The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has its history in the Presidential campaign of Barack Obama in November 2008. The candidate stated that healthcare was a major threat to the American economy due to its exorbitant cost. The statute entered into force on 23rd March 2011 after the president’s assent. The statute’s long process dates back to December 24, 2009, when the Senate overwhelmingly passed the bill. According to the statute, over thirty million Americans’ opportunity to access health cover is guaranteed. With an increment in the national spending, the statute is one of the highly controversial health laws in America contrary to the previous health law (Health Care Reform, p.1).
A spirited fight against the statute has been put up by several organizations and individuals vehemently challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The battlefield of the said individuals and organizations has been in the streets through demonstrations; while others have filed claims in the federal court. Federal courts have been hesitant on declaring the statute unconstitutional. The recent decision by the federal courts in the respective states only declared a slight portion of the statute unconstitutional. It is worth noting that federal courts do not have the jurisdiction to declare a certain law unconstitutional. The said powers are solely possessed by the Supreme Court. The matter has been taken to the Supreme Court which subsequently guaranteed the petitioners a judicial review of the filed suits (Barnett, p.583).
The statute has strong points of contention. Lawmakers who rejected the statute from the start have questioned the validity of the Act in imposing a fine on individuals who fail to buy insurance health cover. The power of Congress to impose the tax is questioned. A total of twenty-eight states have challenged the above provision in joint suits stating clearly that the mandatory provisions of the law are against the constitutional right of liberty (Health Care Reform, p.1).
The effects of the Supreme Court rendering the Patient Protection and Affordable Act unconstitutional
There have been speculations on the outcome of the cases that the Supreme Court has agreed to consider but it is still doubtful whether the Supreme Court will declare the Act unconstitutional. Many legal analysts have a conviction that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the Act. The Supreme Court ruling to the contrary will mean setting a very bad precedent which will cost the Americans a big deal before it is overruled. Approximately Thirty million Americans will lose a chance to have affordable health care (Barnett, p.585).
The Importance of better and affordable healthcare in America cannot be ignored. The Patient Protection and Affordable Act offer a cost-friendly healthcare insurance policy. Amendments are possible but it is unreasonable to declare the entire Act unconstitutional due to few provisions. A perfect law is inconceivable and a bigger portion of the statute outweighs the slightly disputed provisions hence the Supreme Court should uphold the law.
Barnett, Randy. Commandeering the People: Why the Individual Health Insurance Mandate is Unconstitutional. New York University Journal of Law & Liberty. 5, 2011: 581-637.
Health Care Reform, (2011) History of the Passage of the March 2010 Health Care Reform Laws, 2011. Web.