Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

10 August 2010

Oklahoma and Arizona Will Follow Missouri Lead Against ObamaCare

The people of Missouri recently voted on Proposition C, which would make it state law that Missouri residents could not be forced to buy individual health insurance as required by ObamaCare.  71% of the people voted for Proposition C, despite its opponents spending about five times as much to block it as was spent to promote it.  The state Medical Association actually opposed Proposition C.

Oklahomans will vote on a similar proposition since the Oklahoma legislature passed Senate Joint Resolution 59, despite the adamant opposition of the Democrat Gov. Brad Henry, an Obama ally in a state that voted 66% for Senator John McCain for President.  The state house voted 88 to 9 in favor of putting the proposition on the November ballot, with strong bipartisan support.  I have family in Oklahoma and I fully expect that Sooners will vote in an even higher percentage for a state law to make it illegal to force state residents to buy health insurance than did Missourians.

In Arizona, the Healthcare Freedom Act will be on the ballot in November.  The Taxpayer Freedom Alliance was the principal force getting this put on the ballot.  The Healthcare Freedom Act makes it illegal to force citizens to purchase health insurance using taxes or penalties.  The Mayo Clinic facilities in Arizona have stopped taking Medicare payments already.  Enthusiasm for this proposition is running high and the recent attacks on Arizona over the enforcement of immigration laws have probably made Arizonians even more inclined to thwart the federal government again.

The People of Florida would also have such an anti-ObamaCare individual health insurance mandate proposition on the November ballot, except that a Circuit Court judge appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist cut down the proposition while claiming it was "manifestly misleading."  The People will now have no way to say they object to being forced to buy health insurance acceptable to the federal government, except to vote those Representatives and Senators out of office who voted for ObamaCare.  Many, many of them will do that.

Supporters of ObamaCare justify the constitutionality of the individual insurance purchase mandate based upon these false claims:
  • The Commerce Clause allows the federal government to require health insurance purchases because if someone has no insurance they will have to be treated at the expense of others anyway, which will somehow affect interstate commerce even though such insurance is purchased within one state and regulated by each state.
  • The Necessary and Proper Clause of the Power to Tax allows any tax, which this is, contrary to all claims when the House and Senate passed it that the penalty for not buying individual health insurance was not a tax.
  • The mandate requiring the purchase of individual health insurance approved by the government is required by the General Welfare and the federal government can do anything as long as it claims it is doing it for the sake of the General Welfare.
Each of these claims is nonsense at multiple levels.  Here is why:
  • The Commerce Clause was provided in order to keep the states from interfering with free trade between the people of different states, not to give the federal government the power to interfere with the free trade of the people. Besides, this actually forces someone to buy insurance and by that act, it puts them into a commerce they would not otherwise be in.  Even then, the commerce need not even be interstate commerce.  The courts have allowed ridiculously broad interpretations of the Commerce Clause, but have agreed that some powers it has been stretched to cover were not covered.  Surely this is one of them.
  • The Necessary and Proper Clause of the Tax Power only allows taxation for enumerated powers of the government in the Constitution.  This restriction has been widely abused by the federal courts already.  This power of taxation is also supposed to be restricted to actions for the General Welfare.  There are further restrictions on the type of allowed taxes in the Constitution and none of those taxes cover this penalty tax for not buying a product.
  • The People have made it clear that they do not think that this ObamaCare tax and mandate to buy a product is consistent with their General Welfare.  Besides, the requirement to act consistent with the General Welfare is actually a further restriction upon the powers of government, not an enlargement.  The government is allowed only to exercise the powers enumerated for it and then only in such a manner as is consistent with the General Welfare.
Some of the People are beginning to understand these constitutional limitations of the power of the federal government.  This increased understanding is being pushed in good part by the sense of outrage against ObamaCare.  Many of the People are finally realizing that the federal government has been greatly exaggerating its powers with the help of the federal courts.  Many of them are also realizing that they need the help of the states to defend themselves against the voracious power of the federal government.  Others believe they have a right surely to managing their own healthcare and that government does not own their bodies.  Some realize that it is a farce to say an American has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but he cannot control his health to control whether he will live, he cannot control his time and effort devoted to his healthcare and body, and he is not allowed to pursue the happiness of pain and disability avoidance in his own way.

Enough understand that they do not need and do not want ObamaCare, that propositions similar to those of Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arizona have or will pass overwhelmingly.  We are sure to see more such state propositions in the future, with the result of more state nullification of federal government overreach beyond its constitutional powers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, collectivists have used both the "general welfare" and the "commerce clause" to install a lot of their beliefs here in the name of the "common good." However, what is commerce? Legally speaking, commerce means "the exchange of commodities for commodities; considered in a legal point of view, it consists in the various agreements which have for their object to facilitate the exchange of products of the earth or industry of man, with an intent to realize a profit. Pard. Dr. Com. n. 1. Congress have power by the constitution to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several States, and with Indian tribes. 1 Kent, Com. 431; Story on Const. 1052 et seq. The sense in which the word commerce is used in the constitution seems not only to include traffic but intercourse, and navigation. Story, 1057; 9 Wheat. 190 190, 191, 215, 229; 1 Tuck. Bl. App. 249 to 252."

Madison said, "Yet it is very certain that it grew out of the abuse of the power by the importing States in taxing the nonimporting, and was intended as a negative and preventive provision against injustice among the States themselves, rather than as a power to be used for the positive purposes of the General Government, in which alone, however, the remedial power could be lodged."

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 was intended to be a restriction on States, not a positive grant of power to Congress.