Question: Do we really know what’s in the proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009 and whether or not it erodes our Constitutional Rights?
The following blog post by Michael Connelly, a former Army Officer and Retired Constitutional Attorney, of August 12, 2009, contains his penned essay challenging the constitutionality of health care reform legislation after reading the entire text of the proposed bill-You Decide:
The Truth About the Health Care Bills:
These are pertinent excerpts from his blog post:
“The Truth About the Health Care Bills –
Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.
To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.
The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business, and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government.
However, as scary as all of that is, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated. If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.
The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S. Government. The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration authority in a number of different areas over the lives of the American people, and the businesses they own.
The irony is that the Congress doesn’t have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with! I defy anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.
This legislation also provides for access, by the appointees of the Obama administration, of all of your personal healthcare direct violation of the specific provisions of the 4th Amendment to the Constitution information, your personal financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and hospital. All of this is a protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures. You can also forget about the right to privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the 3rd and 4th Amendments may provide.
If you decide not to have healthcare insurance, or if you have private insurance that is not deemed acceptable to the Health Choices Administrator appointed by Obama, there will be a tax imposed on you. It is called a tax instead of a fine because of the intent to avoid application of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment. However, that doesn’t work because since there is nothing in the law that allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely depriving someone of property without the due process of law.
So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much, out the original ten in the Bill of Rights, that are effectively nullified by this law It doesn’t stop there though.
The 9th Amendment that provides: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;
The 10th Amendment states: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Under the provisions of this piece of Congressional handiwork neither the people nor the states are going to have any rights or powers at all in many areas that once were theirs to control.
I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get the idea. This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and limiting rights. Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both houses of Congress to “be bound by oath or affirmation to support the Constitution.”
If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for this legislation or anything like it, without feeling I was violating that sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway, I would hope the American people would hold me accountable.
For those who might doubt the nature of this threat, I suggest they consult the source, the US Constitution, and Bill of Rights.
Here is a link to the Constitution:
And another to the Bill of Rights:
There you can see exactly what we are about to have taken from us.
Constitutional Law Instructor
Carrollton , Texas
Note: The following is an opinion that was recently posted on the Wall Street Journal and seems to support the above blog post-You Decide:
Why the Health-Care Bills Are Unconstitutional: “If the Government Can Mandate the Purchase of Insurance, It Can Do Anything”–Posted On The Wall Street Journal-By Hatch, Blackwell and Klukowski-On January 2, 2010:
These are pertinent excerpts from this opinion:
“President Obama’s health-care bill is now moving toward final passage. The policy issues may be coming to an end, but the legal issues are certain to continue because key provisions of this dangerous legislation are unconstitutional. Legally speaking, this legislation creates a target-rich environment. We will focus on three of its more glaring constitutional defects.
First, the Constitution does not give Congress the power to require that Americans purchase health insurance. Congress must be able to point to at least one of its powers listed in the Constitution as the basis of any legislation it passes. None of those powers justifies the individual insurance mandate. Congress’s powers to tax and spend do not apply because the mandate neither taxes nor spends. The only other option is Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce.
Congress has many times stretched this power to the breaking point, exceeding even the expanded version of the commerce power established by the Supreme Court since the Great Depression. It is one thing, however, for Congress to regulate economic activity in which individuals choose to engage; it is another to require that individuals engage in such activity. That is not a difference in degree, but instead a difference in kind. It is a line that Congress has never crossed and the courts have never sanctioned.
In fact, the Supreme Court in United States v. Lopez (1995) rejected a version of the commerce power so expansive that it would leave virtually no activities by individuals that Congress could not regulate. By requiring Americans to use their own money to purchase a particular good or service, Congress would be doing exactly what the court said it could not do.
Some have argued that Congress may pass any legislation that it believes will serve the “general welfare.” Those words appear in Article I of the Constitution, but they do not create a free-floating power for Congress simply to go forth and legislate well. Rather, the general welfare clause identifies the purpose for which Congress may spend money. The individual mandate tells Americans how they must spend the money Congress has not taken from them and has nothing to do with congressional spending.
A second constitutional defect of the Reid bill passed in the Senate involves the deals he cut to secure the votes of individual senators. Some of those deals do involve spending programs because they waive certain states’ obligation to contribute to the Medicaid program. This selective spending targeted at certain states runs afoul of the general welfare clause. The welfare it serves is instead very specific and has been dubbed “cash for cloture” because it secured the 60 votes the majority needed to end debate and pass this legislation.
A third constitutional defect in this ObamaCare legislation is its command that states establish such things as benefit exchanges, which will require state legislation and regulations. This is not a condition for receiving federal funds, which would still leave some kind of choice to the states. No, this legislation requires states to establish these exchanges or says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services will step in and do it for them. It renders states little more than subdivisions of the federal government.
This violates the letter, the spirit, and the interpretation of our federal-state form of government. Some may have come to consider federalism an archaic annoyance, perhaps an amusing topic for law-school seminars but certainly not a substantive rule for structuring government. But in New York v. United States (1992) and Printz v. United States (1997), the Supreme Court struck down two laws on the grounds that the Constitution forbids the federal government from commandeering any branch of state government to administer a federal program. That is, by drafting and by deliberate design, exactly what this legislation would do.
The federal government may exercise only the powers granted to it or denied to the states. The states may do everything else. This is why, for example, states may have authority to require individuals to purchase health insurance but the federal government does not. It is also the reason states may require that individuals purchase car insurance before choosing to drive a car, but the federal government may not require all individuals to purchase health insurance.
This hardly exhausts the list of constitutional problems with this legislation, which would take the federal government into uncharted political and legal territory. Analysts, scholars and litigators are just beginning to examine the issues we have raised and other issues that may well lead to future litigation.
America’s founders intended the federal government to have limited powers and that the states have an independent sovereign place in our system of government. The Obama/Reid/Pelosi legislation to take control of the American health-care system is the most sweeping and intrusive federal program ever devised. If the federal government can do this, then it can do anything, and the limits on government power that our liberty requires will be more myth than reality.
Mr. Hatch, a Republican senator from Utah, is a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Mr. Blackwell is a senior fellow with the Family Research Council and a professor at Liberty University School of Law. Mr. Klukowski is a fellow and senior legal analyst with the American Civil Rights Union.”
Note: Both blog posts were checked out on Snopes.Com-You Decide:
Note: The above blog post and opinion are supported by the following recent articles-You Decide:
Sen. Hutchison: ‘No Place in Constitution’ Gives Congress Authority to Mandate Health Insurance – Is Trampling on Individual Rights–Posted On CNSNews.Com-By Christopehr Neefus-On December 29, 2009:
Sen. McCaskill Doesn’t Say Where Congress Gets Power To Mandate Health Insurance, But Cites Auto Insurance At State Level–Posted On CNSNews.Com-By Edwin Mora-On December 28, 2009:
Sen. Lautenberg Declines To Say Where Congress Gets Constitutional Authority To Mandate Health Insurance–Posted On CNSNews.Com-By Edwin Mora-On December 28, 2009:
Alaska Senator Begich Doesn’t Say Where Congress Gets Authority to Mandate Purchase of Health Insurance–Posted On CNSNews.Com-By Matt Cover, Staff Writer-On December 24, 2009:
Sen. Conrad ‘Assumes’ Constitution’s Commerce Clause Gives Congress Power To Mandate Buying Health Insurance–Posted On CNSNews.Com-By Edwin Mora-On December 23, 2009:
Senate Health-Care Bill Provision Would Make it Impossible for Future Congresses to Repeal Parts of Bill-Posted On CNSNews.Com-On January 5, 2010:
Note: The above articles and/or blogs and opinion overwhelmingly support my recent blog posts-You Decide:
Are the Cracks Beginning to Show in a Radical Agenda Many Believe Was Crafted by the President and ACORN?
Health Care Reform: “The Perils of Inaction and the Promise of Effective Action”:
“Food For Thought”
“God Bless & Keep Our USA Safe”