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Does the constitutionality of a law mean the right decisions have been made?
The decision by the Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care Act brings a question as to whether all laws which are considered to be constitutional mean the right decisions are made. Clearly the decision of the Supreme Court was divided on the issue before it with the 5 to 4 vote. Each one of us has the right to our opinion and the reaction to the decision has been unrelenting.
The health care law passed in 2010 has been unpopular since its passage. The legislation has seen many discussions and approaches to what is in the legislation from both sides of the political spectrum. This has caused confusion to some extent but the details which have been forthcoming have not changed the public’s mind about not wanting this legislation in place. The decision of the Supreme Court has fortified efforts of the Republican base and the Tea Party movement to energize their battle against the legislation.
The legislation does have some good perspectives but the concept of government getting involved with healthcare decisions between a doctor and his patient leaves a bad taste with the public. Much legislation is introduced and passed each Congressional session and while we may not be impacted in a personal way by all of them this legislation will impact every man, woman and child in the United States. The responsibilities of Congress are clearly identified within the Constitution but creating legislation which is considered constitutional does not mean the approach being taken on issues are the right decisions for the public.
Tough decisions on sometimes controversial issues will always be required of our elected officials. Each time legislation is created to address issues our Senators and Representatives at all levels of government must ensure the right approach is being taken. Our Constitution is the basis for all legislative actions or should be but there is a difference between taking the right approach on issues which best serve the public and serving their political party.
Constitutionality of legislation is important more so today than ever before and the decision by the Supreme Court for which I highly respect the institution has created a firestorm of negative reaction from the public in general. It has created the principle that just because legislation meets the requirements under the Constitution it does not mean the public will just accept the details of the approach taken. Such is the case with the healthcare legislation. It was unpopular when it was passed and if it is possible it is even more unpopular today after the Supreme Court decision.
It is true that some individuals, organizations and elected officials are satisfied with the decision of the court while others are not. The battle over this legislation began when it was first introduced and signed into law. The true impact of this legislation and response from the public will be seen come Election Day and may be exhibited in some poll numbers between now and then. Elected officials who voted for the legislation may face some backlash from those who elected them. Declaring this legislation or any legislation constitutional will have little or any impact on the acceptance of the public on its content.
Certain principles were laid out when our country was found and today these principles seem to be fading away. There are many elected officials who take their responsibilities seriously but the amount of legislation, the topics and the approach taken may have unintended results which contradict the objectives. The principle behind the healthcare legislation is an admirable one but the reaction from the public even today is not what was expected when it was originally passed. We as individuals have certain rights and privileges guaranteed under the Constitution. We have the legal and moral responsibility to make our own decisions about our lives as long as they do not violate federal or state laws. It is not the job of government to get involved with decisions we make especially regarding healthcare. Decisions between our doctor and us as the patient should be our decision as to the care we receive not any government entity.
The decision we make as voters come Election Day in November 2012 as I have stated in the past will be a defining moment in our history more than it was in 2008. Voters must decide if the approach presently being taken by our government is what we want to occur. The question to be answered is whether we want a continued expansion of government involvement in our lives or do we want less government. Legislation whether it is constitutional or not must ensure the rights we have as individuals are not impacted by the content. We must look at the decisions made by our elected officials and whether they are for the public or the political agenda of their party. The decision we make will impact us, our family and our friends today and into the foreseeable future.