[View a video, "Will Republicans Enable Unconstitutional Health Care Reform?", with essentially the same message as the blog below by clicking on the photo at left.]
For the past few months I’ve been watching closely the progress of health care legislation in Congress. Of course, we’ve all seen what happened at the town halls in August. Citizens all over the nation were opposed to a government takeover of health care as represented by House Bill H.R. 3200 and the Kennedy bill in the Senate. Many of these protesters referred to the health care legislation as unconstitutional.
That’s an important point. The uproar over the health care bills was intensified by what Americans had experienced late last year and early this year with congressional passage of the trillion dollar bailout and stimulus bills. We saw how the administration used these bills as a platform for naked, unconstitutional power grabs over our financial and auto industries.
So, naturally the worry was widespread that the Obama health care reform would enable the completion of the government takeover of our health care system that was begun with Medicare and Medicaid.
Our overall problem is that our federal government is out of control. We have 2 trillion dollar annual deficits, a nearly twelve trillion dollar national debt, and over $50 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities for social security, medicare, and medicaid. And yet, even in light of this unprecedented fiscal irresponsibility, Congress and the President are continuing to act in almost complete disregard for the limitations on our government represented by the Constitution.
What we need if we are to have any chance to preserve our freedom and prosperity is to bring Congress and the executive branch back under the discipline of the Constitution.
Here's my video version of this blog, "Will Republicans Enable Unconstitutional Health Care Reform?":
Now back to the text version of this blog:
At this point in the video version we have a video clip of Judge Andrew Napolitano giving a concise review of the powers given to Congress by the Constitution in Article I, Section 8. Authorization for Congress to arrange for our health care is nowhere to be found in the Constitution.
Although Congress has been passing unconstitutional bills for a long, long time already, the road back to freedom and prosperity in our nation leads back through a return to a Congress under the discipline of the Constitution. We’ve seen with the unconstitutional bailout and stimulus bills just how creative the executive branch can be in using such laws to take over entire segments of our economy, such as the finance and auto industries. We can be sure that almost any health care reform legislation that might be passed by this Congress will be used by the administration to complete the government takeover of our health care industry.
I was led to reconsider the whole topic of the constitutionality of health care reform proposals by both Democrats and Republicans when I read recently that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said he will try again to find a bipartisan approach to health care reform by reaching out to a couple of Republican leaders in the House who say they agree with about 80 percent of the ideas that Democrats have proposed.
I realized that the whole contour of the health care reform debate the past few months is leading toward some kind of bipartisan health care reform that would enable the final and complete government takeover of health care.
Part of the problem is that too many Republicans are too eager to participate in the development of health care legislation with the Democrats. So far they have been shut out, except for the bipartisan working group on the Senate Finance Committee. Still, they keep coming back for more and offering to work with the Democrats on health care. As noted above, some of them even say they agree with the Democrats on 80% of the issues and would welcome working together.
The other part of the problem is that the health care proposals of many Republicans are unconstitutional. See for example what Republican (and former Secretary of Health and Human Services) Tommy Thompson has to say in this video about Republican proposals for health care reform.
It’s clear that the health care reform ideas Thompson is talking about here are also unconstitutional. It’s also clear that one of the leading bipartisan proposals, which some Senate Republicans have supported, the substituting of health care cooperatives for the public option would also constitute an unconstitutional approach to health care which would lead to the same eventual result as the public option.
The real answer is for Americans to convince their representatives and senators to “just drop health care reform.” Click here for an easy way to email your representative and senators with just this message. Of course, additional pressure must be put on Congress to drop health care reform through phone calls, personal visits, and public rallies.
As one pundit put it a couple months ago, the Democrats only need to pass the germ of a government-run health care system. That minimal health care reform legislation could be parlayed by the executive branch into a completely government-run health care system over time.
Given the radically unconstitutional orientation of our present presidential administration and Congress, the only safe course is to develop enough pressure on both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to get them to back away from any further work on health care this year and next. That would buy enough time to get a majority of constitutionalists elected to Congress in 2010 and 2012, which would ensure that any unconstitutional health care reform bills could not be passed any time soon.