Saturday, October 24, 2009

Get That Constitution Out of My Face

In these statements it's clearly demonstrated that the Constitution is viewed as an obstacle to the goals of many liberals, and not as a revered document of life and law that should be revered.

This comes from the Patriot Post newsletter, dated October 23rd, 2009.

~~~~~~ Where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D - VT): We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority? I'm asking-

Leahy: Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, there's no question there's authority, nobody questions that.

The interviewer persisted, however, and again asked the question. Leahy dodged, saying, "Where do we have the authority to set speed limits on an interstate highway? The federal government does that on federal highways." He then walked away.

So to get this straight, Leahy defended Congress' unconstitutional attempt to take over one sixth of the U.S. economy by citing another unconstitutional law that was justly repealed 14 years ago.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) answered the question by saying, "Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect [a mandate that individuals must buy health insurance]. The end that we're trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility."

On the contrary, in 1994, the Congressional Budget Office reported that a mandate forcing Americans to buy insurance would be an "unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States."

According to Hoyer and his accomplices, however, the General Welfare Clause in the Constitution empowers Congress not only to "promote the general Welfare," but to provide it, demand it and enforce it.

But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was the worst offender. "Madam Speaker," asked, "where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" Her brief reply spoke volumes about the Left's contempt for the Constitution and the Rule of Law: "Are you serious? Are you serious?" She then ignored the question and moved on to the next one. Her spokesman later added, "You can put this on the record: That is not a serious question. That is not a serious question."


Once again, we find the unbridled, inexcusable arrogance of the Leftinitza. What's next? A proclamation that "resistance is futile; you will be assimilated"?


Anonymous said...

I'm not convinced what any one solution to the health care problem in this country is, but I see your point. I like the idea of everyone putting into the system, it's sensible that the young and healthy put in money to help pay for the old and sick. It's what makes any insurance pool work. You cant have an insurance pool of all accident prone people unless what you charged them was out of this world. Same with homeowners insurance. You spread it out across the country so that when a flood hits say, New Orleans, you can pay the damages. But whether the Constitution says that's something the Feds can do, well, your right, it really doesn't quite say that.
I would like to see a lot of purging of the system before the nation agrees to just start paying for everything. Cut cost first. Hey, lets regulate how many adds the drug companies can have first, or how much they can spend on them. That's probably not Constitutional either, but they do it with cigarettes and booze, both drugs.
Just out of curiosity, do you have any ideas on how to get more people access to health care, and or make it more affordable?

Recessionista Genie said...

CemeteryConsort, that's a good point about pharmaceutical advertising. The U.S. and New Zealand are the only developed nations that allow such advertising direct to consumers, and regulating that would be one way to cut needless costs.

Gleno, I can see your frustration with the idea that the federal government would mandate an individual buy-in. I don't really like that idea either, unless the mandate was TRULY affordable for everyone based on income--which means no fee at all for the poorest people. I do agree with CC, though, that I don't see how an insurance program can work efficiently and cheaply without broad buy-in.

Truly, I do not see a constitutional issue with the mandate, however. For better or for worse, the Constitution says Congress can regulate activities that have an effect on interstate commerce, like labor relations, education, and agricultural production. Do you think Americans should no longer be taxed to pay for things like public schools? I know some older people who think they shouldn't have to pay taxes for schools because they personally don't have any little kids, and they don't give a fart. But living in society that confers rights and protections also comes with costs, like having to obey laws and pay taxes--even to support programs that don't support you, yourself, directly, at this moment. Our Democratic system ensures that the American people have a say in creating law and tax code.

Now, to address the problem at hand. Like CC, I also wonder: Do you have any ideas on how to provide access to affordable health care?

While I sympathize with your distaste about a mandate enforced by a penalty, I don't share your feeling of insult to the Constitution. One of the things I love about our Constitution, and what I think makes it great, is that flexibility and vagueness were written into it intentionally so that our government would have the power to evolve to suit the nation's needs, without scrapping the whole document when it becomes problematic.

That's why our Constitution is the longest surviving written charter of government. That's something to celebrate and take pride in.

I leave you with a quote from famous conservative G.K. Chesterton: "Tradition is not the worship of ashes but the preservation of fire."

Patriotism, too, is not the worship of history but the preservation of the people and the nation.

How do you propose that we carry our great nation's people through this health care crisis?

AsterixChaos said...

Just out of curiosity, do you have any ideas on how to get more people access to health care, and or make it more affordable?

People don't like my answer, but I'll throw it out here.

Simply put, we don't. We need to suck it up as a species and embrace the fact that death and suffering are a part of our existence. With all of our technology, all of our science, all of our power, we have the ability to make people comfortable, that way they can move on peacefully, gracefully. We can make death something to look forward to--just another peaceful, successful transition in our lives.

It's cheaper. It cuts down on costs to the system by NOT paying for people to stay infirm, wasting, and dead-alive. Our world is over-populated. Our world is way short on resources, and way, WAY short on conscience in seemingly every area EXCEPT this one--because too many people make too much money by making our old or sick people keep a pulse, despite the fact that they aren't living.

And no, I'm not just saying, "Let's roll with assisted suicide." That's too small-time, by far. I'm not just saying, "let people end their own lives," I'm saying, "Let people grow old or get sick gracefully and without suffering, happily dying when nature says that they're done."

Anonymous said...

But what or who is the qualifying decider of this? Because what it means is that people with money will live as long as science allows, and people without won't. Which is pretty much what we have now. And that only covers the dying. Lots of people can live for years and years but be sick enough to be totally or mostly unproductive. Yet with better health care, they can be back to productive good citizens. Do you have a sickly ill society that is a burden on itself, waiting for people to become sick enough to die, or do you want a healthy society? Which is better? As humans, which do we want to strive for?
I totally get your point about letting sick people die. I want to be one of those people. I don't want to give up the moment I hear I might have cancer, but I don't want to live forever on chemo either. But there is a fine line. Between the curable, and the incurable. And the curable still costs a lot.
Under the same idea, should we stop giving children polio shots, and all the other preventative measures we do to keep kids healthy? Is this an age thing? Logan's Run?
The better the health care, the older we get, the more health care we need. It is a no win situation in a way. But with the understanding that as humans we want to be humane, and we want to keep our families around us as long as we can, as long as they can, how do we deal with the cost of health care?
Who decides?

Recessionista Genie said...

AsterixChaos, I actually agree with some of what you have to say, but the proposed health care reform would help meet some of those goals.

End-of-life consultations would help people age and die gracefully, according to their wishes. The reform bills contain solutions to our nation's current problem of wasting loads of money keeping dying people on life support. That's what we ALREADY do, and reform would help cut those costs by making people healthier to begin with (so they wouldn't linger in illness so long, and instead remain healthy, productive citizens for longer, as CC points out) and be able to choose not to prolong the ends of their lives with that kind of treatment.

I also agree that we, as a culture, could learn to deal with pain and suffering better. Americans like to pop pills and use other expensive treatments to kill pain without actually getting healthier. In some countries, people accept pain as something you don't go to the doctor for, unless it's debilitating. There is more focus on prevention and listening to the body's symptoms to diagnose and treat the actual causes of illness. Proposed health reform legislation would put more focus on prevention and real treatment, not just hawking pain pills and other expensive "band-aids." That is one solution to cut costs while improving quality of life.

And overpopulation? The best solution for that is not letting poor people suffer and be unhealthy, which actually incurs a lot of cost and doesn't make people die faster than they reproduce. The best solution (according to the data, not just my personal whimsy) is birth control--education and contraceptive use. There are some weirdos out there like Octomom, and people who have large litters of kids for religious reasons, but MORE THAN HALF of babies born in the U.S. are unplanned. Doops! If we helped prevent accidental crack babies and other tragic births, we'd cut down the population cheaply (and make the average baby born a lot healthier, more productive, and cheaper to care for over the whole lifespan) and without undue suffering or Nazi-esque attempts at eugenics.

You say, "Let people grow old or get sick gracefully and without suffering, happily dying when nature says that they're done."

I say, that sounds dandy. That is not how it's done now in the U.S. A toddler dying of an asthma attack induced by pollution, whose parents can't afford a simple inhaler or curative shots, isn't "happily dying when nature says that they're done," nor is a cancer patient lingering in agony in a hospital that won't take them off life support until every insurance penny has been squeezed out of their miserable, prolonged death. That's the status quo. That's what we're trying to change with health care reform.

Recessionista Genie said...

Gleno, on a completely unrelated note, have you checked out the Blog of Note called The Hermitage? It's absolutely incredible, and right up your alley, I think. Just thought I'd give it a shout out. :)

Gleno said...

I'll take a look at this "Hermitage" you mention. You've never steered me wrong yet. :-)

I'm currently working on a response to all of these comments, but I think I'll post it as a new blog rather than in this thread. I think it will be easier to carry on this conversation if I post it as a blog.