By John Hendrickson
The United States Supreme Court declared that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is constitutional in a surprising five-to-four decision. Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the four liberal Justices on the Court, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan, in upholding most of the ACA. At the heart of the ACA is the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty for not complying. President Barack Obama and other progressives argued that Congress has the authority to force people to buy health insurance under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. Chief Justice John Roberts in his majority opinion did not agree that Congress has the power to enforce the mandate through the Commerce Clause, but he believed that the mandate is constitutional under the taxing authority. The Court’s decision over the ACA not only further elevates the importance of the upcoming presidential election, but also raises some important concerns over the future of constitutional limited government.
To read Public Interest Institute’s INSTITUTE BRIEF, Health Care, the Supreme Court, and the Future of Limited Government, please click HERE.