ObamaCare and the Commerce Clause


The Wall Street Journal's Jess Bravin reports on some of the potential constitutional problems with ObamaCare:

Since the New Deal era, the Supreme Court has broadly interpreted congressional authority under the Commerce Clause. Congress has successfully invoked that power to limit the amount of wheat farmers can grow, ban racial discrimination at restaurants and prosecute medical patients for raising marijuana to alleviate their symptoms.

But the court has never considered a federal program structured like the health overhaul, which would require people without insurance to buy it or face a tax or penalty. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service said in July that it was a "challenging question" whether the commerce power extends that far….

Democrats say that failing to buy insurance is a form of economic activity, because it shifts costs to others in the marketplace through higher insurance premiums, and onto the public when the uninsured use emergency rooms to obtain primary care.

Read the whole thing here.