If We Can Force People to Purchase Health Insurance, Then Let’s Force Them to Be Treated Too
13 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2012 Last revised: 1 May 2012
Date Written: February 9, 2012
This article argues that Supreme Court approval of Congressional authority, exercised in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to require the individual purchase of health insurance on interstate commerce grounds necessarily translates into Congressional power to positively affect interstate commerce by mandating that individuals submit to undergo certain forms of demonstrably cost-effective medical treatment (e.g., influenza vaccination, treatment of depression, and reduction of cardiovascular disease through medication to control blood pressure and cholesterol). The article assumes that the Supreme Court will endorse the public health (“Health care is special”) rationale undergirding the PPACA and extends that rationale to potential federal mandates that individuals submit to medical interventions shown to improve their individual health and society’s well-being. Objections to such federal mandates of medical treatment are noted, but rejected. If Americans do not have a constitutional right to refuse to purchase an individual health insurance policy, then neither do they have a legally enforceable right to refuse specific socially beneficial medical treatments.
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