By David A. Black, Sr.
The question is, as asked recently by a CSNNews reporter; specifically, where does Congress derive Constitutional authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance?
Democratic House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, of Maryland responded to this subject by citing the ‘General Welfare Clause’.
Representative ‘Stinky’ Hoyer said, “Well, in promoting the ‘General Welfare’, the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to that end. We’re trying to make health care more affordable, so I think this is within our constitutional responsibility.”
At least ‘Stinky’ gave his honest opinion when he said, “Congress has broad authority to force Americans to purchase other things as well, so long as it was trying to promote the ‘General Welfare’… we mandate other things as well like paying taxes”.
When asked if there is a limit to what Congress can mandate that an individual purchase in promoting the ‘General Welfare’, ‘Stinky’ said, “I’m sure the [Supreme] Court will find a limit.”
As ‘Stinky’ is the House Majority Leader, apparently the Democrats do not believe there are any limits to which they may dictate how we each spend our hard earned money.
‘Stinky’ is not alone, however. Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, did not cite the Constitution when he responded to a similar question.
Senator ‘Leaky’ Leahy (as Rush nicknamed him) said, “We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority? Why would anybody say there is no authority? I mean, there’s no question there’s authority. Nobody questions that.”
Then Senator ‘Leaky’ goes way off the map when he tried to justify his statement saying, “Where do we have the authority to set speed limits of an interstate highway?”
Excuse me. Senator, the States set the speed limits. The Federal Government simply coerced the States to change the speed limits by threatening to withhold funds.
I’m not going to say that ‘Leakys’ response was ignorant, yet I can’t help but ask; Senator, shouldn’t you be questioning? Isn’t that part of your job as Chairman of the Judiciary Committee?
Wait a minute. Wasn’t ‘Leaky’ involved in a recent, ‘high profile’ case? Oh yeah, that Valerie Plame thing. That figures. He couldn’t get that one right either. Thanks to his adamant ignorance, an innocent man was incarcerated. Can you say “A Danger to Society”?
Back to ‘Stumpy’. Maybe he was referencing the Preamble of the Constitution, which states,
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
But, that says “promote the Welfare”, not provide for the Welfare. The founders never intended for the Government to implement policies that encourage, or force, the citizens into a state of dependency on the Federal Government. Rather, they designed a set of limitations by which to avoid “national dependency”, understanding that dependency of the People, on the Government, only leads to tyranny.
On the other hand, maybe, he was referencing Article I, section 8, which states,
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.
Article I, section 8, lays the responsibility to “provide for the common Defence and the general Welfare of the United States”, not provide the Welfare of the individual People of the United States.
Article I, section 8, goes on to list the responsibilities of the Congress in plain English, defining the responsibility of the Federal Government to the several States.
Now get ready, I saved the best for last. When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was asked a similar question, she responded with her typical ‘vermin in the headlights expression’, “Are you Serious? Are you Serious?”
Screecher Pelosi’s press spokesperson, Nadeam Elshami, later explained that questioning the authority of Congress to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance, “Is not a serious question.”
Apparently, the Screecher put out a press release in September claiming Congress has ‘broad powers’ to regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce under the ‘Commerce Clause’ in the Constitution.
The ‘Commerce Clause’ is listed in the list of congressional responsibilities under Article I, section 8, stating,
The Congress shall have the Power… To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.
The Supreme Court ruling in Wickard v. Filburn (1942) is the closest precedent to Screecher Pelosi’s argument. The Court ruled against Mr. Filburn for planting twelve more acres of wheat, grown for personal consumption, than was allowed by regulations in the Second Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938.
Justice Jackson reasoned that although Mr. Filburn’s wheat alone was trivial, more than twenty percent of all wheat grown, at that time, was privately consumed, and therefore affected interstate commerce by reducing the overall supply and demand. The Court, determined that the cause and effect of individuals, toward the supply and demand of the market, inherently gives Congress power over the individual under the “Commerce Clause” and thus expanded the powers of government.
The ruling of Wickard v. Filburn followed the logic of the “Commerce Clause” case of United States v. Darby Lumber Co. (1941), which questioned the authority of Congress to institute the Fair Labor Standards Act to institute parity of labor rates to neutralize seemingly unfair interstate competition.
All this said; if Congress truly wanted to regulate health insurance under the Commerce Clause, they should create legislation that allows health insurance to be purchased across States lines. Congress should disallow States from mandating specific insurance requirements for their State, making it impossible for insurance companies from other States to provide competitive coverage.
What’s that? A Conservative idea that remains within the confines and limitations of the Constitution? No. That’ll never fly in a Congress led by a Liberal Majority. It does not expand the “Powers of Congress”. We can’t have that.
As to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Senator Leahy, and the rest of the blithering idiots in Congress who are trying to force their Socialistic version of Government on America by attempting to “nationalize” our Health Care System;
ARE YOU SERIOUS? But, then again, we’re not supposed to question the authority of those in Congress.
America, why do we even have these… PEOPLE in Congress if they cannot even correctly cite the Constitution of the United States of America, which they all swore an oath to support?