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Healthcare bill is not Constitutional

December 28, 2009

CNS News, an online news source, has been asking Democrat senators whether they think the healthcare bill is constitutional.  Their latest “target” is Sen McCaskill of Missouri.  When asked, she stated:

Well the — we have all kinds of places where the government has gotten involved with health care and mandating insurance. In most states, the government mandates the buying of car insurance, and I can assure everyone that if anything in this bill is unconstitutional, the Supreme Court will weigh in.

You gotta love the way these Democrats memorize their playbook.  I’ve heard the “car insurance: argument several times before–including, tellingly, an OFA email.  Trouble is, it doesn’t track.  The government doesn’t

  • mandate buying car insurance: only if you own a car and drive it
  • tell you what kind of insurance to buy: only sets minimums
  • doesn’t sell car insurance: the “public option”
  • doesn’t tax you if your policy sets limits too high

But it does fine you or throw you in jail if you do drive and don’t have insurance.  Maybe that’s what she meant.  Those nice, caring Democrats telling you that you wouldn’t have to buy health insurance if only you weren’t breathing.

CNS News has been asking this question of quite a few senators, all just as clueless.  The other “authority” given is the “welfare clause.”  To quote from the Constitution:

Section 8. 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;

(emphasis added).  Sounds good to a statist.  The same argument made by the Democrats today was foreseen by anti-Federalists in 1787, who criticized that clause:

It has been urged and echoed, that the power “to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts, and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States,” amounts to an unlimited commission to exercise every power which may be alleged to be necessary for the common defense or general welfare.

James Madison in Federalist 41 raises that objection only to refute it with the Framers’ intent.   The common defense and general welfare refers to the enumerated powers that follow:

…when a specification of the objects alluded to by these general terms immediately follows, and is not even separated by a longer pause than a semicolon?

Somebody wasn’t paying attention in history class…Let us hope that when the Supreme Court does “weigh in” they will be better informed.

Do check out CNS News, where the real brilliance of our legislators shines brightly.  Not.

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