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Did You Hear The One About The Health Care Law And Your Florida Estate Plan? Part II

By Howard C. Stross
April 06, 2012

If you haven’t yet read last week’s post that is Part I concerning the health care law, please read it and then read this Part II.

Part I discusses why health insurance is a critical component of one’s business and estate plan.  As a business attorney, we advise clients how to preserve their property.  In designing an estate plan, we urge clients to remember that preservation of one’s property is a critical element in planning.

Concerning the health care law, the primary question before the U. S. Supreme Court (the “Court”) is whether Congress exceeded its powers under the U. S. Constitution by requiring people to obtain health insurance by the year 2014 or pay a penalty (or if you prefer a tax in lieu of getting health insurance).

Opinion polls show that people are significantly divided on the health care law.  26 States have joined in the lawsuits before the Court.  Attorney Tom Goldstein, who argues before the Court and is a founder of the SCOTUSblog, a website that follows the Court, said, “Nothing in modern American history compares.”

The opposition to the law argues that if individuals can be required to buy insurance, Congress can then mandate purchases of products, even if you don’t want the product. They insist that the federal government’s assertion of authority on health insurance opens the door to unprecedented control over other areas of our lives.

The administration’s position is that Congress has broad authority to regulate interstate commerce and that the insurance purchase requirement, known as the “individual mandate,” is part of a comprehensive attempt to deal with nation-wide healthcare turmoil.  President Obama’s administration has compared the healthcare law with other landmark laws such as the Social Security Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act that faced similar legal challenges, but were upheld by the Court.

The last time the Court struck down a major federal economic law based on Congress exceeding its power was in 1936.  The Administration states the health care law is a valid attempt to regulate a very complex industry with enormous national implications.  By the way, the American Bar Association in its poll of academics and lawyers found that 85 percent thought the health care law would be upheld by the Court.

The cases before the Court concerning the healthcare law are National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, No. 11-393; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida, No. 11-398; and Florida v. Department of Health and Human Services, No. 11-400.

Now if anyone asks you if you’ve heard about The Health Care Law and Your Florida Estate Plan, you can say, “Yes I have.”  Discussions you have with your business attorney, estate planning attorney and insurance professional are an important element of planning, i.e. preserving what you have.

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