As the year known as 2014 comes to a close and the new year of 2015 creeps closer the subject of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may start to overtake the conversation of Americans as the Individual Mandate may finally be enforced throughout the country.
The question, at times, that has been raised at many conferences and seminars I have spoken at has been “why was the Affordable Care Act even been created” especially as it would seem that it may not be all that affordable and that many people seem to be diametrically opposed to it.
The answer, believe or not, can actually be found in the law itself as it clearly states, with in HR 3590, on pages 124 through 134 of the “Individual Responsibility” section the reason why.
Within this section it clearly states that “half of all personal bankruptcies are caused in part by medical expenses,” and that the best way to help this situation is, “by significantly increasing health insurance coverage, the requirement, together with the other provisions of this Act, will improve financial security for families”.
So in a nut shell, the ACA was created to help US citizens be able to ensure their economic independence especially if some form of medical happenstance occurred, but, then, how could this law be enforced?
Again, the answer lies within pages 124 through 134 as the law, on page 124, states that “the individual responsibility requirement is commercial and economic in nature, and substantially affects interstate commerce.”
It delves deeper on this on page 125 in the section aptly titled “Effects on the National Economy and Interstate Commerce” which states that:
- “The requirement (the individual mandate) regulates activity that is commercial and economic in nature: economic and financial decisions about how and when health care is paid for, and when health insurance is purchased.
- “Health insurance and health care services are a significant part of the national economy. Since most health insurance is sold by national or regional health insurance companies, health insurance is sold in interstate commerce and claims payments flow through interstate commerce.
- “Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.), the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 201 et seq.), and this Act, the Federal Government has a significant role in regulating health insurance which is in interstate commerce.
- “By significantly increasing health insurance coverage and the size of purchasing pools, which will increase economies of scale, the requirement, together with the other provisions of this Act, will significantly reduce administrative costs and lower health insurance premiums.”
Simply put, the policy makers of the ACA used the “Interstate Commerce Clause” rule to regulate activities over State borders and impose a tax on all citizens due to healthcare affecting many.
The argument that can be made is that a person who chooses not to have health insurance in Bangor ME, may impact the overall health insurance rates and increase costs of health care for someone in Tulsa, OK, so there has to be an entity to control all of this, which, today, in America, would be the federal government.
This may be the exact reason why Chief Justice John Roberts made his ruling on the constitutionally of the ACA, since the US Constitution states clearly that “Congress shall have power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
A very simple rationale behind why the ACA was created could be surmised that it was for our own good and that the reason it can be imposed on every US citizen is that it, in fact, is really just a tax the federal government can impose by law.
Again, this is just a simple reason that can be found in the law itself and may not be the exact reason as it would it appear that the ACA is really good for the economy, even though it may not be that great for you.