Constitutional Ignorance Reigns Supreme on Capitol Hill

Hello – is there anybody out there who still believes our leaders in Washington care about what the Constitution of the United States says?  Or what it was intended to mean?  Or even that it exists?  If there actually is anybody out there who still believes this, recent discussions on Capitol Hill about proposed federal legislation should dispel such thought from the minds of even the most die-hard optimists.

Legislation dealing with the delivery and cost of health care in the United States is nearing votes in both houses of the Congress.  Although differing significantly in their details, the primary proposals in both the House and the Senate establish clearly it will be the heavy hand of the federal government, not patients and their doctors, who will be controlling health care decision-making in the decades to come. 

With such a massively expensive and substantively far-reaching piece of legislation being debated at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue, one would hope that our “leaders” in Washington, DC might at least pretend to articulate a constitutional justification.  It wouldn’t be that hard, considering the precedents available at least since the 1930s for finding a justification for even the most intrusive government programs and regulations hiding somewhere in that magnificent document.  Even were the infamous “commerce clause” deemed not sufficient to provide a justification for a government program, the always popular “general welfare clause” could be dragged out to provide constitutional cover.

In this age of constitutional ignorance, however, Nanny State proponents don’t even bother pretending to provide a constitutional underpinning for whatever government–based and taxpayer-funded program they advocate.  HR 3962, the massive “Affordable Health Care for America Act of 2009,” is almost 2,000 pages long and would spend more than 1.2 trillion taxpayer dollars, but contains nary a reference to the Constitution; no wave of the hand to “general welfare” or even a passing homage to the “commerce clause.” 

In fact, when asked recently by a reporter if the health care bill was “constitutional,” Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded disdainfully, “Are you serious?  Are you serious?”  Obviously, she never answered the question.

The reason Pelosi never answered the question about the constitutional foundation for the legislation, is because quite simply, there is none.  There is no legitimate basis in the Constitution for the government to control decisions regarding what health care a person receives, what medical services and medications are appropriate for a patient, who is to pay for those services and products and how much they are to cost.  Of course, for a federal government that recently concluded it is proper to bail out some private business but not others, to purchase controlling interest in some corporations but not others, and to honor certain contracts but not others, it’s not really that big a step to directly control individual health care.

The response to another question about the constitutionality of a proposed federal edict is even more revealing of the low esteem in which many congressional leaders hold that once sacred document.  West Virginia Sen. Jay Rockefeller, who chairs the Commerce Committee, apparently is peeved about people who “text” with their handheld electronic devices while driving.  Not content to leave responsibility for addressing the problem to the several states, through long-standing laws that allow civil suits and criminal prosecutions of persons who cause accidents while driving negligently (for whatever reason, including being distracted by an electronic device), Rockefeller is proposing federal legislation to ban “texting” while driving. 

At a recent Commerce Committee hearing, during which concerns were raised about the constitutionality of such legislation, and about the principle of “federalism,” Rockefeller proudly proclaimed his constitutional disinterest thus — “I don’t really give a hoot about states’ rights or federal rights on this one.  I care about results.”  The “results” include another nail in the coffin of constitutional governance in the United States.

145 comments Add your comment

Mark

November 10th, 2009
3:39 pm

What a smart, self-righteous dude we have here in chuck, who appears to be infected by the geniuses he teaches. Why do we need the Supreme Court anyway, when his 8th graders have “very little trouble understanding and APPLYING Constitutional Principles.” A mode stupid claim will be hard to find in a hurry.

One of the skills chuck lacks, unfortunately, is to read and understand arguments. “Your off-handed dismissal of the 10th Amendment as it relates to the healthcare bill shows both your political and intellectual immaturity.” It matters nothing to Chuck that I never dismissed, off-handedly or not, 10th Amendment as it related to the healthcare bill. I escaped him that I never ventured any opinion regarding the constitutionality of that bill. I guess I can leave it now safely to his 8th graders.

Similarly, his shouting about what the Federal government is NOT ALLOWED to do, etc., has nothing to do with anything I have written.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
3:43 pm

Hard Right Hook: “The Congress writes legislation, the Executive branch signs the legislation into law, and the Judiciary reviews and rules on disputes/cases. It is NOT the judiciary’s job to re-write bad legislation.”
Thanks for the civic lecture. Has anybody here advocated the judiciary to re-write bad legislation?

Linda

November 10th, 2009
3:47 pm

Mark, There is a huge difference between health care & health insurance.
We have the best health care in the world. That’s why people from all over the world come here for health care, especially those from countries with socialized medicine. No one is denied health care.
You seem to assume that health insurance saves lives. 2 million people with health insurance die every yr. 90,000 people die each yr. from infections from hospital care from poor hand sanitation. Up to 200,000 die each yr. from medical error. One country just banned their doctors from wearing neckties.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
4:06 pm

Linda, Is here any argument somewhere in what you have written? I would be the first one to emphasize the difference between health care and health insurance. I might have done it even already, rejecting the claim of the detractors of the reform that it amounted to government health care. What the reform is about is health insurance.

However, we do NOT have the best health care in the world. Give me one evidence of that. We have the best medical technology in the world, which is not accessible to everyone. That is why some people from other countries are coming here, those who can afford it. Have you not heard of the thousands of people from the US who go to India or Thailand annually to have surgeries done there, because they cannot afford the here?

Finally, you contradict yourself with the your data about causes of death. Is that what you call best health care in the world? Moreover, none of those numbers means that people do not die because of lack of insurance – they do.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
4:20 pm

Mark: The whole of government is the overhead. Just because the costs are separated (like they did with the “fix” where they put the Medicare budget stuff as a separate bill) doesn’t mean they are not there.

For free market solutions, just off the top of my head, Lasik surgery, cosmetic surgery and $4 generic drugs at Walmart, Walgreens and CVS are good examples.

Seniors are for Medicare because they paid for it, and it’s that or nothing (note the inability to refuse Medicare but collect SS) and now they are right where gov’t wants them – dependent. (I hold that gov’t wants everyone either submissive (producers) or dependent (everyone else) to maintain control and their pseudo aristocracy). Now you may believe that the government won’t do the same bad things the insurance company does, but there is nothing in the history of big gov’t to found such hopes on.

Now I can’t speak for you, but for myself, I do not wish to give up my freedom to the control of government. I’ve seen government dictations to “help” people not be declined coverage here in MA – and it results in the highest premiums in the country and at least 1 (absolutely proven and well documented case) innocent being wrongly jailed due to it.

In the rush to jam this down our throats, equally as concerning as a rush to war in Iraq, too many people aren’t taking into consideration that the Goverment may be exactly as bad as the insurance, but with the added power of making their own rules and allowing politics to interfere in people’s private and personal decisions. What if GWB were running the system, would you still want it?

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
4:34 pm

Mark: Do you think there will be ANY incentive to further technology if there’s nothing to gain?? Every other country in the world depends on US footing the bill to gain new drugs, new technologies and procedures. Without us, there would still be some, but not nearly as many. Do you remember how quickly cell phone technology advanced after a real competetive market? Government cannot fairly compete with anybody when they can put a gun to your head to make you buy a product or pay a bill.

I agree that insurance companies are bad, but it is because of government assistance, not lack thereof. These companies have exploited government to craft favorable rules, keep out startup competition and gain exemptions from the free market risks they otherwise would face. But beyond that, their “profit” is about 2%.

We’ll never have cheaper insurance when nobody cares what the cost of things are. There is no incentive NOT to go to the doctor the moment one has a runny nose, or when little snowflake has a 99.6 temperature. Then they pay a flat fee?? Who pays the rest – they do indirectly, and everybody else. What insurance, other than health, do people WANT to use?? What’s next, grocery insurance? Mortgage payment insurance (flat fee, regardless of house size..)??

It’s not all cases, but I think that in too many cases, supporters of this bill are those that want somebody else to pay for their bills so they don’t have to – AND they are the ones that making the honest people with problems suffer. We wouldn’t even be talking about tort reform if so many people weren’t so willing to sue for b.s. reasons.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
4:38 pm

FYI – I meant to specify, it’s auto insurance mandates I was referring to in MA. The case is a gentleman named Michael Graham. He had not cancelled another state ins. (though had the mandated insurance in state) and was arrested, took it to court and the case was dropped because there was no case.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
4:53 pm

PatHenry: I do not have to believe “that the government won’t do the same bad things the insurance company does,” I have evidence. The Medicare is the evidence. You should listen to doctors: The overwhelmingly prefer dealing with Medicare than with private insurance companies.

If you prefer the private insurance bureaucrats to make decisions what treatment they would pay for, I have no problem with it. But why do you want to deprive other people, who want a government-run insurance, to take advantage of it?

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
4:56 pm

This debate is compelling, but we’re getting away from the point –
The calls of “where in the constitution” – does it really matter that it’s said for things you don’t like, it only matters that you respect the boundaries for the things you’d want to do that also breach the boundaries.
The constitution is what it is. And Bob’s point was more the lack of even pretending to give a hoot about the limitations (like a gangster laughing at the laws, “guilty as sin, free as a bird”, etc. etc.) and then being (at least seemingly) offended at the idea that one would ask a question that the “asking” is always legitimate. Even a poor answer is better than what we’ve seen displayed without shame.
Perhaps Mark or others that support the specific bill would be so generous as to answer the question that Pelosi would not? (Seriously, I would like to know, I’m not only being contentious) Otherwise those like myself that oppose it have one more point to add to our side of the debate and if I were with them, I wouldn’t want to give my opposition that benefit.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
5:02 pm

Mark: If I can opt out completely (meaning I don’t pay a dime for it), and it takes no freedom from me, then I would not oppose it. I do not care a bit about what others do that doesn’t directly affect me (I -am- a constitutional libertarian, after all), but reading h.r. 3200, (I haven’t yet read the new 2000pager, I’ll do so this weekend) there was plenty of things that would take from me, compel me and restrict me. If I get a guarantee like what I mentioned (beyond owning a gun and a willingness to die on my feet before living on my knees… :) ) I would not stand in your way sir.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
5:04 pm

PatHenry: You are confusing a financial service such as health insurance, with production. I have nothing against competition in production, and no desire for the government to be involved.
The idea that a competition between health insurance companies can result in lowering the cost is a fantasy, and contrary to all evidence. Health insurance companies do not produce anything. They take our money, skim a large portion for their overhead and some profit, and do everything they can to pay as little as possible for health care. It makes little difference that their profit is 2%, when their overhead is 20-30%. The claim that insurance companies are bad because of the government is simply preposterous.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
5:20 pm

Mark: A company cannot force you to buy their product or service (in this case, a service), the government can (not legitimately, but by force nonetheless). That is the problem and my gravest concern in this matter. I despise the notion that they will FORCE me to buy anything, insurance or tea or a Chevy..) and think that is perfectly fine. Should I compel you to buy a gun? Should I compel you to serve in the military? Never – but that is exactly what is proposed here.

The next step (maybe it’s in there, I don’t know) will be prohibition of just buying products and services WITHOUT their centrallized record keeping system and controls. Why? So they can control everything about your life, whether intentionally malicious, or through so-called “for your own good” benevolence.
Try making alcohol and selling it to your neighbor, consentually, age of majority. BATFE will be knocking on your door with “shoot on sight” authority, Ruby Ridge style… Probably that is extreme and improbable, but it IS absolutely -possible-.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
5:21 pm

Mark: If govenment involvement is benign, why then are insurance companies exempt from anti-trust? Why can’t one buy insurance out of state?

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
5:24 pm

Any why don’t you just start your own insurance company then? If they don’t “need to” pay overhead (again, ALL of government is Medicare’s overhead) you could gain all the market share of the financial service, right? If there’s no subsidies, no funding outside of premiums, what’s the difference? (Its in the letter of the law differing from the sales pitch for the so-called public option, they fully intend to subsidize and externally fund and most everybody knows it.)

Mark

November 10th, 2009
5:45 pm

PatHenry: Your desire for government not being able to do things is not just naïve, it is unrealistic. We all are members of a society, derive many benefits from it, and have to pay some price. You may want to move to a log cabin away from civilization, or to an undiscovered, uninhabited island to have your wish. There are countless things people are forced to buy all the time.

You are using the discredited argument about what will happen if … End of liberty. End of civilization. You do not want to be forced to buy health insurance, although you probably have one, on the principle that it is coercion. I do not want to pay for the huge costs of health care due to the fact that some people gamble, do not buy insurance and when they cannot pay, get treatment in ER for five times the normal cost, and other expensive treatments when they are injured or seriously ill.

Hard Right Hook

November 10th, 2009
5:48 pm

PatHenry: I think you touched on a very satlient point. When Govt. “costs” are such that a company can save when they become self insured, I think you’ll see many more head that direction. Just like Mark could do; self insure.

But that requires that a company be profitable, and the Lefties want profit eradicated from our system of commerce. Makes for big problems.

jt

November 10th, 2009
6:25 pm

“I do not want to pay for the huge costs of health care due to the fact that some people gamble, do not buy insurance and when they cannot pay, get treatment in ER for five times the normal cost, and other expensive treatments when they are injured or seriously ill.”

You will paying much,much more with this bill. How naive can one get to believe that the feds will lower cost.?
Top Ten insurance companies had approx. 6 billion dollars profit in 2008.
Medicaid/Madicare had approx. 60 billion dollar fraud, waste, abuse the same year.

Linda

November 10th, 2009
6:45 pm

Mark @ 4:06, The House health care insurance reform bill has nothing to do with health care insurance reform because it does not reform health care insurance & the Dems will never reform health care insurance.
This bill approved by the House is to insure another 36 million people, divided by 50 states, is an average of another 720,000 people per state. There’s only 760,000 drs in the US, already a shortage. Remember the laws of supply & demand in Econ 101? Delays caused by the quantity of insured will reduce the quality of health care.
In Canada, in ‘93, the average wait from the time a patient received a referral to see a specialist was 9.3 wks. In ‘97, it was 11.7 wks. & now it’s 17.3 wks. Unions control health care. Weekend & evening procedures aren’t allowed. Waits for colonoscopies have resulted in a 25% higher incidence of color cancer compared to the US. Some of the cancer drugs we routinely use to treat colon cancer are banned in Canada because of their expense. 41% of Canadians with colon cancer die compared to 32% of Americans. The overall rate of cancer deaths in Canada is 16% higher than in the US. I understand that in NYC, the waiting room where patients receive an MRI is full of people from other countries.
Yes, people from 3rd world countries come to the US for medical care due to our technology, but those from Canada & other countries with govt care come here to prevent waiting for life-saving tests & treatment.
Most Americans who go to India & Thailand go there for elective/cosmetic surgery, not covered by most insurance companies, because everything is cheaper in those countries than in the US.
I didn’t contradict myself, but let me restate what I said. Having health insurance will not keep you from dying. People die whether they have it or not. People who have the best insurance still die in hospitals.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
6:58 pm

Linda, I wish you would think about what you are writing, what you are thinking.
“This bill approved by the House is to insure another 36 million people, divided by 50 states, is an average of another 720,000 people per state. There’s only 760,000 drs in the US, already a shortage. Remember the laws of supply & demand in Econ 101? Delays caused by the quantity of insured will reduce the quality of health care.”

Let’s translate it to simple terms: We should not insure more people, allow them get health care, because it might reduce our quality, increase our waiting time. Why don’t you just tell them “drop dead?”

As for people going to India and Thailand, you are dead wrong. Many people go there for essential surgeries. You are also dead wrong about health insurance not keep people from dying. You should go somewhere into the real world, where people cannot afford medicine, cannot afford treatment, and are dying because of that. Thousands of them every year, in this rich country. But what do you care?

Linda

November 10th, 2009
7:10 pm

Mark @ 4:53, there are many drs. who don’t accept Medicare & the trend is drs who don’t accept any insurance. I have a doctor who only accepts cash & requires her insured patients to file their own claims.
You asked why we want to deprive other people who want govt-run insurance. The vast majority (70%) of Americans are insured & like their coverage. Many of those uninsured can qualify for Medicare & haven’t applied. Many can afford health insurance but don’t want to pay for it, especially healthy young people. That only leaves about 15 million uninsured Americans. Why would you want to totally overhaul the entire system, running the risk that 70% of Americans will be deprived of their existing coverage, deprive employers the right to provide jobs rather than health care & deny the rights of those who don’t want to buy insurance–for the remaining 15 million Americans?

What Me Worry

November 10th, 2009
7:28 pm

Two FBI informants concocted and encouraged the conspiracy because they were being paid and promised legal immigration status, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger.

BTW- In 2007 the average annual premium for non-group health insurance was about $2,600 for single-person coverage and $5,800 for family coverage, compared to $4,500 and $12,100 respectively, for job-based plans. I

What Me Worry

November 10th, 2009
7:30 pm

Two FBI informants concocted and encouraged the conspiracy because they were being paid and promised legal immigration status, reports the New Jersey Star-Ledger. (The Fort Dix conspiracy that is)

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
7:30 pm

Mark: Unrealistic? I think your view of either log cabin or socialist utopia is unrealistic. I want nothing more than the constitution. When did I say we should have zero government?

The assumption that we aught to just suck up and deal with tyranny “because that’s how it is” is insane. The government is, per the definition adopted into law via the Declaration of Independence, an association of individuals, acting with –the consent– of the governed. I do not consent to federal authority dicatating every aspect of our lives. They may not take action in all areas at the moment, but certainly they claim they have the authority to.
I am in favor of limited government powers, especially at the federal level. The most power should be with you, then your town, then county, state and finally federal. At each level, must be what everybody (approx 90% if you want a specific figure) -consents- to. I’m speaking of the power, power to implement an army, power to coin money, etc. That is the design, and we’ve deviated from it, and are moving in the wrong direction.
The reason I think this original design was well thought out is that the more you can do to me, the more you have to look me in the eye before, during and after you do it.
If none among us are capable of governing ourselves, who among us is capable of governing others?? Are you suggesting that you know better for people than they do themselves, and hence, that some are better than others?

You submit that we that want to keep our freedom do not care? Why, because we’re unwilling to sign a deal with the devil for scraps off the table? If you believe in government run redistribution of health, why won’t you (/can’t you) sell us on why we should support it, rather than attacking us because we won’t put the shackles on ourselves.

If you have to “mandate” something – it’s because people won’t do it willingly. If you have to “grandfather” something, it proves you can’t get grandfathers to agree to vote for it. If you have have government do something, it’s because that something costs far more than anybody in their right mind would fund on their own without the equivalent of stealing money from people at gunpoint at their disposal to do it.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
7:37 pm

Linda, I see that there is no way to make you see. First: “Many can afford health insurance but don’t want to pay for it, especially healthy young people.” I have already written about that. Many of those people, when they get seriously sick or injured, are treated at our expense, at a much higher cost. I call it stealing from us, gambling with our money. There is no reason why 70%of Americans would be “deprived of their existing coverage” because of the proposed reform. That is preposterous, a scare tactic, paranoia. But the most horrible part of your thinking is the callousness. “Only about 15 million Americans.” Enough said.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
7:45 pm

Mark: If we’re already paying for it, isn’t what you are suggesting/advocating then just moving around the line items on a budget?? This is why we laugh when the left says “you’ll get something for nothing”.. no, you might get it with others paying for it, but it must be paid for either way.
Beyond that sir, your tone conveys a devious idea – that you expect to compel people to “live more healty lifestyles”.. well, I guess that’s great for whoever decides what that means, but it is undeniably stealing freedom. If not, please explain how it isn’t just moving bills and payors around?

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
7:50 pm

Mark: I think Linda is saying – if it’s only 15 million poor people, why aren’t you suggesting increasing the threshold for impoverished entitlements? And why aren’t you willing to consider proven solutions like tort reform and making people pay a % co-pay rather than a flat $ value so people will naturally shop around (assuming that you’ve endorsed that this will happen without coersion by your reference to people getting care in India because it’s cheaper)?

Linda

November 10th, 2009
7:55 pm

Mark @ 6:58, you are still confusing health care with health insurance.
All people in American have health care.
People with & without health insurance drop dead every day.
There’s no proof that people with health insurance live longer than those without it.
There’s no proof that people with health insurance take better care of themselves than those without it.
Poor people have health insurance (Medicaid).
Older people have health insurance (Medicare).
Rich people have health insurance.
Most of the middle class have health insurance.
Most people who have jobs have health insurance.
Some people can afford but don’t want to pay for health insurance.
The only people who don’t have but want health insurance is a few of the middle class who are not poor or rich enough, not young or old enough & maybe not employed or healthy enough.
I see that you have read the self-help book for liberals. If you can’t dispute the facts, attack the messenger.
I care very, very much about this country & where it’s going & hope that you will continue searching for the truth.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
8:06 pm

Just to add to Linda’s excellent comment (though Mark is a much better sport than most Liberals I’ve debated)

Health insurance is not insurance, by definition, it is communnal bill paying. Insurance, in it’s true sense, is something to protect from rare catastrophe, such that the rarity of the benefit allows us to buy “peace of mind” at a lower cost. If you are happy about using insurance, it is not right to call it “insurance”. I think catastrophic insurance is more fitting.

I would prefer that we have HSA’s and tax benefits for most people (beyond the legitimately poor) for most health services and then catastrophic insurance for the rest. The problem is that people with expensive diseases want to lower their bills, legitimate or not, and somehow bankruptcy became a horrific thing that just can’t be used, even though it was designed to rightly allow people to declare they are not credit worthy in exchange for forgiveness of debt and you keep your house…. hey, if I needed it, my credit score would definitely go before my little house.

Linda

November 10th, 2009
8:18 pm

Pat, Most employer-provided health insurance is not merely catastrophic. It’s a $15 or so co-pay for the most routine office visits, tests & procedures. Most people have no idea what health insurance or health care costs.
HSA’s are banned with the House bill.

Linda

November 10th, 2009
8:21 pm

Mark, you never responded to my comment that the health care insurance reform bill had nothing to do with health, care, insurance or reform & that Dems would never reform health care insurance.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
8:31 pm

PatHenry: The tort reform might be a good idea, if anybody could find a fair way to do it. Just saying “tort reform” does not mean anything. In any case, it is a red herring – studies have shown that it would save at most about 1% of costs, and in places where tort reform has been instituted on a state level there was not decrease in medical costs at all.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
8:31 pm

Linda, you are singing the same tune, not realizing that it does not make any sense. The fact that people are dying with health insurance, and because of all the causes you enumerated before, does not have anything to do with the fact that people who cannot afford health insurance and medicines die because of that. In other words, they would not have died if they could afford a better care through a better insurance.. That is plenty of data about that, if you only looked. And even without that it is absolutely incredible to deny it.
I am sure you care about the country. I just see do not seem to care much about people.
Enter your comments here

Mark

November 10th, 2009
8:33 pm

PatHenry: You re making an artificial distinction between insurance and communal billing. I can have auto insurance that would pay for just about everything (no deductible), or only very major expenses (high deductible, a kind of catastrophic insurance), and anything in between. There is no artificial boundary, all of it can be called insurance. There is certainly a legitimate question about what level of insurance should there be if there were a government insurance program.

(signing off for today)

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
8:37 pm

Linda: You are correct, that’s my point and you’re right again with why that’s a problem. I got eye drops from a guy (who I never went to again) that said basically, you should use your insurance more often, you’re lucky… etc. etc.. these eye drops 2 half ounce bottles, $130 if I didn’t have insurance…. People need to not be so insulated from the real cost, then they’d shop around and like cosmetic surgery or cell phones, the price will drop…

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
9:16 pm

Mark: I hope you read this tomorrow…

I agree, I usually say “tort reform, specifically, some way to eliminate frivilous/illegitimate suits. You can’t artificially cap if that cap is less than a VALID settlement. You should absolutely get fair restitution. Perhaps a counter-suit for fraudulent suits, or a loser pays system or a stricter requirement for proof of loss, to stop the 100 Mil for coffee in your lap at McDonalds, and on the other end, perhaps a respect for disclaimer, where when one signs it, by doing so they accept that they have taken every possible step to understand what they’re doing and only gross and easily discernable violations can undermine the disclaimer. I’m no expert in this area, so I’m sure that there are many good ideas that I’m unaware of.

I get what you are saying with insurance, but do you get what I’m saying? Car insurance doesn’t pay for your oil changes, wiper blades and routine maintenance (though if you want to pay a high premium, someone could offer it) – so why do we have insurance commonly do the equivalent for health? “Normal” insurance should cover Appendicitis, injuries in bike accidents and heart attacks and the such, but not a physical, strep test, viagra & birth control. And if so, it should be cost-ratio, not flat fee. The super high premium insurance could cover more, like you suggest for car insurance. And why couldn’t we try this, going back to the previous system if it proves to be worse… We shouldn’t have gov’t cherry picking industries, anti-trust should be a rule for all or none, not some. All products should be able to be sold in any state the company chooses. Your insurance would go up if you had Geico and Geico were forced to sell in MA.
When I got homeowner insurance, the company wouldn’t cover my German Shepherds without a paradoxical process (you need a certificate before you keep the dog at the house, you can’t get the certificate without training the dog first, catch22) so I went to another company. What if the government had the GSD policy and outlawed the other company? I just couldn’t have my dogs? They wouldn’t want to test me on that.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
9:22 pm

Mark: I said I hope you read this because I meant to tell you that I appreciate your fortitude. Most liberals or people arguing liberal positions get frustrated when their arguments don’t hold up and just call you a racist or cafe-hole and fold up like a lawn chair. It’s refreshing that you stay with it without deteriorating to the insane vulgarities and empty platitudes (I know we have those on our side too)…… I wanted to give you at least that credit as I feel it’s due (though Linda likely disagrees…. :) )

Linda

November 10th, 2009
9:43 pm

Mark @ 8:31, regarding tort reform. As long as we have new mothers suing OBGYNs for stretch marks, we have a problem. Your estimate of 1% is much lower than my research. Sounds like statistics from MSNBC. Defensive medicine costs up to $178 B per yr & the additional cost of malpractice insurance is another $29.4 B. Numerous states have tort limits, including GA, & they have worked. There are plenty of ways to do it, such as in the Reps health insurance plan, but Dems will never reform tort because the lawyers lobby gives the vast majority of their funds to Dems. I understand that the House health care bill vetos all states’ tort reform legislation. That doesn’t sit right with me.

As long as we have new mothers suing their OBGYNs for stretch marks, we have a problem with tort reform. The studies you mentioned

Linda

November 10th, 2009
9:59 pm

Mark @ 8:31. I’m sorry you can’t make sense of what I said. You said that people who cannot afford health insurance & medicine die because they can’t afford health insurance & medicine.
The fact is that people who can afford & have health insurance & medicine also die.
Life expectancy is not related to having health insurance as much as it’s related to life style.
I care a lot about people in this country. I want health insurance reformed so that more people have access to it. The House bill has nothing to do with health, care, insurance or reform. It will not save lives.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
11:43 pm

Ahh Linda, fantastically well said.

We can look at Liberal “successes” – Medicare – going broke, paying 80% of claims. Those doctors that like it, probably do because the insurance companies question them. That waste fraud and abuse, who is doing that? Oh yeah, doctors (among others)
VA care – dirty, run down and often hundreds of miles away. If it weren’t for those of us privately giving (we have a Walter Reid charity box where I work, and I’ve given to SCWDA – benefiting military dog handlers – see Vietnam for gov’t’s idea of living creatures (they euthanized and abandoned 1000’s of war dogs after declaring them “expendible equipment”, deaf to the pleas of the handlers to adopt them at their own expense)) you’d never use this as a shining example of government management.
SS – Going broke, despite the thousands I’ve already put in, why do I keep hearing how I might never get any of my own money back???
Military – Constitutionally authorized, yet can’t account for millions in dollars, can’t get 2000 dollar fire surpression for 16000 Humvee gas tanks (2000 bucks, plus 2 hours labor times 16000, still less than AIG’s bailout) and thousand dollar hammers???
War on Poverty – How many people have been lifted out of poverty?? Statistically, 0%.

“As long as we have the power to tax, we can always take away from the people whatever we need to bail them out of trouble.” Said before 1964, and it’s still true today.

I guess their intentions, that’s all that matters…

Tom

November 11th, 2009
7:42 am

A common comment appearing here is about letting the Supreme Court review the constitutionality afterwards. I want to know where in the Constitution it says that the Supreme Court is the supreme authority on the Constitution? I’ve read it a few times and it appears to me that all three branches should be watching for constitutionality. The Supreme Court only gets called in after the first two mess it up. If someone does answer, please don’t bring up the “constitutional review precedent” set by Marshall. The Constitution also does not place precedence restrictions on the judiciary.

Bill Walker

November 11th, 2009
11:33 am

While he is correct that health care by the government is unconstitutional, before Mr. Barr starts criticizing others for being unconstitutional, the former congressman should get his own public record in order. Mr. Barr was one of three individuals mentioned in a Missouri investigation recently regarding militia groups opposed to obeying the Constitution. Mr. Barr has stated he opposes obeying Article V of the United States Constitution and holding, as required by that article, a convention to propose amendments, or an Article V Convention, when the states have applied for such a convention. The public record is clear. The Constitution mandates a convention call if 34 states submit 34 applications for a convention call. The public record shows all 50 states have submitted 750 applications for a convention call. The applications can be read at http://www.foavc.org.

That public record also shows that while Mr. Barr was a member of Congress, sufficient applications existed to cause a convention call. Where was Mr. Barr then? Obviously joining with his fellow members of Congress to disobey the Constitution. Mr. Barr is a constitutional hypocrite and he has no business criticizing others for doing exactly what he himself has done.

A convention will and can repair the damage done by Congress and the courts and the states have already submitted proposed amendments to do so. But so long as leaders such as Mr. Barr who really doesn’t support the Constitution are listened to, the Constitution will continued to be ignored.

[...] Hello – is there anybody out there who still believes our leaders in Washington care about what the Constitution of the United States says? Or what it was intended to mean? Or even that it exists? If there actually is anybody out there who still …Read Original Story: Constitutional Ignorance Reigns Supreme on Capitol Hill – Atlanta Journal… [...]

Thomas Cambridge

November 14th, 2009
2:06 pm

Mark,

Barr is addressing the issues of judicial activism and Congress’ constant overstepping of its “authority”. “where in the Constitution…” is meant to question someone’s claim of authority. Questioning is a GOOD thing. You should also educate yourself on the real meaning of the general welfare clause. Without an accurate historical perspective you merely sound like an ignoramus.

[...] Bob Barr claims there’s this Constitution. Has anyone ever seen it? If it exists, Congress has read it as carefully as the trillion-dollar bills it passes. [...]

[...] Social Security should also be viewed as a commodity; If I do not want to have my wages garnished now for the purpose of funding a future retirement I might not live long enough to see, I should have the freedom to keep 100% of my wages and … But what we will do is, we’ll have the negotiations televised on CSPAN so that people can see who is making the arguments on behalf of their constituents and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance …Continue Reading [...]