Letter: Health care legislation does not follow Constitution

By on December 31, 2009

I am amazed at the state of our society. Our founding, the cause for people to leave the comfort and security of all they knew, was the promise of freedom.

Many people left their countries of origin in search of religious freedom. Others left their countries because they had a spirit of adventure and a need to discover something they had never seen or experienced. Before becoming a sovereign country, we were an oppressed people who were governed by a monarchy in a far off country with no understanding of what was happening in the growing colonies. From these great people, two documents were created that formed the backbone to the greatest country to ever grace this world—the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights.

These founding documents are the stricture by which our country was developed, not a living document that evolves with the times and can be adjusted to the current socio-economic precepts of the current political class. As such, I just re-read both documents and, as usual, found what I needed to counter what is currently being proposed for our “urgent” healthcare needs.

Starting with the Bill of Rights, Amendment 10 is as follows: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

So, after reading this, the first and only logical path to follow is to consult the Constitution to see if there is anything that describes healthcare and, following further into the issue, the way to pay for it if it is something that is the providence of the federal government. I only found one part of the Constitution that might be construed as meaning that the federal government should have any part in healthcare.

The following is from Article I, 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 (as written in the original Constitution).”

The “general Welfare” portion of the Constitution I believe is being “interpreted” for the progressives push to have the federal government take over healthcare. Make no mistake, the end goal of this, all the way back to when Ronald Reagan made an incredibly prescient speech in 1961 about the evils of what the liberals are proposing right now as then, is for the takeover of one-sixth of our economy by the government and an encroaching on our basic freedoms through the supposed concern for our welfare.

Incredibly, the same portion of the Constitution that is attributed to these suppositions is also a source for a questioning of our basic taxation system and how the liberals are proposing to pay for this new entitlement.

How can we have the new “excise” if it is geared to tax more heavily on those “Cadillac” plans? Moreover, how can we have a taxation system that taxes more heavily on those that earn more? And, since we are talking about taxation, how can we tax those that pass on? There is no clearer call for a flat tax than from the Constitution itself. What is a flat tax other than having a tax that is “… uniform throughout the United States”?

But I am leaving my point. Nowhere in the Constitution or in the Bill of Rights does it state that the federal government should provide me or my fellow Americans federally paid healthcare. I would like to state right now that the same yearning for freedom that inspired our ancestors is the same inspiration that should be in every American to fight the federal takeover of our healthcare system.

Like it or not, healthcare is a business, and Americans should yearn for free enterprise in any business system. If not, then our individual freedoms are compromised by a governmental system that is now concerned by the minutiae of how we care for ourselves and with the power to dictate everything from diet to exercise to how we live our lives.

I don’t know about all Americans, but I relish my freedom and do not wish to be told, for instance, that the steak and potato I had for dinner is no longer acceptable because it could endanger my health and is therefore no longer acceptable under the new healthcare precepts laid down by the federal government.

I could also talk about price, but the $2.5 trillion over 10 years is nothing at all compared to the cost of the freedom I would be losing.

And, on top of that, what country would I run to recapture the freedom I would be losing? The America I love, that all hopeful people continue to run to today, will be gone if this bill passes, and the last vestige of hope and freedom will be lost to this world.

David Selenis
Maple Park

One Comment

  1. RM

    January 2, 2010 at 9:54 AM

    “These founding documents are the STRICTURE by which . . .” I realize this is a typo but the way you use these documents, they would be a stricture. You forget that when these documents were written health care was primitive, women weren’t allowed to vote and slavery was legal. We were also stealing Indian land and destroying their culture. The leap from healthcare regulation or universal access to now all your freedom is gone and you can’t eat steak and potatoes says a lot about the limitations of your thought process. The hysteria about healthcare isn’t solving any problems. It’s just more Republican non-accomplishment.

    The cost is a real issue. So is tort reform and lack of insurance coverage for millions of people. Where does the Constitution address these issues? Do these documents say we’re born unequal, some better than others or more deserving? The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are a framework – a beginning for an evolving country. To assume anything else is to be stuck in the past and be forever limited. But then being limited is a comfortable rut for some folks.