We can sing the below story to Nancy Pelosi’s famous tune, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” regarding whether she should give the faintest of consideration to the Constitution while she tries to regulate one-sixth of the US economy and force citizens to purchase insurance.
Sen. Feinstein ‘Assumes’ Commerce Clause Gives Congress Unlimited Authority to Mandate Health Insurance
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
By Fred Lucas, Staff Writer
(CNSNews.com) – Senator Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that Congress has the authority to mandate that people buy health insurance and that there is no constitutional limit on Congress’ power to enact such mandates, adding that this unlimited authority stemmed from the Commerce clause of the Constitution.
The health care bills in both the House and Senate require that every American purchase a health insurance policy. At the Capitol on Tuesday, CNSNews.com asked Sen. Feinstein: “Where in the Constitution does Congress get the authority for an individual health insurance mandate?”
Feinstein said: “Well, I would assume it would be in the Commerce clause of the Constitution. That’s how Congress legislates all kinds of various programs.”
CNSNews.com followed up by asking Sen. Feinstein whether this broad power had any limits: “If there’s a health insurance mandate, is there a limit to that authority? Is there something that can’t be mandated?”
Feinstein responded: “My own view is that there is not, within health insurance.”
The Commerce clause is found in Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. It states the numerous powers authorized to Congress, including the power “To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among several States, and with the Indian tribes.”
The Senate version of health reform imposes an historic mandate on all Americans, requiring them to have government-approved health insurance, either through an employer or individually. The mandate also can penalize people with a surtax ranging from $500 to nearly $1,500 per year if they do not have a health insurance policy.
The bill, which looks certain to pass the Senate sometime on Christmas Eve, is unpopular with the public, garnering the support of barely 40 percent of Americans, according to recent national polls. Those numbers led Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele to accuse Congress of “flipping the bird” to the American people.
“This is a bad bill, it is bad, certainly for individuals and enough is enough,” Steele said in a conference call on Monday. “I am tired of Congress thumbing its nose and flipping a bird to the American people. I’m tired of this Congress thinking it knows better than me and my family how to provide for our health care now and in the future. I’m tired of this Congress not listening to me and to the American people – to all of us.”
In 1994, when the Clinton administration attempted to push a health care reform plan through a Democratic Congress that also mandated every American buy health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office determined that the government had never ordered Americans to buy anything.
“The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States,” the CBO analysis said. “An individual mandate would have two features that, in combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.”
My own view is that California should elect a Senator who actually understands or even cares about the US Constitution.
If Feinstein’s “view” were true, then the congress has no constitutional limits whatsoever. On anything. If they can regulate private citizens’ behavior or purchases as “interstate commerce,” then they can “regulate” anything and anyone on anything they want. And this gives them the precedent to do more and more. The Democrats’ vision of health care “reform” makes the entire idea of constitutional limits null and void.
Let’s call this what it is: a naked power grab.
Fascism, Marxism, take your pick. We’re getting a hybrid of both (they’re both quintessentially leftist and socialist and totalitarian systems, you know) shoved right down our throats.
The Commerce clause regulates commerce between states. It has NEVER been used even ONCE in our history to regulated the behavior of individual citizens.
This is almost as appalling as liberal activist judges reading “penumbras and emanations” into the Constitution so they could pull abortion out of thin air.
Democrats have been telling us quite openly that this bill is a clear pathway and vehicle to a government-controlled single-payer system. It is past time that we took them at their word and started to realize the ramifications of what the Democrats are trying to accomplish.
Democrats aren’t focused in transforming either the quality or the costs of health care coverage. Their bill does nothing to improve either. Rather, it lays the architecture for a future socialistic system which they believe that they will ultimately be able to control and use to their own political advantage. They want power and control. They want to be able to wield the levers of government and “take care” of everyone and everything – or punish everyone and everything that get in their way. And when big government has the power to shape things, it shapes them in a way that always favors big government, and favors more and more accumulation of big government. And Democrats are nothing if not the party of big government.
These people aren’t going to let a little nuisance like the US Constitution get in their way. Even our own president has repeatedly said disparaging things about our Constitution as well as the men who wrote it. The once sacred and sacrosanct Constitution has come to mean whatever liberals want it to mean.
Tragically, a look back at history should tell you that the system the Democrats want will hardly be a success. The fact of the matter is that Democrats are making the same arguments (that health care is a right) and the same promises (that every American will be guaranteed health care) that the Soviets made.
The former Soviet propaganda mouthpiece Pravda is watching America fall into the same catastrophic mistakes Russia did and is laughing hysterically .
The Obama administration and Democrats can swear all they want that rationing won’t be a part of their system, but you sure wouldn’t know it by looking at Obama officials such as Cass Sunstein and Ezekiel Emanuel. They will be all about rationing.
To summarize, this is a flagrantly unconstitutional power grab, packaged on lies, which can’t even in theory fulfill the pantheon of bogus promises it was sold on.
Tags: Article 1, buy health insurance, Cass Sunstein, CBO, Commerce clause, Constitution, Dianne Feinstein, Economy, Ezekiel Emanuel, force, government has never required people to buy, health care, mandate, Nancy Pelosi, one-sixth, power grab, public option, rationing, Section 8, single-payer, states, unconstitutional, unlimited authority