biz, legal, and professionalism

Federal Healthcare Law: Mandate Madness

You’ve been hearing about it in the news for over a year now—since Congress rushed to enact the 2,700-page “Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act” over the strong objections of the American people.  Never before has the federal government required every American to purchase a product or service—merely for existing, rather than for voluntarily participating in an activity the government may regulate. 

Congress knew there were constitutional questions.  Congress knew that legal challenges were on the horizon.  But they rushed forward, ignoring the will of the people and the Constitution.  Just minutes after the Act was passed, the lawsuits began.  Cases are now winding their way through the federal appellate courts.  Recently, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Richmond, VA, is hearing oral arguments in two cases.   Other circuits will soon weigh in.  Eventually the U.S. Supreme Court will have to weigh in.

Deborah, author of Death of a Christian Nation, has written briefs for the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits about the constitutional deficiencies in the new law.  Congress asserts power under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which allows it to regulate interstate commerce.  But the decision not to purchase health insurance is inactivity—not the sort of economic or commercial activity Congress may regulate.  The federal government is a government of limited, specifically enumerated powers.  The health care law stretches the elastic too far and threatens to destroy any limits on congressional power. 

America is a land of liberty and freedom—not a land where the government compels every citizen to purchase a particular product or service.  Americans pay taxes but law-abiding citizens decide where to live, what to eat, what to wear, what to drive, what to buy.  The implications of the health care law are frightening.  It is important to care for the poor and sick, but not at the expense of basic freedoms Americans cherish.

By deborahlawyer

Senior legal counsel for JUSTICE AND FREEDOM FUND ( who writes briefs about religious liberty and free speech; author; speaker; graduate of Westminster Seminary; ventriloquist-songwriter with fun, creative ministry to young kids (

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