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megimoo
11-24-2009, 10:12 AM
As Harry Reid's health care bill moves to the Senate floor, the debate over Obamacare finally begins in earnest.

Shouldn't the Constitution be part of that debate? By what authority, after all, could Congress force all Americans to buy health insurance?

In a recent press release, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., argues that constitutional objections to the individual mandate are "nonsensical," because "the power of Congress to regulate health care is essentially unlimited." We eagerly await your orders, ma'am!

Pelosi is wrong, but that doesn't mean the court can be counted on to strike down Obamacare. Legislators have an independent obligation to consider the constitutionality of the laws they're debating -- and the individual mandate is flagrantly unconstitutional.

In answer to the question "by what authority?" Reid's bill offers the Commerce Clause -- the go-to provision for friends of federal power. That clause gives Congress the power "to regulate Commerce ... among the several states."

It was a modest measure designed to regularize cross-border commerce and prevent interstate trade wars -- so modest, in fact, that Madison described it in the Federalist as a clause that "few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained."

The Founders would have worried more had they known that the Commerce Clause would eventually become a bottomless fount of federal power. In 1942's Wickard v. Filburn, the court held that the Commerce Power was broad enough to penalize a farmer growing wheat for his own consumption on his own farm.

That farmer, Roscoe Filburn, ran afoul of a New Deal scheme to prop up agricultural prices. The fact that he wasn't engaged in interstate commerce -- or commerce of any kind -- was quite beside the point. If "many others similarly situated" engaged in the same behavior, it would substantially affect interstate commerce, and frustrate Congress' designs.

In its "Findings" section, Reid's bill hits all the jurisprudential buzzwords: The individual mandate "substantially affects interstate commerce," and regulates "activity that is commercial and economic in nature." Activity like standing around without health insurance? Apparently so.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columns/Obamacare-is-unconstitutional-8577602-71854682.html

lacarnut
11-24-2009, 10:55 AM
I assume that the courts can not get involved until this monstrosity passes. For the life of me, I do not see how forcing individual and business to purchase insurance is constitutional. If it is constitutional, how about life insurance, disability insurance, funeral insurance, etc?

The main reason that AARP is supporting the public option is because Medicare Advantage health insurance will be dropped and thiey will be able to sell Medicare Gap in its place. That means that this rotten organization stands to make millions if not billions off the backs of senior citizens. Like McCain said, seniors should tear their membership cards up and send them back to this liberal money grubbing outfit.