Yes Virginia, health care reform is constitutional. It’s not just me saying so. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California-Irvine School of Law says so. He is the author of Constitutional Law, a textbook used at a number of law schools around the country including DePaul. He has also authored over one hundred law review articles.
You can read his article here: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1009/28620.html. It’s a quick yet vitally important read. While only two pages long, it effectively quashes the main challenges to the constitutionality of health care reform.
His main points are that health care falls under the broad umbrella of interstate commerce and that there is no right to not have insurance. While health care may not be the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks of commerce, the power of Congress to regulate commerce includes a vast spectrum of activities that significantly impact interstate commerce. These activities include dining at a restaurant, staying at a hotel, growing medical marijuana, et al. It’s not hard to see how health care affects commerce. Sick workers miss days of labor. People spend billions of dollars on drugs manufactured domestically and abroad. Choosing to become a doctor is a significant economic decision and requires one to spend thousands of dollars on school and delaying one’s entry into the work force. Also, there is no right not to have insurance. States require drivers to have car insurance, so why not require people to have health insurance too. Of course, if one really does not want to buy car insurance, one can choose not to drive. If one really does not want to buy health insurance, what’s the alternative? Suicide? Or move to a country that doesn’t require health insurance, I suppose.
So conservatives who are really upset about health care reform – those are your alternatives – leave this country one way or another.
But seriously, health care reform really helps everyone. No reform comes without a cost, but in the long we will save money, and much more importantly, we will save lives.