Recently, health care narrowly passed in the House of Representatives by a 219-212 vote. Some call it a historic moment; I’d like to call it a constitutional disaster.
First off, let me challenge the justification against this bill. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say health care is a federal-given right. Some health care supporters, such as Dean Erwin Chemerinsky of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, use the Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) as a battle weapon but misconstrue its entire meaning. Chemerinksy believes that this clause gives federal government the power to gain control or promote business, including health care, but he’s wrong.
According to the Founding Fathers, the Commerce Clause was written to promote interstate trade because under the Articles of Confederation, the states were imposing territorial taxes on business conducted outside their own states. But once the Commerce Clause was added to the Constitution, states were allowed to conduct interstate business any way they wanted, and thus promoting capitalism across the country. It was never meant to force actual trade on individuals or give absolute control of business to Congress.
Another argument is the words “general welfare” that appear in the Preamble to the Constitution and in Article I, Section 8. This is where some perceive health care as a right.
However, in 1831, James Madison (the father of the Constitution) wrote, “With respect to the words general welfare, I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.” In other words, Congress has its limits as stated in the Constitution and James Madison specifically re-emphasized this point. The Constitution is not the same living document as some leftists would like it to be.
Let’s take a few steps forward. The Ninth Amendment reads: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The 10th Amendment is as followed: “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.”
In short, health care decisions (or any additional rights not stated in the Constitution) belong to the states, not the federal government. If the powers belonged to the federal government, there would be no need for the creation of states’ rights at all.
This is why Massachusetts can justify their mandatory health care program because the citizens chose it. But from an economic standpoint, their decision marked a fiscal state meltdown. On March 17, 2010, Massachusetts State Treasurer Tim Cahill stated: “If President Obama and the Democrats repeat the mistake of the health insurance reform here in Massachusetts on a national level, they will threaten to wipe out the American economy within four years.” In fact, Cahill openly admitted that the federal government has been bailing out the Massachusetts health care program, and the only way it was surviving was through federal aid.
Federal aid? That’s our federal taxes at work, paying for Massachusetts health care with or without Obama’s new health care bill. The system is already bankrupt to begin with, and who goes to bail the federal government out when their well runs dry from having to support 49 other states? China? According to the Washington Times, we already owe them almost $800 billion dollars.
During the final health care debate, Minority House Leader John Boehner (R-OH) condemned the bill, saying, “We have failed to listen to America. This body moves forward against their will. Shame on us. Shame on each and every one of you who substitutes your will and your desires above those of your countrymen.”
Boehner is right. Shame on our congressmen for not upholding the Constitution. Shame on them for not letting the states handle their own health care. Shame on those pro-life Democrats who believed that Obama wouldn’t use federal money to aid abortions.
Nevertheless, shame on us, the voters, who demanded change or wanted to punish the Republican Party back in the 2008 Congressional Elections. Shame on us for those who didn’t vote or refused to get involved with politics because it’s not “our game.”
Shame on us for forgetting what our Founding Fathers fought and died for back in 1776.
Justifying health care through the Constitution is impossible; to justify it on a public level is also improbable. In a MSNBC poll following the health care vote, 67 percent of responders were angry at the health care results, claiming that the “legislation will harm the economy while mandating a government takeover of the health care system.”
According to CNN/opinion research, American voters oppose reform by a 20-plus margin while CBS news revealed that a 60 percent majority did not believe this health care bill would benefit them at all. Overall, Real Clear Politics recorded a 10.5-plus average opposition margin.
In Washington state alone, Governor Gregoire blasted the State Attorney General, Republican Rob McKenna, for joining 11 other states in filing lawsuits against Obamacare. Call these actions selfish and uncompassionate to those 32 million uninsured? Absolutely not. These states are merely acting based on their rights as given and written by the Constitution.
Gregoire also claimed that McKenna had disappointed her and was “not representing her.” Sorry, Gregoire. Let me kindly remind you that he represents the people who elected him and not you. Besides, a recent poll from King5 News reveals that “most people in Western Washington think Congress went too far on health care reform and that they believe it will cost individuals more.” For such a blue state, only 18 percent supported Congress’s health care reform, and this is proof that even liberal media cannot deny the strong opposition toward it.