Health Disparities Essay

1098 words - 5 pages

The Affordable Care Act’s Individual Mandate, the main component of President Obama’s health care bill, is mean t to help decrease the number of American’s who do not have any type of insurance plan, will levy a fine, not a tax, on those who do not obey the law. However, the fine is meant to be a disincentive for being uninsured. Nevertheless, what is the government’s goal in this seemingly encroaching tactic? It is to lower health care cost across the board in all states and increase patient access to healthcare. However, does this sanction the government to infringe on our personal liberties? The answer is no; the government is in practice, forcing someone to buy something that they may or may not believe they need but to compel someone to do anything that they don’t want to do is wrong. Nonetheless, the government’s right of action in this case is the legislative right and duty to uphold the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution which gives Congress the power to levy taxes, fines, and regulate interstate commerce in order to maintain order and peace between state and federal governments.
Another instance in which the law permits the government to infringe on personal liberties is in the case of private companies in the United States which thanks to Citizen’s United vs. U.S. (2009) grants corporations, big and small, the right to provide donations to political campaigns and which gives corporations rights that are equal to an individual’s. For example, Big Tobacco advertisement and the corporation’s right to advertise on its product in the United States without the government placing burdening regulations on advertisements. In the Reynolds Tobacco case against the Federal Drug Administration (2012), the FDA claimed that it had a legal right to enforce the Tobacco Control Act which gave it the power to place graphic signs on tobacco products which showed the adverse affects of smoking, and that it also had a duty to the American public to show it those affects. However Reynolds Tobacco counter claim was that the FDA had established many levels of burdening regulations and stipulations to prevent consumers from purchasing their products and that their “gun-to-the-head” tactics would vastly affect their profit margins. The FDA, as an arm of the federal government, was forcing the hand of the tobacco company to negatively advertise its own products, which under the tenth amendment of the Constitution provided states the police power to regulate and maintain the health and the public safety of its citizens.
Another instance of the government trying to extend its reach into our personal liberties, is the Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), which was a case where vaccinations were being mandated by the state to keep an instance of the plague from spreading and which, if citizens were to deny the vaccination, they would be jailed, fined, and given the vaccinations either way. Although the state had a legitimate interest in compelling...

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