Justices question health law’s constitutionality

'Those who don't participate make it expensive.'

Bloomberg News
Several U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned the constitutionality of the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care law that Americans acquire insurance or pay a penalty. More

To continue reading this article, please do one of the following.



HEALTH INSURANCE

Justices question health law’s constitutionality

'Those who don't participate make it expensive.'

Bloomberg News
Posted 4/2/12

Several U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned the constitutionality of the requirement in President Barack Obama’s health care law that Americans acquire insurance or pay a penalty.

“The federal government is not supposed to be a government that has all powers,” Justice Antonin Scalia said early in the March 27 two-hour argument on Obama’s signature legislative victory. “It’s supposed to be a government of limited powers.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy said the requirement to obtain health coverage is telling individuals they “must act.” Kennedy, who most often occupies the court’s ideological middle ground, said, “That changes the relationship of the government to the individual in a fundamental way.”

“Do you not have a heavy burden” to show the law is authorized by the Constitution, Kennedy asked U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, who argued in the law’s defense.

The March 27 session was the second of three days of Supreme Court hearings held last week on Obama’s health care law. Twenty-six states say Congress exceeded its authority in approving the 2010 law, which would extend insurance to 32 million people and revamp an industry that accounts for 18 percent of the U.S. economy.

The court will likely rule in late June.

Verrilli, the Obama administration’s top Supreme Court lawyer, Verrilli contended that Congress can require people to buy insurance under its constitutional power to regulate the interstate health care market.

People who don’t buy health insurance and can’t afford to pay for care themselves are guaranteed emergency-room treatment when they need it, Verrilli said. People who have insurance are subsidizing them, he said.

Next Page
No comments on this story | Add your comment
Please log in or register to add your comment
Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Register today for the First Annual PBN Manufacturing Awards Dinner and Ceremony, Thursday, April 24th, at the Bryant University Bello Center. Click here for more information, including the list of winners.
  • Business Women
    Accomplished. Confident. Wicked Smart. Nominate women you know who deserve speci ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    It's the 10th Anniversary of 40 Under Forty, and PBN is planning a special event ...
  • Healthiest Employers
    Enrollment now open for the 2014 Healthiest Employers Program. Please take a mom ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News