Obamacare, Stepping on our Individual Liberties?
Built Upon Individual Liberties…
America was built on some key ideas; mainly individual liberties, individual religious freedoms, and the right to pursue individual happiness. While we know that nothing is simple, nor black and white, these few basic principles were the foundation for our country.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” –Declaration of Independence as originally written by Thomas Jefferson, 1776. ME 1:29, Papers 1:315
As Americans, there are a few lines within both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights that we know very well. Above is an example of that. And we pull out those few key phrases when we feel our individual rights, freedoms, and liberties are being slowly hacked away at.
Individual Mandate and Penalties
Section 1501 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires individuals to either obtain a minimum level of health insurance coverage or pay a penalty for failing to do so. This individual mandate is set to take effect starting in 2014, when non-insurance holders will pay a fine up $95 or up to 1% of their overall income. That fine will go up by 2016, when non-insurance holders will pay $695 or up to 2.5% of their overall income.
Is this unconstitutional? Twenty states think so, and are suing the federal government claiming that the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision exceeded the power of Congress under the Commerce and General Welfare clauses of the U.S. Constitution. It’s complicated, but ultimately the lawsuit claims that the individual mandate section of health care reform is unconstitutional, and a federal Florida judge has at least partially agreed. The hearing and oral argument on the motion for summary judgment will be held Dec. 16.
Under the individual mandate, nearly 4 million Americans will have to pay a penalty if they fail to get health insurance when the health care overhaul kicks in, according to the AP. The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 a piece in 1026, and the vast majority of those paying fines will be of the middle class, according to CBSNews.com.