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[翻译字幕]Economics Report - The Supreme Court to Decide if the Government Can Require Health Coverage

来源:慢速英语   时间:2012-03-30 11:19:16

经济报道 - 美国最高法院审理医保法案是否违宪

This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.

这里是美国之音慢速英语经济报道。

The highest court in the United States is considering the constitutionality of the new health care law. The Supreme Court heard three days of arguments this week over the question of what is called the individual mandate. It is part of the Affordable Care Act, which Congress passed and President Obama signed into law two years ago.

美国最高法院正在审理新医保法案是否违宪。本周,最高法院就这一被称为“个人强制(购买医保)”的问题进行了为期三天的聆讯。个人强制购买医保是两年前美国国会及奥巴马总统签署生效的《可负担医疗法案》的一部分。

The individual mandate requires all Americans to buy health insurance by twenty fourteen or face a fine. Twenty-six states and a group representing small businesses say the law is unconstitutional.

“个人强制(购买医保)”要求所有美国人在2014年前购买医疗保险,否则将面临罚款。美国26个州和一个代表小型企业的组织表示,该法案违背了宪法。

If the law takes effect, about thirty million Americans not currently covered will have to join the health insurance system. Supporters say this will reduce health care costs for all Americans. For opponents, the question is whether the federal government has the right to tell people what they can or cannot do. During arguments, Justice Antonin Scalia put the question this way.

如果该法案生效,目前尚未被医保覆盖的大约3千万美国人将必须加入医疗保险体系。支持者认为,这将降低所有美国人的医疗费用。而反对者的问题是,联邦政府是否有权要求民众怎么做。在辩论期间,法官安东· 斯卡利亚(Antonin Scalia)提出了这样的问题。

ANTONIN SCALIA: “The federal government is not supposed to be a government that has all powers, that it is supposed to be a government of limited powers and that is what all this questioning is about. What is left? If the government can do this, what else can it not do?”

斯卡利亚:“联邦政府不应成为一个拥有所有权力的政府。它的权力应该有限度。这才是问题之所在。如果政府可以这么做的话,它还有什么不能做的?”
 

A demonstrator outside the Supreme Court in Washington this week

The Obama administration says the law has already helped millions of Americans. It says over two million young people have remained on their parents’ health insurance plans since September twenty ten. Before then, many young people lost health coverage after they left home or reached a certain age.

奥巴马政府表示,该法案已经帮助了数百万美国人。自2010年9月以来,超过两百万年轻人留在了父母的医疗保险计划之内。在此之前,许多年轻人在离家或达到一定年龄后就失去了医保覆盖。

Health care costs are growing at a rate that many experts say cannot be supported. The Council of Economic Advisers advises the president on economic issues. It warns that, at the current growth rate, health care spending will be responsible for thirty-four percent of the economy by twenty forty. Currently, health care is almost one fifth of the economy.

医保开支正以一个许多专家认为无法维持的速度增长。美国经济顾问委员会在经济问题上向总统提出建议。它警告称,按照当前的增长速度,到2040年,医保支出将占到美国经济的34%。当前,医保几乎占到了美国经济的20%。

That is a big problem for the federal government. It pays for Medicare, health insurance for older adults, and Medicaid, the program for poor people. And as the population ages, more people will depend on these programs.

这是联邦政府的一个大问题。它为老年人医疗保险项目(Medicare)和低收入人口医疗补助项目(Medicaid)提供资金。随着人口老龄化,越来越多人将依赖于这些项目。

During the arguments this week, Justice Stephen Breyer noted the issue’s importance.

在本周辩论期间,法官斯蒂芬·布雷耶(Stephen Breyer)指出了这一问题的重要性。

STEPHEN BREYER: “It shows there is a national problem and it shows there is a national problem that involves money, cost and insurance.”

布雷耶:“这表明了一个全国性的问题,该问题涉及到资金、成本和保险。”

The high court is expected to rule on the individual mandate in June. But the effects of the ruling are expected to influence health care policy for years to come.

预计最高法院将在6月份对“个人强制(购买医保)”做出裁决。但预计裁决的效应将影响到今后几年的医保政策。

And that's the VOA Special English Economics Report. To read and hear news and information for people learning English, and for transcripts go to www.voanews.cn. You can also find MP3s and now PDFs of our programs for e-readers. And follow us on Facebook, YouTube and iTunes at VOA Learning English. I'm June Simms.

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