The United States was founded and created by a group of people who wanted to see change and be in control of their future. This country has successfully accomplished this goal. Challenges from ending slavery to giving women the right to vote have all been accomplished through the American people implementing and enforcing new laws to be made. Two important issues facing the United States are Obamacare and illegal immigrants using anchor babies to stay in the country. On the issue of Obamacare, the best policy to follow is to recall Obamacare and create a new bill that is more specific, fixing one level at a time. On the issue of anchor babies, the best policy to follow is to amend the Constitution’s 14th Amendment to clarify the standards of citizenship.
On March 10, 2010 President Obama’s new health care was signed into law. This new form of health care is called Obamacare or more formally as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). This bill requires that those who can afford health care must maintain the minimal, essential health insurance coverage. This mandate does not apply to citizens who hold certain religious beliefs or have financial hardships. Once the bill is fully processed, thirty-two million Americans will be able to receive some form of health care.
The main intention of Obamacare is that affordability and accountability it brings. Obamacare lowers premiums for families making $44,000-66,000 and $55,000-88,000 a year. This new bill has made it easier for more families and people to receive health care. Obamacare also has begun to resolve Medicare’s prescription “donut hole”. This has helped senior citizens pay for vital prescriptions. The “donut hole” occurs after the patient has received $2,830 worth of drugs. At this number, Medicare stops paying for the drugs until the patient has used over $4550 of drugs. Therefore the patient needs to pay for $2,000 before Medicare pays for their prescriptions again. This reform gives donut hole payments a 50% discount and slowly closes this spending gap. The bill plans for the gap to be fully closed by 2020. The process of closing Medicare’s donut hole has already begun (Health Reform).
The Affordable Care Act has improved community health centers. Within this improvement, there are more free preventive care treatments along with 1,250 new care centers for twenty million people (Timeline). These centers co-inside with the bill’s customer protection plan. This solidifies that no one may be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions (Health Reform). More people have been treated and helped allowing for a better field of doctors to be used for the necessary and covered treatments that Obamacare has provided.
A large intention within Obamacare is to correct and maintain a new policy for business. Small businesses are not required to provide health care. However, if a business has over fifty employees, they are required to make payments that allow for health care benefits if ever needed if they do not have health care insurance (Health Reform). The bill has allowed for over four million small businesses eligible for tax credits so that they may be able to provide health care. Along with tax credit, Obamacare has cracked down on fraud, waste and abuse. This has secured the governments support in this bill. In the future Obamacare plans to reduce paperwork, provide more funding to children’s hospitals, and expand bundling payments (Timeline).
Due to the numerous projects and reforms within this large bill, states need more money. This money comes from citizen’s taxes. People who already have health care are being taxed to help pay for others. One of the leading problems that Americans have about Obamacare questions whether or not all Americans have the right to health care. If a person chooses to be homeless and not work, should other citizens have to pay for another’s medical needs?
Relating to the previous question, currently the Supreme Court is in the process of deciding if the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Obamacare, 2010, stated that everyone must have some form of health care. People have begun to question whether this infringes and stretches Congress’ right to be involved in one’s personal life- even if this is an economic matter. Many individuals and twenty-seven states have begun to challenge Congress and whether the Commerce Clause has the right to expand national power at the expense on individual liberties.
In 1824 the Supreme Court case, Gibbons v. Ogden, interpreted the government’s “commerce” to deal with only state to state/internal commerce affairs (US v Morrison). In 1937 the Supreme Court stretched the Commerce Clause for the government to oversee labor hours and wages. The government was allowed such power that they could even oversee a person’s personal consumption in the Supreme Court case, Wickard v. Filburn, in 1941 (Gaziano).
Finally in 1995 the Supreme Court ruled against the government when they wanted to criminalize carrying guns to school. In this case, US v Lopez, the Supreme Court decided that this was not an economic issue and was not covered within the Commerce Clause (Langran). However, the Supreme Court case US v. Morrison became the final breaking point for the government. In 2000 Congress wanted to ban the violence of women. “The Supreme Court ruled that if there was any other clarification on the Commerce Clause that there would be a fundamental upset within the balance of powers in the Constitution” (Natelson).
Throughout America’s history there have been many attempts to improve health care for Americans. Both Democrats- Roosevelt and Truman- and Republicans-Nixon- have done their share of work to help, however, the most recent and successful help came from the Clintons. Creating a new task force, Hillary Clinton spent large sums of money to keep the public interested and willing to support her. When she ran for president against Obama, her largest campaign issue was health care.
Her plan was to require all US residents to have some form of health care and that employers must provide health care. Ultimately her work was not enough and was not as favorable as Obama’s idea of lowering the cost of health care rather than requiring it (Health Care). Now Obama has reversed his position on mandates as he created Obamacare. Obama explained to CBS News, “I’ve been persuaded that there are enough young, uninsured people who are cheap to cover, but are opting out. To make sure that those folks are part of the overall pool is the best way to make sure that all premiums go down” (My Interview).
On March 26-28 of 2012, Florida and twenty-six other states argued that that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. During these two days, the Supreme Court listened to the oral arguments. The Affordable Care Act’s largest concept is the availability and affordability for all of America to have health care by 2014. The states questioned the act’s credibility of one’s individual mandate (Katz). The course of the health care case began with Florida on January 31, 2011 when a district judge challenged the new health care act.
Claiming that the individual mandate within the reform was unconstitutional called for the whole Affordable Care Act to be nullified. Through the process of appeals, the court decided that the act did infringe on American’s rights; however, the whole bill did not need to be recalled. From this, the federal court took this issue to the Supreme Court (Claeys). All though the oral arguments are complete, the Supreme Court’s decision is not expected unit June of 2012 (Katz).
Advocates of the mandate argue that the “mandate would force all Americans to share the cost of health care” (Health Care). The mandate forces all people to pay so there would be no issue of people paying for others. People would be supporting themselves by paying for their own health care. Supporters of mandatory health care justify their position with the fact that those who don’t think they will need it eventually will. It is better to be safe and have health care if and when you need it.
Living in America, a citizen has personal freedoms and with that comes responsibility and maturity. Providing oneself with health care, according to advocates, is a responsibility that must be met in order for citizens to continue to have the freedoms that they do. There are thousands of people who still need health care, Obamacare makes it more affordable; therefore, people will be more willing to get a proper form of health care. Americans will be interested in their benefits which makes them more aware of the issues surrounding health care (Should Illegal Aliens).
In 2011 there have been numerous court cases trying to decide if the Affordable Care Act is Constitutional. These cases, such as Thomas Moore law Center v. Barack Obama US President (Patient) are defined as a writ of certiorari law. According to the legal definition, writ of certiorari is “an order a higher court issues to order to review the decision and proceedings in a lower court to determine whether there were any irregularities” (Definitions). This order given by the Supreme Court so that they may receive a transmit of the records of the cases heard about this issue.
According to the information, may it be presented that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-Obamacare- be recalled. The ideas that the bill presents are effective and appropriate; however, this bill came too soon. America’s current health care system needs other changes before Obamacare may be used. Americans need to obtain health care on their own before it is mandatory. A possible bill to begin the new process may be to focus making Medicare more affordable and efficient. “In 2011, the federal government spent about $477 million in net Medicare” (Fixing Medicare). The spending rate needs to match up with the number of patients and their medical needs rather than taxing citizens to get quick, un-favored results.
A large part of why America has been so successful is because American citizens respect and have pride for the United States of America. The country’s patriotism has brought upon much success including: ending slavery, the Wright brothers’ first airplane, defeating Germany in World War I, and Neil Armstrong being the first man on the moon. Starting in the late 1700’s, America became known as the “melting pot”. Our multiculturalism makes America successful because all people want to be a part of making the United States better.
Over time more and more people have moved to the United States. People wanted to be considered Americans and be official citizens. In the 1990’s alone the US population has increased by twenty-five million people. Within the last one hundred years 197 million people have moved to the United States (Riche). These new people came to America because their lives would be different. New immigrants changed their names, learned English, and wanted to be a part of America.
Rather than sticking to their old cultures and lifestyles, immigrants adapted to the American lifestyle. The number of immigrants grew so quickly that the United States had to limit the number of people per country to enter into the United States. The government passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 to limit the number of Chinese immigrants entering the country. This act limited immigration in America to 170,000 Chinese people (National Archives).
In June of 1866, the 14th Amendment was ratified into the United State’s Constitution. The 14th Amendment states that “all persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and where they reside” (Rojas). This amendment was added to the Constitution to support and protect the freed African American population after the Civil War ended in 1865 (The Debate). This first part of the 14th Amendment is known as the Citizenship Clause. The second part of the 14th Amendment is the Equal Protection Clause which states “that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law; nor deny to any person their jurisdiction of equal protection of the laws” ( US History).
In 1898 the Supreme Court case, US v. Wong Kim Ark, questioned whether the United States could deny naturalization to anyone born in the United States under the 14th Amendment. Born in San Francisco, Ark lived with his parents in California. At age twenty-one Ark traveled to China to visit his parents where his parents moved after living in the US for twenty years.
Upon his return to the United States, Ark was denied entry. According to the Chinese Exclusion Act, no people of the Chinese race shall be permitted into the country. However, if Ark is considered to be US citizen this act does not apply to him. The Supreme Court concluded that the government could not deny citizenship to a person born in the United States. This case upheld the 14th Amendment (Rojas). Today this case has been upheld and been the foundation of how the Citizenship Clause is applied to United States citizens.
Today the number of people moving to America still increases. However, there are another group of immigrants moving to America. In 2000, LIFE Act Amnesty estimated 900,000 illegal immigrants came into the United States. It is determined to be twelve to twenty million illegal immigrants residing in the United States today (Gheen).
The rising issue in illegal immigration is the regularity of anchor babies. This term, anchor baby is classified as an illegal/non-citizen who came to the United States and gave birth to their child. Because their child is a US citizen according to the 14th Amendment, these families are able to convince the courts to let them stay and live in America (The Debate). This idea gives illegal immigrants an easy way to beat the system and live in America. Due to the large number of anchor babies born in America it is clear that their parents do not wish to become US citizens.
Illegal immigrant families are able to get food stamps and Medicaid through the country’s tax dollars. Along with health care illegal immigrants are getting help putting their children through school. This changes the dynamics and level of public schools as they have to accommodate to these children. This issue has increased so quickly that organizations like FAIR, Federation for American Immigration Reform, has made more attempts to eliminate this problem. FAIR estimated that 425,000 illegal babies are born in the United States per year (McNeil). Other organizations have come together to push for this issue to be resolved.
The state of Arizona has taken the imitative to end anchor baby citizenship. This bill, SB 1070, was written in June of 2010. Arizona’s bill “makes attrition through the enforcement of public policy of all agencies” (Senate Bill). This bill sets up the country for success by cracking down on an individual’s immigration status. If their paperwork is illegitimate, then they will be taken to the custody of US immigration and customs and enforcement. Arizona alone is estimated to have over 300,000 illegal immigrants.
Supporters to stop anchor baby citizenship state that “maternity tourism” is only the beginning of the possibilities of the novelties to come surrounding illegal immigrants. If the United States wants to continue to have the power and the proper influence among the citizens, then they must stop this illegal, increasing birth rate. Eventually all of these children will grow up and be the anchor needed for the family to permanently stay in the country (Beck).
Currently a US citizen may not sponsor a family member with a green care unless they are over twenty-one years of age (Kolken). In twenty years there will be an even larger issue with illegal immigration once all of these babies are an adult. Supporters confidently state that having their child in America was their poor decision and does not exempt them the from the law and the US immigration laws. Their bad choice will impact their children, they are illegal citizens and because their children are minors they have no choice but to follow their parents as they are deported (Should Illegal Aliens).
On the other side, those against interfering with the immigration question if there is no harm to America’s National Guard then why interfere? Because the child is a US citizen, the parents are then forced to make the difficult decision of whether or not to separate their family until their papers are approved. This then increases the single parent, non-traditional family for many children (Should Illegal Aliens). Those against resolving the anchor baby “problem” see no real solution because the children are protected under the 14th Amendment and have the right to live in America. Rather than solving the problem, it is suggested that a bill would simply encourage more people to not renew or even get a green card because of the high chance of deportation (Beck).
Children who are born in the Unites States should not be guaranteed citizenship if their parents are not legal citizens. The United States is one of eleven other countries who even have “jus soli” as an option. The legal phrasing of “jus soli” directly translates to “the right of the land” (McNeil). Many of these countries, not including the United States, has citizenship as an option. In 1980, Britain changed their Nationality Act to be a preference rather than a mandate for babies born in the country (The Debate). Germany changed their Nationality Act as well in 2000. “A child shall be a German citizen only it at least one parent has a permanent residence in Germany or lives in Germany for at least eight years (Nationality Act).
The United States must amend the 14th Amendment and clarify the true meaning and value of a child born in America. In the 14th Amendment clearly defines the standards needed to be a US citizen then many of the nation’s current problems would be handled. Illegal parents whose children are keeping them here would be deported. There will be less problems with Medicaid and the country’s tax dollars will not be going to those who live here illegally and receive food stamps and putting their children through the public school system. All immigrants living in the United States will want to be here and will be able to receive the correct form of becoming a citizen. Amending the 14th Amendment will restore America’s patriotism and success.
America has proven to be the strongest country in the world. In order for the United States to maintain their strong position, the government must take care of the country’s issues first. The country’s health care must not be fixed by Obamacare. A new bill must be enacted that slowly and correctly fixes the foundational issues of the system before requiring all people to have health care. If thirty-two million were to be on America’s current health care, the system would jam and eventually shut down. Along with fixing health care, the anchor baby citizenship issues must be handled. Ronald Reagan explained the problem perfectly, “a country that cannot control its borders isn’t a country” (Buchannan). Therefore the 14th Amendment must be clarified and steps must be taken to contain illegal immigration in order for the United States to see a successful future.
Beck, Roy. “‘Anchor’ Babies: No More Citizenship.” Bloomberg Business week. 2009. Web. 28 Apr. 2012. .
Buchannan, Pat . “Whose Country is This?.” World Net Weekly. N.p., 2010. Web. 29 Apr 2012. .
Claeys, Eric. “Obamacare and the Limits of Judicial Conservatism.” National Affairs. National Affairs, Summ. Web. 27 Apr 2012. .
“The Debate Over ‘Anchor Babies’ And Citizenship.” National Public Radio. 18 Apr. 2010. Web. 16 Apr. 2012. .
“Definitions: Writ of Certiorari Law & Legal Definition.” Uslegal.com. US Legal, Inc., 2012. Web. 29 Apr 2012. .
“Fixing Medicare.” New York Time. N.p., 20 Nov 011. Web. 28 Apr 2012. .
Gaziano, Todd, and Elizabeth Garvey. “Commerce Clause: Expansion of National Power at ………Expense of Individual Liberty.” American Government. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 29 Apr. ………2012. Gheen, W.. “History of Illegal Immigration in the U.S..” End illegal immigration. Americans for ……….Legal Immigration, 2012. Web. 29 Apr 2012.
“Health Care Mandates.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts ………On File News Services, 16 Oct. 2009. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. ……….
“Health Reform Puts American Families and Small Business Owners in Control of Their Own Health Care.” The White House. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. .
Katz, Daniel. “Supreme Court Considers Health Care Reform: Overview.” American ……….Government. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. Klein, Ezra. “Who Obamacare Got to the Supreme Court.” Washington Post. 2012. Web. 27 Apr. 2012. .
“Kolken & Kolken Immigration Lawyers.” Immigration Lawyers, US Immigration News and Law Updates. Web. 20 Apr. 2012. .
Langran, Robert. “Commerce Clause: Recent Interpretations Diminish State Sovereignty.” ……….American Government. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012.
McNeil, Brian. “Goode Takes on ‘anchor Baby’ Issue.” Daily Progress. 5 Sept. 2008. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. .
“My Interview with President Obama.” CBS News. N.p., 27 July 2009. Web. 29 Apr 2012. .
Natelson, Robert G. “Commerce Clause: The Misinterpretation of the Commerce Clause.” ………American Government. ABC-CLIO, 2012. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. National Archives, . “Chinese Exclusion Act (1882).” Our documents. United States Archives, ………1989. Web. 29 Apr 2012.