The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to perform a review of the healthcare overhaul by the Obama administration in order to determine if it is constitutional.
This debate will no doubt be a topic that will help to decide the shape of the presidential election in 2012, and will help to determine how much power the federal government will have over healthcare and insurance.
The Supreme Court justices have said that they will be considering the constitutionality of the healthcare overhaul’s requirement that all Americans must purchase health insurance by 2014 or they will face a tax penalty. This law is the cornerstone of the healthcare reforms and oral arguments will begin on the topic as early as the end of February, but more likely in March 2012.
This will hand the Supreme Court an influence over the election that has never before been experienced. The ruling will likely be made by June, only a few short months before the election itself. This ruling may be the defining moment in the court under Chief Justice John Roberts. It will decide whether it will be seen as a nonpolitical body that will use the elected branches to answer questions on policy, or whether it will be viewed as an aggressive constitutional boundary enforcer.
Those opposed to the healthcare reforms – which are made up of 26 states headed by Florida – claim that by forcing individuals to obtain health insurance even if they want to pay for their own medical expenses or if they do not intend to ever seek professional health services, Congress went above its authority.