Constitutionality Of Health Care Reform Law Questioned

The principle issue before the justices is whether people be required to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional.

Lugar

Photo: Robert Ward (Wikipedia Commons)

Lugar says it exists "in theory and hope", but it's never been before Congress as a piece of legislation.

The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing three days of oral arguments over the constitutionality of the 2010 federal health care reform law. Indiana Senator Richard Lugar and Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller were present for the first day of arguments.

The principle issue before the justices is whether people be required to purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. Backers of the plan say the “individual mandate” was designed to help more people get affordable health insurance coverage but Senator Lugar disagrees.

“I’m doubtful the mandate route is the way to go given the number of alternatives suggested in recent years that involve much more marked economic principles,” he says.

Senator Lugar pointed out another dilemma is that the bill has never been written. He says it exists “in theory and hope”, but it’s never been before Congress as a piece of legislation.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says parts of the provisions within the law could stick even if it‘s ruled unconstitutional.

“Even if the statute is struck down, the contracts people have with insurance carriers may still survive, based on contract and not statutory provisions,” he says.

Zoeller says he recognized the justices were very sensitive to how the ruling might impact other tax cases.

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