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The State and the Individual
Pages 8 (2008 words)
The State and the Individual (14.03.12) In the continuing debate over the rights of majorities and minorities and the power of the state and power of the individual, there are several issues at stake. This paper examines the right of the individual and the power of the state as it relates to health care policy and then discusses the views of Machiavelli and Locke on how the two philosophers perceived the power of the majority, minority, the state, and the individual and how such concepts are applicable to the issue of healthcare.
The recent passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act created legal issues about whether the Federal government has the power to make it mandatory for individuals to buy healthcare insurance and whether states can opt out or nullify such provisions. The Constitution of the USA does not provide citizens with an explicit right to healthcare. The Supreme Court has held that as per the Constitution, individuals can seek healthcare services at their own cost from the available service providers. (Swendiman, 2010, p.2). It has also held that there is no provision that guarantees government health care for those that cannot afford it. At the same time, many states in the US have constitutional state provisions relative to providing healthcare services to citizens. As compared to the Federal government, the constitutions of states have more expansive provisions relative to health care because federal rights require states to comply with minimum standards (Bayer, 2007, p.1). The issue that arises in this regard is the extent to which states can legally restrain the freedom of individuals in serving the common good of the entire population. ...
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