Affordable Care Act gets spotlight at IUN
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent September 17, 2013 10:50PM
Dorinda Sattler, faculty member in health information management at Indiana University Northwest, continues the discussion on the Affordable Care Act with panelists Jean Poulard, a political science professor, and Todd McNeely, a fine arts student, at the Constitution Day celebration hosted by student government. | Carrie Napoleon/Post-Tribune
Updated: October 19, 2013 7:24PM
GARY — Indiana University Northwest student government marked Constitution Day on Tuesday with a discussion on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.
Marie Eisenstein and Jean Poulard, associate professor and professor, respectively, of political science at IUN, and Todd McNeely, a student of fine arts, discussed “The Post-Obama Constitution: Views on the Affordable Care Act,” commonly referred to as “Obamacare.”
Eisenstein said while the Supreme Court is not supposed to be a political body, Chief Justice John Roberts likely was considering the legacy of his court when he moved from the majority of justices in June 2012 considering the personal mandate unconstitutional and came out in support of the act.
“There most certainly is a political element,” she said.
Poulard called the act an overreach of government not intended by the founding fathers. Common constitutional ideals were put forward during the Constitutional Convention and among those ideals was a smaller, less intrusive government.
“To me the Obamacare law is a gross growth of government,” Poulard said, adding the act should be thrown out on the basis it originated in the Senate when the constitution calls for all bills raising revenue to originate in the House of Representatives.
He said the law also violates freedom of religion by forcing companies that may be against reproductive care for religious purposes to offer those services.
McNeely said he, too, does not like the Affordable Care Act but for different reasons.
“It does not go far enough,” McNeely said.
Provisions for health coverage for students until they are 26 and access to reproductive care for all women are examples of the access to care the act will create.
McNeely called it “morally reprehensible” the U.S. leads the world in medical technological advances yet positive care outcomes for patients ranks 32nd in the world behind Costa Rica.
“(The Affordable Care Act) is a stop gap on the way to a better system,” McNeely said.
Matthew Lawson, vice president of student government, said he wanted to have the forum to discuss constitutional issues on Constitution Day because it is a day to be celebrated.
Lawson said he would like to continue the event annually at the university until it becomes a larger celebration.