Affordable Care Act Constitutionality of the Affordable Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Affordable Care Act

Constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act: What Would Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson Say?

The cornerstone of the recently-passed Affordable Care Act is the requirement that all Americans must buy some form of health insurance. This is necessary, given the new requirements put upon health insurance companies to cover the uninsured with preexisting conditions, so people cannot simply wait until they are sick to buy health insurance. The constitutional question at stake is if Congress can compel citizens to purchase a 'product' in the form of health insurance from private industry. This hinges upon the Supreme Court's interpretation of the scope of the Commerce Clause. With respect to this clause, advocates of the bill state that Congress has a right to "regulate the insurance industry" to make the ACA effective, "or can do so by using its authority under the clause permitting it 'to make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution' its enumerated powers" as well as its ability to regulate interstate commerce (Mariner et al. 2011).

Today, the debate over healthcare is often painted in shades of 'red' and 'blue' or conservative Republican vs. liberal Democrat. Although the party lines have been redrawn many times since the nation's founding, the Founding Fathers were similarly divided in terms of how they viewed the ideological orientation of the new nation. Alexander Hamilton might be what is called today an advocate of 'big' government. Hamilton "sought a strong central government acting in the interests of commerce and industry. He brought to public life a love of efficiency, order and organization" (Hamilton vs. Jefferson, n.d., U.S. Department of State). He was an advocate for commercial interests and a strong hand of government which he believed was necessary to exercise authority over the will of the people.

In America today, there is a popular upsurge against the idea that the government can…

Sources Used in Document:


Hamilton vs. Jefferson. (n.d.).U.S. Department of State. Country Studies. Retrieved:

Mariner, Wendy K., George J. Annas, & Leonard H. Glantz. (2011). Can Congress make you buy broccoli? And why that's a hard question. New England Journal of Medicine.

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