Legal Professor Randy Barnett: the constitutional challenges to the healthcare reform law

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April 20, 2010

The new healthcare reform law will impact local hospitals and state budgets as the number of Medicaid patients increase. The plan to close St. Vincent’s is related to Medicaid issues. Healthcare systems in states across the country are struggling and concerned about the changes in store. As a result, numerous Attorneys Generals have filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the new healthcare reform law.

Georgetown Law Center Legal Theory Professor Randy Barnett discusses the core arguments being made by numerous State Attorneys Generals that the newly passed healthcare reform law is unconstitutional. In Part 1, the “commerce clause”, whether that empowers the federal government to mandate health insurance, and the tax penalty for those not purchasing insurance, are evaluated on the merits.


In Part 2, Professor Barnett discusses whether the new law infringes on the sovereignty of the states, and privacy rights of individuals. He then estimates the chances of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the Attorney General’s lawsuits.


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