Constitutionality of health overhaul questioned


Donald Lambro
The Washington Times
October 28, 2009

[efoods]On top of all the other obstacles facing President Obama in his quest to pass health reform is this one: Does the U.S. Constitution allow the government to require uninsured Americans to buy medical insurance or impose a tax penalty if they refuse?

Congress has never before required citizens to purchase any good or service, but that is what both House and Senate health bills would mandate.

While this debate has been overshadowed by other issues involving the plan’s nearly $1 trillion cost and its government-run option, the constitutional argument strikes at a pivotal part of the health care plan’s finances. To make a government-run health care plan work, the nation’s largely uninsured young adults would need to be covered to help subsidize medical care for older and typically less-healthy Americans, legislators say.

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