The Obama health care plan got exactly what the doctor ordered Wednesday, when a federal court held the “individual mandate” provision was constitutional. The judgment by the Sixth Circuit reiterated the fact that Congress did not exceed its enumerated powers granted in the Commerce Clause.
This marks the fourth time a federal court has ruled that the provision, which requires all Americans to obtain health care, is constitutional; it serves as another reminder to those who continue to question the legality of the bill that this country will inevitably have a new health care system.
This is more than just a victory of the Obama administration. It is an important win for American citizens, and it comes in the wake of crime committed by an American citizen that shows the need for our country’s health care reform.
Last week, a man from North Carolina showed the dire consequences a person is willing to take to obtain health care coverage, in a way that seems more fitting for a Hollywood script than reality. Suffering from multiple health ailments and with no job opportunities, Richard James Verone believed he was out of options. So Verone robbed a bank for health care. He walked into the RBC Bank, slipped the teller a note and demanded money. Verone was not looking to get a large sum of cash, he asked for $1; just $1. A minimal amount to get him charged and sent to jail.
This was not like the scene in “Dog Day Afternoon” where Sonny Wortzik, played by Al Pacino, comes out and yells “Att-i-ca, Att-i-ca, Att-i-ca” to a fascinated crowd in the middle of a standoff with police. This is real life; Verone wanted to be caught. In fact, he sat on the couch and waited for police to come so he could be arrested. Through his actions, Verone has not yelled out “Att-i-ca” to an anxious crowd; he has yelled out “Health Care, Health Care, Health Care” to the citizens of America.
Verone’s actions, while not the route that a majority of Americans would take, are a sad reminder to all of us as to how important the health care bill is, and how much health care reform is needed in this country. The ruling by the federal appellate court validates the health care bill in the four states covered within its jurisdiction: Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. It is only a matter of time before the split between the federal appellate courts regarding the health care bill is resolved by the Supreme Court. Until then, all proponents of the bill can do is enjoy this latest victory in the health care battle.
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