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    Commentary:

    In March of 2010, President Obama passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act. The purpose of this law is to help out uninsured and underinsured citizens of the United States. There are many different aspects of this law, including what will covered under the insurance. But, one major issue that has been in the spotlight recently is a piece of the bill that states that all United States citizens must have health insurance by 2014. If they do not, there will consequences taken out on them through their taxes.
    . The law was passed by the mostly Democratic legislation, but with the new elections, most of the legislation is now Republican. Republicans are siding with the people on this one. They believe it is not legal for the federal government to say what people must have and what they must not have. Both the Republicans and most citizens are against it. There are currently 19 different states that have had lawsuits about this clause brought up in their courts. Michigan is included. In early October, a Michigan judge dismissed the lawsuit brought to his court saying that Congress has every right to try to "eliminate cost-shifting by uninsured Americans." The plaintiffs of the lawsuit claim that Congress does not have any authority to pass the law. Under the Commerce Clause of the United States constitution, they say, this health insurance law is an unconstitutional tax.

    There are three parts of the bill that all need to be accounted for in order for it to work. The Democrats see this and are urging citizens to see it too. The three parts are guaranteed issues, subsidies, and the mandate. What people are angry about is the mandate. The mandate is needed, though, to make sure people don't just buy health insurance when they are sick. If one of these three parts is taken out of the whole, the program will shut down. Democrats believe that if the courts rule against the bill, the health care field will most likely turn out worse.

    As for my opinion, well, both sides of the legislation pose strong arguments. As to who's right, I honestly don't know. I feel like the Republicans are overreacting just a bit, but the Democrats really don't know how the health care field will end up. I say that if it has the potential to fix the huge circle of debt the health care system is in right now, they might as well go for it.

    Sources:
    http://www.michigancapitolconfidential.com/14097
    http://www.lexisnexis.com/Community/emergingissues/blogs/spotlightonhealthcarereform/archive/2010/10/11/patient-protection-and-affordable-health-care-act-not-violative-of-constitution-permitted-under-commerce-clause-rules-federal-judge.aspx
    http://www.cnn.com/2010/POLITICS/12/01/health.care.ruling/
    http://www.frumforum.com/how-repealing-the-health-mandate-could-backfire

     

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    The Michigan Policy Network is a student-led public education and research program to report and organize news and information about the political process surrounding Michigan state policy issues. It is run out of the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, with participation by students from the College of Social Science, the College of Communication, and James Madison College. 

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