LJWorld.com weblogs Science Becoming Religion
Did Obamacare Ruling Overturn Roe v. Wade?
Those arguing over the constitutionality of Obamacare have consistently ignored the fact that Obamacare conflicts with the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade. The Court's decision to uphold Obamacare may provide statements that could be used to justify regulating and possibly even prohibiting abortion.
The Court wouldn't need to refer to Roe v. Wade to in effect overturn it. The justices could inadvertently overturn Roe v. Wade by making statements that conflict with it. Attorneys could use such conflicts to argue that Roe v. Wade is no longer consistent with the Court's interpretation of the Constitution.
I'm going to leave the tedious process of examining specific comments by the Justices to those who get paid to do such things. I'm more interested in the general theory involved.
There is a certain absurdity to the Roe v. Wade ruling. The ruling is based on a philosophy of limited government that is closer to the normal views of those called "conservatives" than to the views of those called "liberals". However, the conservatives have traditionally opposed the decision and the liberals have supported it.
The two groups also reverse their normal positions on regulation of abortion providers. Conservatives, who normally try to limit government regulations, favor strict regulation of abortion providers. Liberals, who normally favor strict regulation of health care providers, believe women who seek abortions don't deserve the same protective regulations of health care providers that protect those who visit facilities that treat both men and women.
The philosophy of Roe v. Wade is that health care decisions like abortion are a private matter and government has only limited authority to intervene in private health care decisions. Obamacare is based on a philosophy that there is no right to privacy in health care. Government can control what health care people can obtain by forcing them to purchase insurance that may not cover the type of health care they want or need.
For example, consider the case of a young transsexual who wants to save money he budgets for health care until he has enough money to pay for surgery to transform him into a woman. He might be unable to save his money for the operation if he had to first pay for insurance that would not cover the cost of the operation. Or, consider the case of a young woman who wants to fix what she considers flaws in her appearance, including paying for breast enhancement. Insurance companies wouldn't cover such procedures.
Congress can require people to purchase insurance that only covers conventional treatments that don't help them.. If they benefit from "experimental" treatments instead they must first pay for the type treatment that doesn't help them before they pay for the treatment that works.
Under Obamacare, wealthy members of Congress decide whether or not individuals can afford health insurance regardless of the needs and priorities of specific individuals. Under Obamacare there is no right to privacy in determining spending priorities. Government dictates what they must spend on the health care the government decides they can have.
The people who voted in Obamacare ignore the fact that a Republican president and Congress could make different decisions about health care than a Democratic president and Congress. For example, a Republican president might be able to sharply limit the medical procedures associated with abortion.