Monday, March 15, 2010

The Health Care Plan is Unconstitutional

I just looked through the Constitution and did not find anything anywhere that gives the federal government the power to provide health care.

It is important to understand that the Constitution is a document that created the federal government and thus is the only source of its power.  Without the Constitution, the federal government has no power at all.  And the government is not allowed to exercise any power that has not explicitly been granted. The whole idea was to severely restrict the government to "just those few things that the people and the states cannot do for themselves."

But look at how much the government currently does that is outside of the Constitution. Regulation of food and drugs, building of roads, Medicare, Social Security-- and all the associated agencies, such as the EPA, FDA, HHS, etc., that create and enforce rules that have the power of law.

I remember how we were shown a little flowchart in middle school about "how a bill becomes law." My teachers never mentioned that most our "laws" are now created outside that process by agencies run by unelected bureaucrats with power delegated to them by Congress.

People used to understand that the government couldn't just pass whatever law or rule they want.  For example, the banning of alcohol required a Constitutional amendment -- and another one to repeal it.  It seems obvious to me that the creation of a federal power to control health care would also require a Constitutional amendment.  But to do so would require more than a majority in Congress, and would also require ratification by the States.  It would never pass that gauntlet.

Thomas Jefferson had some advice in his old age about the situation in which we now find ourselves.  In a letter to William B. Giles on 26 December 1825, Jefferson wrote about how the government was growing beyond the Constitution -- even then -- and what to do about it.  For some reason this letter is rarely quoted.  Here is the relevant portion:
I see, as you do, and with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of all the rights reserved to the States, and the consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign and domestic;  and that too, by constructions which, if legitimate, leave no limits to their power.  Take together the decisions of the federal court, the doctrines of the President, and the misconstructions of the constitutional compact acted on by the legislature of the federal branch, and it is but too evident, that the three ruling branches of that department are in combination to strip their colleagues, the State authorities of the powers reserved by them, and to exercise themselves all functions foreign and domestic.

Under the power to regulate commerce, they assume indefinitely that also over agriculture and manufactures, and call it regulation to take the earnings of one of these branches of industry, and that, too, the most depressed, and put them into the pockets of the other, the most flourishing of all.  Under the authority to establish post roads, they claim that of cutting down mountains for the construction of roads, of digging canals, and aided by a little sophistry on the words “general welfare,” a right to do, not only the acts to effect that, which are specifically enumerated and permitted, but whatsoever they shall think, or pretend will be for the general welfare.

And what is our resource for the preservation of the Constitution ?  Reason and argument ?  You might as well reason and argue with the marble columns encircling them.  The representatives chosen by ourselves ?  They are joined in the combination, some from incorrect views of government, some from corrupt ones, sufficient voting together to outnumber the sound parts;  and with majorities only of one, two, or three, bold enough to go forward in defiance.  Are we then to stand to our arms, with the hot-headed Georgian ?  No.  That must be the last resource, not to be thought of until much longer and greater sufferings.  If every infraction of a compact of so many parties is to be resisted at once, as a dissolution of it, none can ever be formed which would last one year. 

We must have patience and longer endurance then with our brethren while under delusion;  give them time for reflection and experience of consequences;  keep ourselves in a situation to profit by the chapter of accidents;  and separate from our companions only when the sole alternatives left, are the dissolution of our Union with them, or submission to a government without limitation of powers.  Between these two evils, when we must make a choice, there can be no hesitation.

If the health care plan currently under discussion actually becomes law, I would certainly hope that the Supreme Court would immediately invalidate it.   But I am not holding my breath.  After all, they haven't invalidated all the unconstitutional government agencies.


No comments:

Post a Comment