Will Republicans Derail Obama’s Health Care Reform?
President Barak Obama’s health care reform of 2010 has fallen foul of the Republicans. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act along with the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act form the ‘health care reform’. These were signed into US laws by the President on March 30, 2010.
The Senate passed the law on December 24, 2009 with all the Democrats and Independents in favor while all the Republicans voted against it. It also passed the House of Representatives on March 21, 2010 with all the Republicans and 34 Democrats voting against.
There have been several lawsuits challenging the constitutional validity of this bill that would require Americans to buy health insurance in 2014 or pay a penalty and as of January, this year; these have been rejected by two federal judges while being upheld by two other judges, giving rise to the view that it would require the Supreme Court’s intervention to resolve this issue.
Meanwhile, a U.S. district judge in Pensacola, Fla, Judge Roger Vinson threw out the health care law, terming it unconstitutional since it violates the Commerce Clause. According to Judge Roger Vinson, the “individual mandate” that will need people to buy insurance makes it unconstitutional and hence he pronounced the law invalid.
He, however, did not deny that Congress has the power to redress the weaknesses in the health care system. According to him, “this case is not about whether the act is wise or unwise legislation. It is about the constitutional role of the federal government”.
Tracy Schmaler, the Department of Justice spokeswoman said that they plan to appeal this ruling as they strongly believe and so did other federal courts that the Affordable Care Act is constitutionally proper.
Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, said “Judge Vinson’s decision is radical judicial activism run amok, and it will undoubtedly be reversed on appeal”.
It is interesting to note that among the plaintiffs that include governors and attorneys general from 26 states, all except one were Republicans.