Even among Americans who support President Obama’s health care overhaul, a large majority believe that the law is out of step with the U.S. Constitution, a Gallup poll released Monday revealed.
The poll, conducted Feb. 20–21, indicates that 72 percent of Americans believe the individual mandate — the government’s requirement for Americans to purchase health insurance — is unconstitutional. Even among Americans who feel the president’s health care law is a “good thing,” 54 percent think the provision is unconstitutional.
Just 37 percent of Democrats said the individual health care mandate is constitutional. A mere 6 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of Independents agreed.
The poll question read, “As you may know, the Supreme Court will hear arguments next month concerning a requirement in the healthcare law that every American must buy health insurance or pay a fine. Regardless of whether you favor or oppose the law, do you think this requirement is constitutional or unconstitutional?”
“The individual mandate is clearly unconstitutional,” Northwestern University Law School Professor Stephen Presser told The Daily Caller. “All you have to do is read the Tenth Amendment, which says the powers not granted to the federal government are reserved to the states … and the founders meant that.”
The Obama administration touts the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 as one of its most significant achievements. That law, however, has yet to attract a groundswell of support from a majority of the American people.
Additionally, 27 U.S. states have filed lawsuits against the federal government over the law, and a new battle is brewing over the so-called “contraception mandate” found in the bill. That provision threatens to force religious employers to provide health insurance that includes access to contraceptives and abortion-inducing medications that conflict with some faiths’ teachings.