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Some foes of health bill pin hopes on courts

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Legal test could focus on Constitution's Commerce Clause

A small but vocal contingent of legal scholars and many Republican lawmakers argue that the measures passed by both chambers are unconstitutional and will be ruled so by the Supreme Court. Their primary target: the individual mandate, which requires people to get health insurance or pay a financial penalty of at least 2 percent of their income to the government. Though it would affect only those who do not get insurance from their employer, Medicare or Medicaid, the mandate is a central component of Democrats' reform plans, which operate under the assumption that bringing everyone into the national insurance pool — particularly young, healthy people who do not have coverage — will reduce premiums across the board. By adding millions of new customers, the mandate is also designed to make reform more palatable for insurance companies, which will face new restrictions and requirements.

But some critics dismiss the economic merits, saying the bills would force people to buy a particular product. Laws requiring drivers to carry auto insurance do the same thing, but people can choose not to own a car. The health insurance mandate includes no such alternative.

"In the history of this country, the federal government has never required every American to enter into a contract with a private company," said Randy Barnett, a professor of constitutional law at Georgetown University Law Center.

Barnett and two co-authors made the case against the individual mandate in a legal memorandum published by the conservative Heritage Foundation in early December. To uphold the constitutionality of the individual mandate, they argued, the Supreme Court would have to find that the Constitution's Commerce Clause has "no limits."

"If Congress can mandate this, they can mandate anything," they wrote. "Congress could require every American to buy a new Chevy Impala every year, or pay a 'tax' equivalent to its blue book value, because such purchases would stimulate commerce and repay government loans."


the ind mand is corporate slavery without a no to low cost way for every fucking person in this country to carry health insurance



                                               Look at the flowers

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