During the latter part of the Healthcare debate a reporter happened to catch house speaker Nancy Pelosi running to a hearing and shouted out the 1.2 Trillion Dollar question:
Madam Speaker, what power in the constitution gives the Federal Government power to regulate (or Mandate) health care insurance?”
She looked at the reporter with distain and responed Are you Kidding me, Are you Kidding me?
In several of the congressional town hall meetings throughout the country that question (When it was allowed to be asked by the constituents ) drew distain from the represenatatives or ignored altogether. It seems that the consitution does not matter anymore to our elected officials even through they take oath to uphold and defend the consitution at the beginning of their term in office. In my opinion and I would dare say a sizeable percentage (If not a majority) Would say the healthcare reform act as it was passed does not pass consitutional muster, that it oversteps the bounds imposed on congress by the consitution and violatesThe 10th amendment which protects the rights of states and individuals..
Lets review the enummerated powers of congress as listed in Scetion 8 of the US constitution and the 10th amendment :
Powers Granted to Congress
1) The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
2) To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
3) To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
4) To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
5) To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
6) To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
7) To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
8) To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
9) To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
10) To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
11) To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
12) To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
13) To provide and maintain a Navy;
14) To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
15) To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
16) To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
17) To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And
18) To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
And the Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Sounds simple, but over the 80 years the Federal Government has been expanding its power and ignoring the 10th amendment. Most of the time it sites the “Commerce Clause”Which gives power to the federal Government to “Regulate Trade” between the states. If you read the intent of this clause read Madison interpretation in “Federalist Papers” In which the power to “Regulate Trade” was meant to make trade “regular” between the states, that is whenever it could the Federal Government could stop impediments such as Barring any state laws that would be a restraint of trade between the states.
Now the federal government is now going to “Regulate” one of your most intimate relationships the one between you and your physician. For over 200 years the individual states regulated medical care (Licensing, Medical Boards, Etc) now the Federal government will now exercise its control. This bill not only regulates the Insurance Market but sets “Federal Standards” on the care that your physician gives you. For instance if you are of a certain age and in consultation with your physician you make a choice that you need a Heart By-Pass or Hip replacement. Your physician must consult an algorithm (Partially Based on Age) to see if the government approves with that course of treatment, if it doesn’t and your physician provides you with that procedure he will be “Dinged” , that is a new federal government board will access that decision against them. If they get enough assessments against them they can be barred from accepting insurance in the future or fined . The assessments will be made even if you pay decide to pay 100% out of pocket for the procedure, after awhile no physician will want to suggest some procedures which have extended the quality of life to the elderly.
What gets me is the hypocrisy, The left is fond of saying in reference to the abortion debate “stay out of my bedroom” , “Its my body” and codified this in the decision of the Warren Court in 1973 on Roe Vs. Wade.
Decision made out of constitutional “Whole Cloth” a constitutional “right to privacy” and trampling states rights under the 10th amendment striking down all state regulation or prohibiting of abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy so why doesn’t this right to privacy apply now? Hopefully this monstrosity of a bill will be struck down on review by the US Supreme court. Just as the court stopped President Franklin Roosevelt from Trampling the 10th amendment and abusing the “Commerce Clause” in the famous “Sick Chicken Case”: Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935)which invalidated the NRA (National Recovery Act) as an abuse of congressional authority and the use of the commerce clause. A question I would like to pose my liberal friends is how you can be penalized for just taking a breath, that is the penalties under the Healthcare bill for not purchasing a service (Health Insurance) from a private company acting as an agent for the Federal Government? How is the act of living be considered an act of interstate commerce? If I choose not to purchase insurance what enumerated power stated in the constitution enables the Federal Government to fine me or to withhold the refund of tax returns?
If the courts uphold that the Federal Government has this right , God help us What else then could the Government force us to do?
And thats my Opinion-D. Brady