A basic function of government and a primary goal of the constitution that creates the government is keeping people safe. It is often referred to as exercising “police power.” In the United States, the government’s authority to regulate for the protection of public health and to provide health services is based on police power, which is the power to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the people.
Public health powers were initially exercised at the state and local levels; currently, the federal government plays a large role in the regulation of public health and the provision of health services.
Considering this, respond to the following:
- Where in the US Constitution does the government obtain its authority to regulate public health?
- Do you believe the government has the authority to ban things that are believed to be harmful, such as trans-fats? Why or why not?