Mr. BAUCUS. Mr. President, as a second example, I refer my colleagues to an article by Mark Hall, a law professor at Wake Forest University. His article is a comprehensive peer-reviewed analysis of the constitutionality of a Federal individual responsibility requirement.
In this article, Professor Hall concludes that there are no plausible 10th amendment or States' rights issues arising from the imposition by Congress of an individual responsibility to maintain health coverage.
Professor Hall notes further that health care and health insurance both affect and are distributed through interstate commerce, and that gives Congress the power to legislate a coverage requirement using its commerce clause powers.
Professor Hall notes that the Supreme Court indicated in its decision in U.S. v. Morrison and U.S. v. Lopez--two other cases relied on by the other side--that the noneconomic, criminal nature of the conduct in those cases were central to the Court's decisions in those cases that the government had not appropriately exercised power under the commerce clause.
Health insurance, on the other hand, does not deal with criminal conduct. Health insurance is commercial and economic in nature and, to reiterate, substantially affects interstate commerce.
Health insurance and health care services are a significant part of the national economy. National health spending is 17.6 percent of the economy, and it is projected to increase from $2.5 trillion in 2009 to $4.7 trillion in 2019.
Private health insurance spending is projected to be $854 billion in 2009. It covers things such as medical supplies, drugs, and equipment that are shipped in interstate commerce.
Health insurance is sold by national or regional health insurance carriers. Thus, health insurance is sold in interstate commerce. As well, claims payments flow through interstate commerce.
The individual responsibility requirements, together with other provisions in the act, will add millions of new consumers to the health insurance market, increasing the supply and demand for health care services.
Under existing health and labor laws, the Federal Government has a significant role in regulating health insurance.
Other prominent legal scholars have also said that Congress has the constitutional authority to impose a requirement on individuals to maintain health coverage.
Jonathan Adler, a professor of law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, stated: In this case, the overall scheme would involve the regulation of ``commerce'' as the Supreme Court has defined it for several decades, as it would involve the regulation of health care markets. And the success of such a regulatory scheme would depend upon requiring all to participate.
Doug Kendall of the Constitutional Accountability Center similarly concluded: The fundamental point behind pushing people into the private insurance market is to make sure that uninsured individuals who can pay for health insurance don't impose costs on other taxpayers.
Professor Michael Dorf of the Cornell University Law School also noted: [T]he individual mandate is ``plainly adapted'' to the undoubtedly legitimate end of regulating the enormous and enormously important health care sector of the national economy. It is therefore constitutional.
Robert Shapiro, a professor of law at Emory University School of Law, stated: When everyone thinks of the wisdom of an individual mandate, or of health care reform generally, it would be surprising if the Constitution prohibited a democratic resolution of the issue. Happily, it does not.
Thus, Mr. President, the weight of authority is that health care and insurance represent interstate commerce. The individual responsibility requirement to maintain coverage would be within Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce.
Mr. President, in the last hour, several Senators on the other side listed many organizations they claim oppose the bill before us. I will indicate many organizations that favor the health care reform bill.
I will begin with the American Medical Association. That is the major doctors association that supports this legislation. In fact, the incoming president, the president-elect of AMA, at a press conference yesterday, made that statement very clear.
In addition, the American Heart Association supports the legislation. They believe the many patient-centered provisions are a significant step toward meaningful health care.
The American Hospital Association supports passage of the legislation.
The American Cancer Society Action Network supports it.
The Federation of American Hospitals also supports it.
The National Puerto Rican Coalition supports this legislation.
Mr. President, it would be unfair to say that these are all totally 100 percent endorsements. Rather, these are statements of support from these organizations. Some totally support it, and some say there are very good features in it. As far as I know, none of these groups totally oppose this legislation. Some would like to see some changes, but they favor the legislation.
The American Association of Retired People supports this legislation. That is the largest seniors group. They think this is good--I am sure for a lot of reasons, but it extends the solvency to the Medicare trust fund for another 5 years.
The Business Roundtable supports this legislation. They say: On behalf of the members of Business Roundtable, I want to commend you for your efforts to improve the health care reform legislation currently being considered by the United States Senate. The proposed legislation is a step toward our shared goal of providing high quality, affordable health care for all Americans. ..... As we understand it, the proposed legislation now will include provisions to accelerate and enhance the process for delivery reform for the Medicare system. ..... It strengthens the match between the insurance reforms and the individual obligation. ..... We will continue to work with you, the Congress and the Administration to ensure we achieve the goals we all set when this process began.
The American Diabetes Association also supports this bill. They say it is ``long overdue improvements to our broken health care system.'' The Small Business Majority also believes the managers' amendment ``includes new provisions essential for small business protection and survival.'' Doctors for America supports passage of this bill.
The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization strongly supports this legislation. There has been confusion as to whether they did. But they strongly support it, saying: On behalf of hospice and palliative care providers and the more than 1.5 million patients, and their families ..... would like to express our strong support for the national effort to enact health care reform. We acknowledge the enormity and complexity ..... and we applaud your recognition of the importance of various provisions. .....
Families USA supports this legislation. I already mentioned AARP, which also supports it. Community Catalyst is another organization that supports it. U.S. PIRG supports it. The Center for American Progress supports it. Medco Health, Microsoft, a big company in the United States, makes a strong statement approving the measure we are considering here.
Many organizations support this legislation. I am sure there are more, but this is an example of a few.
How much time remains on our side?