The Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is a federal statute that was signed into law by President Barak Obama on March 23, 2010. The PPACA which is commonly referred to as “Obamacare” was endorsed by lawmakers based on the objective of shifting healthcare cost from the employer to the government. The enactment of the PPACA has been viewed as unprecedented by many based on the constitutionality concerns related to healthcare reform. In order to address some of the concerns related to healthcare reform it is important to go back and view the nation’s history.
Prior to the nation experiencing globalization and free trade, businesses were designed as employee based models, freely offering health care coverage to their employees as a perk to promote loyalty among other incentives within their companies. As a result of globalization, employers have become less capable of offering the same healthcare coverage based on competition with other countries. In order for companies to stay competitive with the current free trade agreements, companies are finding it necessary to cut their overhead expenses, hence cutting healthcare coverage for employers.
In other words, in a global economy the healthcare status quo is unsustainable; wages and incomes have progressively flat lined over the years due to the increase in healthcare coverage costs, these costs makes it impossible for employers to give raises to their employees and stay competitive within a global market. These issues endanger the survival our nation’s small businesses as well as large corporations, basically disrupting our nation’s commerce, which entitles the government to intercede with healthcare reform based on the commerce clause enumerated power listed in our constitution giving congress power to regulate commerce (Scott, 2003).
In order to evaluate the relevance of the arguments related to the laws constitutionality it is important to address how our nations forefathers interpreted the language within the constitution. For example, globalization was not a concern when the constitution was written by our forefathers, yet neither was driving a vehicle. However, lawmaker’s enacted laws requiring every individual to wear safety belts while operating a vehicle, as well as every state mandating individual’s carry valid insurance on their vehicles. So, there is really no difference in the government mandating healthcare for every individual. The Justice Department says America's health insurance market and its health care system are so inextricably intertwined that Congress has plenty of room under the commerce clause to regulate them as it sees fit (Pickert, 2011). In other words, no one really disputes Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce, and it's silly to argue that health care--which accounts for 17% of the U.S. economy--doesn't involve interstate commerce (Stengel, 2011), therefore giving the government every right to invoke a healthcare law.