Is Obama Care Illegal?
by Dom Armentano
The attorney generals in several states (including Florida where I live) are mounting a constitutional attack on Obama Care. The focus of that attack is the claim that the Commerce Clause in the Constitution cannot be stretched to mandate that individuals be required to purchase health insurance.
Article 1, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution reads that “the Congress shall have power…to regulate commerce…among the several states”) and appears to provide broad regulatory powers to the federal government. Yet many Republicans, libertarians, and Tea Party advocates hold that the Founders intended a “free enterprise” system here with only a very limited role for government regulation.
In actual fact governmental regulation of business – including health and safety regulation – has always existed in the U.S. Even during the Colonial period, hundreds of laws regulating “commerce” hampered strict free trade. That trend accelerated in the late 19th Century (Interstate Commerce Commission and the Sherman Antitrust Act) and expanded immensely during World War 1.