Monday, December 21, 2009

Constitutionality of the Reid Health Care Bill

Harvard Econ professor, Greg Mankiw, linked this article from Medical Progress Today on the constitutionality of the Reid health care bill.  It seems the author Richard Epstein concludes there are serious constitutional issues in the bill and the constitutionality should be tested before the program is implemented.  Here is an excerpt:
The health of the American people should not be held hostage to such unwise legislation. The Senate should reject the Reid Bill because of the unsustainability of the statutory scheme regulating health-insurance markets. But there is also little doubt that its central arrangements are unconstitutional, and will face serious legal challenge for years to come. Rather than embarking on a fundamentally flawed course of action, sure to spark litigation, the Senate should start over with other reforms that go in the opposite direction: simplify the system so that market forces can increase both quality and access in ways that no system of government mandates can hope to do. Deregulation is a word that has been forgotten in the current debate. It should be returned to center stage.[4]
Since the bill will not be implemented for four years, there is sure to be a constitutional challenge to this bill.   Watching the Senate Democrats commit political suicide this morning with their vote convinced me that the bill will pass barring some miracle taking place to stop it.  At least the question of constitutionality can be explored, a point Epstein makes with certainty.  Epstein's credentials are impeccable, by the way:
Richard A. Epstein is the James Parker Hall Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago, the Peter and Kirstin Bedford Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a visiting professor at the NYU Law School, and a visiting scholar at the Manhattan Institute.

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