.D.