A new revolution confronting a new King George III
Will you have Benjamin Franklin or the present-day King George III?
During our town hall meeting in Oregon last week, I asked my Congressman this question:
THE CONSTITUTION DOES NOT GIVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE POWER TO TAKE OVER THE AMERICAN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM, WHICH IS WHAT HR 3200 WILL DO, A BILL YOU VOTED FOR OUT OF COMMITTEE. GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN THAT AREA—IF ANY—IS RESERVED FOR THE SEVERAL STATES AS DETERMINED BY THE PEOPLE, ACCORDING TO THE 10TH AMENDMENT. WITH REGARD TO HEALTHCARE REFORM, WHY IS THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION AND TRAMPLING ON STATES’ RIGHTS?
Congressman Wu (D-Oregon) responded saying Congress is authorized to do many things according to Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution. He went on to talk about the establishment of the Post Office, Medicare, Social Security as examples of what the government has done serving the best interests of the people, constitutionally.
I asked to be allowed a follow up question and was ignored by Rep. Wu, while ObamaCare supporters pre-empted followup with shouts.
My follow up question was:
MEDICARE, SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE POST OFFICE ARE ALL RUNNING HUGE DEFICITS. SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE COMPRISE 45% OF THE FEDERAL BUDGET. UNFUNDED LIABILITIES IN THOSE PROGRAMS MEAN WE ARE IN DEBT AT LEAST $55 TRILLION DOLLARS LOOKING OUT 25-35 YEARS. WHY SHOULD WE BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT WILL BE SUCCESSFUL RUNNING NATIONAL HEALTHCARE BASED ON THIS TERRIBLE TRACK RECORD?
I was not allowed to asked the question, and so I never received an answer from Rep. Wu.
To the larger question however: What is the proper role of government in this republic, and does the federal government even have the constitutional authority to execute a comprehensive take over of the entire healthcare system?
As always, there are two sides of the story. However, a careful reading of the following excellent article helps blow some of the smoke away so we can see more clearly the Founders’ intentions.
In debating whether (federalized) health care is constitutional, Boldin said citizens must look to the founding document to 1) determine whether the power is specifically listed there, or 2) if there isn’t a specific power listed, look to the “Necessary and Proper Clause,” or Article I, Section 8, clause 18.
(WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THE CONSTITUTION WAS SPECIFICALLY WRITTEN TO DEFINE THE ROLE OF GOVERNMENT, LIMITING GOVERNMENT’S ROLE AND AUTHORITY, TO ESTABLISH A REPUBLIC, AND PREVENT DICTATORSHIP.)
The author goes on to analyze the question in view of Enumerated Powers, the General Welfare clause and the Federalist Papers, concluding the federal government has no constitutional authority to take over and administer the American healthcare system.
What is especially interesting now: reports in this article about moves by state legislatures, based on the 10th Amendment, to pre-empt federal healthcare laws from being applicable in those states refusing to comply.
We are seeing a revolution today in the state houses confronting the excesses and usurpations of the federal government in much the same way the Founders confronted King George III.