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Presidential Power: Does the President Have Too Much Power

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America to most people is freedom, opportunity, fair and the greatest country in the world. I disagree with most people. Although I will admit, America was great, and many of these key values people had about America were true, it was a fair place for all, the government was great and the focus was on the people and a booming middle class. But, ever since Theodore Roosevelt’s presidency, the role of the president had begun to inflate in power, much with the aid of Congress, whom by the way is supposed to prevent this from happening, and this over-inflation of power and method of presidency has continued to grow into each president and Congress member as the years passed, changing the government's focus from its people, to its own evaluation of what is good for the nation. This influx in executive power has given too much power to the President and Congress, rather than to its people, resulting in controversial laws, mandates and executive orders that do not seem pragmatic and bend our Constitution. The way health care has been managed in the United States is an example of an unconstitutional law that has passed due to these shifts in political focus and inflation of powers.

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President Barack Obama stressed the importance of healthcare for all, and he pushed for laws to ensure the public guaranteed health coverage, and as a result, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in the United States. Although the ACA did provide health insurance to those who could not afford or qualify for adequate health insurance, it also created forced commerce by the government, forcing people to buy premiums they did not need, and many insurance companies also began to lose money due to having to cover for people who would normally not qualify for health insurance which in turn created even higher premiums and dramatically rose the price of healthcare, doing the opposite of its intent. But not only is the ACA a failure, but it is also unconstitutional because it violates state sovereignty and it wrongly uses the Commerce Clause. In 2010, twenty-eight states filed a joint lawsuit against the department of health, and they argued that to regulate non-economic activity, like health-care, under the Commerce Clause, it must oblige with the Necessary and Proper Clause. The Necessary and Proper Clause allows Congress to have the power to accomplish an “enumerated power” that is consistent with the constitution, appropriate, and “adapted to an end”. Requiring citizens to be forced to purchase insurance they do not desire or need, and ensuing a penalty for it, although removed in 2017, is indeed against what the Constitution is about and this is a clear example of the president and Congress perverting the foundation of the Constitution, removing the rights for people to purchase an insurance plan that is tailored to them, that is decided by officials they elected in their state, receiving a more suited type of insurance, instead of this forced imperfect solution scrambled together by Congress and President Obama. This is, in fact, a state matter and not a national matter because health insurance is not something that can be generalized for everyone, it should be established based on personal preferences, and medical needs so that insurers and insurees obtain coverage that is decided by them, and not controlled by the government.

Although President Obama passed the most executive orders in presidential history and stressed on his Obama Care, he hasn't been the only president to act in this way. It is happening currently with President Donald Trump, Trump has passed many executive orders that are questionable like the Muslim Travel Ban. But Trump is also not the only president to abuse is presidential status, it has been a common reoccurrence in the last few decades and has created this rise of political partisanship, where the country is divided up so bad that politicians are blindly following their party’s ideas and defending them even without understanding their position, which in turn creates a political atmosphere that does not allow change, and continues to allow Congress and presidents to not have their checks and balances. The United States government has shifted from accounting to the opinions of the people and has given too much power to itself. Something must change, but alas it may take something drastic to get the United States back on track, maybe China rising as the next world leader will put America in check. 

Works cited

  1. Roosevelt, T. (1913). New Nationalism Speech. Retrieved from https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/new-nationalism-speech
  2. Cannon, L. (2018). Teddy Roosevelt: The Man Who Changed the Face of America. Simon & Schuster.
  3. King, D. C., & Ragsdale, L. (2013). The New American Political System: Aei Studies 501. American Enterprise Institute.
  4. Obama, B. (2010). Remarks by the President on Health Insurance Reform. Retrieved from https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-health-insurance-reform
  5. United States Congress. (2010). Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Retrieved from https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-111hr3590enr/pdf/BILLS-111hr3590enr.pdf
  6. Bagley, N. (2012). The Politics of Health Care Reform: Lessons from the Clinton Era. University Press of Kansas.
  7. Barnett, R. E., & Wood, D. E. (2016). Restoring the Lost Constitution: The Presumption of Liberty. Princeton University Press.
  8. Kersch, K. I. (2012). The Necessary and Proper Clause: Its Origins and Meaning. Cambridge University Press.
  9. Krugman, P. (2010). The Conscience of a Liberal. W. W. Norton & Company.
  10. Mayer, J. (2016). Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. Anchor.

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