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 9th, 2009
9:36 am

For a former Congressman, Bob Barr’s views of the Constitutional Powers are staggering. He joins other mindless people, who ask, whenever they do not like an action of the government, the question “Where in the Constitution …?”

Mr. Barr complains that HR 3962 does not contain references to the Constitution, as if that were a requirement. The constitutionality of the bill should be the least of the concerns of Mr. Barr and his ilk, because there is such as simple remedy: the Supreme Court.

Mr. Barr and those who disregards the “general Welfare” clause surely object to the Interstate Highway System, assistance to victims of natural disasters, and any other law that might assist them in any way, if they are not listed in the Constitution – and almost none of them are.

StJ

November 9th, 2009
9:52 am

Every piece of legislation should be constitutionally vetted before it even moves out of committee, as EVERY federal official has taken an oath to defend it.

Anyone who approves or votes “yes” to anything unconstitutional should be removed from office. Period.

But it will never happen, not in the White House, Congress, or the jusiciary, including the Supreme Court…there are too many egocentric, self-serving people involved.

StJ

November 9th, 2009
9:53 am

errr…meant “judiciary”. Morning fingers.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
10:00 am

Mr. Barr also falsely claims that HR 3962 would allow the government to decide “what health care a person receives, what medical services and medications are appropriate for a patient.” There is nothing in HR 3962 that would give the government that power. HR 3962 and the other health care reform bills discussed in Congress do not give the government a control of the health care. There is nothing in HR 3962 that would prevent patients to require any health care they want and the medical practitioners are willing and capable of providing. All that the bills deal with is the system of paying for certain care under a system of insurance. Just like when having a collision auto insurance you can pay for any repairs not covered by it.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
10:07 am

StJ: constitutionally vetted? By whom?

Brandon

November 9th, 2009
10:18 am

Perhaps by any individual possessing a knowledge in legal diction/doctrine and half a brain, all traits that appear to be lacking on Capitol Hill?

Mark

November 9th, 2009
10:24 am

Brandon: I suppose you consider yourself to be such an individual.

Steven

November 9th, 2009
10:31 am

Page 94—Section 202(c) prohibits the sale of private health insurance policies, beginning in 2013, forcing individuals to purchase coverage through the federal government.

Page 297—Section 501 imposes a 2.5 percent tax on all individuals who do not purchase “bureaucrat-approved” health insurance—the tax would apply on individuals with incomes under $250,000

Two short examples. The Constitution does not allow for the federal government to force citizens to spend their hard-earned money (i.e. private property) on any product or service.

You said above that

“There is nothing in HR 3962 that would give the government that power. HR 3962 and the other health care reform bills discussed in Congress do not give the government a control of the health care”

The person or entity footing the bill does, in the end, have authority over what goods or services are permissible. If you think this would not apply to health care, then you have never interacted with anyone who has been either a Medicare or Medicaid provider. The government exacts unbelievable controls, and these decisions are, in the end, made by a low-salaried employee with little to no real knowledge about the field which they are making unilateral decisions about. Before you claim what is or is not in this or any bill, you should take the time to read it.

Brandon

November 9th, 2009
10:32 am

I consider myself an individual of enough intellectual security to be able to tell that this Health Care Act is not based on the constitution, but I wouldn’t claim to be an expert in legal processes. From the looks of it, though, you are even worse off, being blinded by the current glittering generalities and diffusion of “We want the best for our people,”.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
10:41 am

Steven: Show me where the bill does not allow you to pay for a medical service tthat a medical practitioner is willing to provide. The person or entity footing the bill does NOT have authority over what goods or services are permissible. Just as in my example, the auto insurance company does not have any authority of what services are permissible. If they pay for the fender but not the bumper, who forbids you to pay for the bumper?

Brandon: I think it is rather amazing that people who cry about lack of constitutionality ignore the fact that the Constitution provides for a constitutionality test: The Supreme Court decision.

Eric

November 9th, 2009
10:49 am

Right on! Good article again, Mr. Barr.

El Jefe

November 9th, 2009
11:01 am

Folks,

Let us face facts. The left does not hold our Constitution in any regard. To them, it is just a piece of old paper.

The left will take any clear sentence and twist its meaning to mean anything they want.

I say, lets de-elect them all. Come 2010, lets replace every Representative in the house with fresh blood that isn’t in the pocket of some special interest group.

El Jefe

November 9th, 2009
11:21 am

Why is it so hard for the lefties to understand the “general welfare” clause. Isn’t simple English enough for them? These are the enumerated powers of Congress, and yes, they have stepped way over the line on almost all of these.

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 defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;

To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;

To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;

To establish post offices and post roads;

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court;

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;

To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;

To provide and maintain a navy;

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;

To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;–And

To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

Emily

November 9th, 2009
11:29 am

Mark: “Mr. Barr and those who disregards the “general Welfare” clause surely object to the Interstate Highway System, assistance to victims of natural disasters, and any other law that might assist them in any way, if they are not listed in the Constitution – and almost none of them are.”

I don’t think he said he disregarded the ‘general welfare’ clause in the article (though he himself may feel that way, it wasn’t stated), he did however say there was no effort by the senate/house to USE that clause to justify the bill (or another clause). Of course, they’re not because most of the population seems not to know or care what the government is allowed or not allowed to do – so why waste the time with due diligence and reasoning only a few will care about – even if it IS something they should focus on.

It’d be even nicer if they could ever actually gain a sense of frugality.

tess

November 9th, 2009
11:30 am

Sir, seems that OBAMA is going to push this stupid bill down our throats whether
of not we approve! IS THAT IN THE
“…UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.?…”

john coffey

November 9th, 2009
11:34 am

No government can force its people to purchase any particular commodity. If I do not want to purchase car insurance, I have the freedom to decline driving a vehicle. If I do not want to purchase a health-insurance policy, I have the freedom to eat healthy, exercise, and take my chances. 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 save/invest for my personal retirement as I see fit. Perhaps invading other countries should be viewed as a commodity. If I do not think invading a particular country is necessary or worth the cost, I should have the freedom to decline to pay for said invasion. Legitimate governments can only tax consumption. And I have the freedom to reduce/decline consumption as I see fit.

Steveo

November 9th, 2009
11:44 am

Mark: So the fact that it’s unconstitutional in the first place isn’t relevant? So we should just pass every bill then let the Supreme Court weed them out? Crazy notion. Does the court even take every case and operate very quickly? Wow.

booger

November 9th, 2009
12:07 pm

This bill, or what ever is ultimately approved, is only a beginning. The objective is a single payer system, and it will come quicker than most people think.

I remember a few short years ago when Mike King was AJC’s go to man on health issues. During the debates on Peach Care expansion, he stated that a few radical right wingers in the republican party were even suggesting this was the first step to government controlled health care.
Look how many steps we have have taken in three years. Think how many we will take in the next five.

And for those who do not think government already controls the health care system in the US. How could they reform something they do not control. I don’t think there is an opt out provision in the bill.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
12:09 pm

Emily: Do you seriously argue that in every bill the Congress passes there should be a statement justifying the action by reference to the Constitution? What difference would it make if HR 3962 started with the words: “In accord with the Constitution, which People of the United States ordained and established, among other things, to promote general Welfare …”?

JR

November 9th, 2009
12:10 pm

Hey Mark. What do the 9th and 10th Amendments mean?

JR

November 9th, 2009
12:11 pm

P.S. You might want to take a look at how the Supreme Court has interpreted the general welfare clause. It doesn’t mean we can do whatever we want as long as it’s for the collective good. Centralized economic planning, like this health care bill, does not work based on all available empirical data.

Steven

November 9th, 2009
12:13 pm

Well, I’ve shown where the government will, in fact, force us, the citizens, to purchase only government-approved health insurance. (This is as opposed to the auto-insurance you cite, where we can purchase insurance from any private entity we so desire.) This is definitely not Constitutional. I for one happen to think that ANY action (past or present, Democrat OR Republican-sponsored) taken by the government to infringe upon my private property and the freedom to choose how I spend that money is wrong, but that’s an argument for a different forum.

If you are so convinced that we will be able to get any healthcare that we want after the bill is in place, and we can do that now, then why a bill mandating that we purchase insurance from the government? To what purpose?

Also, why the need for a 2000 + page bill? What complexities are in there that are so necessary to fix a system that’s only mildly broken?

Mark

November 9th, 2009
12:15 pm

Steveo: In a representative democracy, we elect representatives, who pass laws, and we implicitly trust them to act according to the Constitution. When they fail, then there is the Supreme Court remedy. What Brandon apparently arrogantly belives is that he is better qualified to judge the constituionality than the legislators.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
12:22 pm

Steven: First of all, the bill does NOT mandate that we purchase insurance from the government; it mandates that we purchase an insurance. The reason for that is to protect you and me for paying for medical services of those who gamble and do not buy insurtance, have an illness or accident, go to emergency, and we who are insured pay the the five times the cost of regular treatment, or other expensive treatment the hospitals will provide.

Shananeeee Fananeeeeeee

November 9th, 2009
12:29 pm

Fraud-bama shows ignorance daily. To achieve healthcare reform, “I’m going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We’ll have doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators. Insurance companies and drug companies will get a seat at the table too. 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 companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process.” – PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA. “You Lie.” – JOE WILSON.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
12:34 pm

JR: Nobody is arguing the the general welfare clause means that we can do whatever we want as long as it’s for the collective good. We are talking about a specific bill. If you think it is unconstitutional, why not wait for leal experts or the Supreme Court to make that judgment?

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
12:42 pm

Constitutional Ignorance on Capital Hill is already surpassed by General Ignorance on Capital Hill. Just look at the House & Senate leaders. One’s a lawyer, the other a moonbat.

The reason Congress steamrolls through pathetic legislation like this is that they know that we, the populace, can’t force a Constitutionional review of legistat. I’ve seen several posts here that tell me that there is a growing knowledge base, and those of us that are sick of an out-of-control Federal Government are gaining in strenght when it comes to pointing out Constitutional requirements.

It’s interesting that a few writers immediately try to impeach the character of Bob Barr, a former federal prosecutor. Contrast this to the Constitutiional scholar in the White House who can’t get it right.

There is not one syllable of authority in the Constitution for the Feds to write health care reform, regardless of what the libtards say. Just because Polar Bear Al says it’s a “living, breathing document” doesn’t mean it’s so.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
12:46 pm

I would trust a Constitutional scholar over a former federal prosecutor in questions regarding the Constitution anytime.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
12:48 pm

If the Constitution is not a living document, then why had it to be amended?

Kathy W

November 9th, 2009
12:57 pm

Steve, you are right on. You obviously have read the bill. Mark, what do you think this means: “Page 94—Section 202(c) prohibits the sale of private health insurance policies, beginning in 2013, forcing individuals to purchase coverage through the federal government.”

El Jefe

November 9th, 2009
12:58 pm

Good point Mark.

How about the right to vote for women and former slaves. How about taking the ability of the States to appoint their own Senators? What about the restrictions placed on slavery?

Just a few items.

It is an amendable document(as described in the Constitution), not a living one, one cannot freely interpret the document any old way, it must pass through many steps to be changed, specifically not through Court fiat.

Steveo

November 9th, 2009
1:07 pm

Mark: OK, but when you have members of the financial committees who, even Ron Paul commented, didn’t know we were not on a gold-based economy, you can tell these people have lost touch. Also, mandating people to pay for government or private coverage is freedom? People who can’t afford treatment usually don’t get it. DON’T force me to pay for things and don’t force a healthcare system I have reduced faith in on me. I do fine with self prevention. Exercise, eating healthy and other things. The current system is not set up to praise prevention, but to treat the “chronically ill” where illnesses are made up so big healthcare can reap benefits, preying on people’s uncertainty. See H1N1. DO NOT think forcing a crappy system into my life is for the betterment of all.

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
1:09 pm

Because there is no article in the Constitution that allows the prohibition of a legal product (alcohol). The constitution was amended to impose and remove prohibition.

Things change over time, Mark. So point out for us all where in the Constitution, the Feds are allowed to take over a large portion of private sector commerce? And again, see the 10th Amendement.

As for your Scholar hero, both he and his questionable Attorney General can’t get this right.

For reference, see FDR’s National Recovery Act.

B. Johnson

November 9th, 2009
1:10 pm

By 1942, constitutionally clueless Socialist FDR had managed to nominate eight pro-big federal government, outcome-driven justices to the USSC. And the goal of FDR’s growing showcase of state-sovereignty ignoring justices was evidently the following. Their goal seemed to be to simply ignore pro-state sovereignty constitutional statutes like Article V and the 10th Amendment when they interpreted the Commerce clause in pivotal cases. Such cases include Wickard v. Filburn and US v. Wrightwood Dairy Co.

Note that not only does the Wickard opinion reference state sovereignty as if it were a mere rumor, IMO, but I have yet to find any mention of the 10th A. or state sovereignty in the Wrightwood Dairy case opinion.

Fortunately, FDR’s corrupt justices could not rewrite constitutional history so we can expose their folly today. Indeed, regardless that these justices succeeded in establishing the federal government tradition of sweeping state sovereignty under the carpet for many generations, we still have the writings of constitutional experts to guide us.

To begin with, contrary to what Pelosi and other constitutionally-impaired lawmakers might think, Congress has no power to regulate intrastate commerce, the main excuse for liberals to force constitutionally unauthorized federal healthcare down everybody’s throats.

“For the power given to Congress by the Constitution does not extend to the internal regulation of the commerce of a State, (that is to say of the commerce between citizen and citizen,) which remain exclusively with its own legislature; but to its external commerce only, that is to say, its commerce with another State, or with foreign nations, or with the Indian tribes.” –Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson’s Opinion on the Constitutionality of a National Bank : 1791. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/bank-tj.asp

Next, the USSC has already tested the idea of Congress regulating medicine, for example, deciding against Congress.

“Direct control of medical practice in the states is obviously beyond the power of Congress.” –Linder v. United States, 1925. http://supreme.justia.com/us/268/5/case.html

The bottom line is that the Congressmen who vote yes on Obamacare legislation will make a handy list of lawmakers who need to be charged with treason for blatantly violating their oaths to defend the Constitution.

Finally, the following words of Thomas Jefferson are appropriate for any official actions of the Oval Office and Congress which approve constitutionally unauthorized Obamacare.

“Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.” –Thomas Jefferson: Draft Kentucky Resolutions, 1798. http://tinyurl.com/oozoo

Joan

November 9th, 2009
1:13 pm

Let your wishes be known. ATLANTA TEA PARTY EXPRESS AT THE CAPITOL AT 5:30 TONIGHT. Be there or be square.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
1:26 pm

Hard Right Hook: And I am asking you again: If what you claim is unconstitutional, why not force a review by the proper Constitutional authority, the Supreme Court? These questions about “where is it in the Constitution…” are nothing short of silly.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
1:30 pm

Steveo: “People who can’t afford treatment usually don’t get it.” ??? Wow, who would have thought that?

Mark

November 9th, 2009
1:37 pm

El Jefe: Generally I agree with you, although the difference between amendable and “living” might be more a semantic one than real. However, while I would agree that the Constitution should not be interpreted in any odd way, there is no doubt in my mind that even the interpretation has to change with time, because the authors of the Constitution could not foresee all the changes in the society, technology, etc.

Steveo

November 9th, 2009
1:38 pm

Mark: Nice. You just contradicted yourself.

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
1:41 pm

Unlike the battalions of libtards freely walking about at the expense of others, who think the universe was created just for them, I am a mere mortal. If I had the ability or power to file suit & have the Supremes review the legistaltion, I would. But it’s not law yet, so they can’t rule on proposed legistlation. That should be patently obvious.

The only reason you think asking about the verbiage in the Constitution is “silly,” is because you don’t have a clue what the Constitution says or doens’t say. You’re working in a vacuum, and that’s exactly what Queen Nancy wants. Again, tell us what the 10th Amendment says.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
1:55 pm

Hard Right Hook: Perhaps you could at minimum learn to read. Where did I write that ‘asking about the verbiage in the Constitution is “silly”’? What I wrote was that asking about anything people dislike a question “where is it in the Constitution?” is silly. Almost nothing in any bill or law is “in the Constitution.” If it were, why should that law exist? The Constitution cannot be so specific to spell out everything.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
2:02 pm

Hard Right Hook: Your arrogance is clearly showing. You think you are a Constitutional expert? I know well what the 10th amendment says.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
2:03 pm

Steveo: That is only what you think.

Jefferson

November 9th, 2009
2:27 pm

The should have to repeal a law to make a new law. Too many laws.

bob

November 9th, 2009
3:22 pm

Mark, we are not in a representative democracy, it’s a representative republic. If gov can force you to but their insurance then they are dictating healthcare. The real scam is dems saying people should have to pull their own weight then defend welfare, medicaid and Social Security. Both Obama and Frank are on record as saying this bill is the first step to single payer, they want their foot in the door. Since gov is forcing companies to accept high risk people, premiums will rise even faster, at that point, dems will go to single payer if they have their way. Thank goodness the senate does not have as high of a percentage of hacks as the house. Can I buy a wrecked car and then buy insurance on it, it’s only fair.

citizen

November 9th, 2009
3:26 pm

While most of us have been following this health insurance reform measure, I fear something larger is looming. Would someone google The Daily Star Lebanon, and explain to me what George Soros is peddling? This thing called Multilateral Financial System for the world to take the place of our International System that was created after World War II at the Bretton Woods conference. This really does scare me more than any of our domestic issues because I still believe in the American spirit of sheer will and we will overcome any weakness in our domestic system; but if our leaders in the White House are creating this smoke screen so that a bigger force can try and destroy our way of life, we are in much bigger trouble.

Chris Salzmann

November 9th, 2009
3:49 pm

Joan November 9th, 2009 1:13 pm SAID: Let your wishes be known. ATLANTA TEA PARTY EXPRESS AT THE CAPITOL AT 5:30 TONIGHT. Be there or be square.

CHRIS SAYS: You going to be there with your poster comparing health insurance reform to Nazism? Or perhaps you’re going to make that crazy comparison of Obama and socialism/marxism right? LMAO…..yeah, what a sorry bunch of sorry crazies.

jconservative

November 9th, 2009
3:52 pm

A close reading of legislative history will show that this has been the attitude of Congress since 1789. Even during those years that Mr. Barr spent in the House.

Captain

November 9th, 2009
4:38 pm

It appears Mark is taken charge of this topic, so let’s address some of Mark’s commentary.

Regarding the Supreme Court being the final arbitor. That is certainly correct, however you choose to overlook or ignore a few items related to that. To begin with, elected officials take an oath of office which requires them to “uphold” the Constitution, not challenge it using their elective office and the tax dollars of the citizenry to do so. Secondly, elected officials have the responsibility to “take into account the Constitution in all legislative action”, that is an implied understanding from the Founding Fathers and throughout the nation’s history. Elected officials cannot and should not throw caution to the wind as you suggest and pass legislation “hoping” the Supreme Court rules it constitutional. What if they rule it unConstitutional? Should those elected officials be expected to immediately resign and reimburse the Federal Gov’t the expense to which they put the taxpayers for the exercise? I think the simple answer is ABSOLUTELY.

To this ongoing comparison to Auto Insurance. That’s a totally bogus comparison. The United States Government does not impose a requirment to carry Automobile Liability Insurance.That decision belongs to the individual states. Furthermore, to inform you as to your lack of knowledge in that area, the State of Georgia has a mandatory Financial Responsibility Act applicable to Automobile Insurance. A person who buys a state mandated license plate must comply with the Act. That person can comply in one of two ways; 1) purchase Automobile INsurance with limits of Bodily Injury of not less than $25,000 per person, $50,000 each accident and $15,000 Property Damage, or 2) said person may fulfill the obligation by posting a Financial Bond of $50,000 with the state. Therefore, a person does not have to buy Auto Insurance.

Moving along, the HB passed by the Dems stipulates that the Secretary of Health and Human Services shall, within 18 months of enactment of the Bill, determine a Federally approved Policy of Health Insurance. Each individual shall be required to carry Insurance in compliance with the HHS Secretary. Each person shall comply by enrolling. The HHS Secretary shall determine Benefit levels, Deductibles, Co-insurance, Out of Pocket expenses. As it stands in the HB, the premiums will be a % of one’s individual income, or Family Income. Anyway a reasonable person reads the legislation it equals GOVERNMENT DETERMINES WHAT I CAN HAVE, HOW MUCH COVERAGE I CAN HAVE AND WHAT MY PREMIUM WILL BE. This in light of a Pres who repeatedly stated ‘if you like your current coverage, we’re going to let you keep it, if you like your current Dr, we’re going to let you keep that Doc. Nothing in this Bill will dictate anything otherwise’. Really? Then why is there a fine if my plan is better than what the HB dictates?

Mark, you can be naive, you can support Socialized Medicine if you wish. However, you are living in an absolute dream world if you think the 2044 page bill passed by Pelosi and the Radical Left is anything less than a Government takeover of Medical Services in this country. I hope you will enjoy the long lines, the diminished services, the rationing of care because if this plan, or anything remotely similiar is enacted, the quality health care, the Doctor-Patient relationship, the choosing of Hospitals for service, the choosing of specialists will be a memory. How can a reasonable person conclude anything else? That’s reality in France, the UK, Canada. There’s no reason to believe Nancy Pelosi, Charlie Rangel, Steney Hoyer, Maxine Waters and that crowd of looney tunes, the same crowd who promised their stimulus bill would hold unemployment below 8% and now it’s above 10% and more likely 15%, who promised the “most Ethical Congress” in the nation’s history can do anything more than ruin the most efficient, most patient response and innovative Health Care System in the history of civilization. You want to trust a crowd who can’t find fault with Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd and the like? Not me.

If there is $400 Billion of savings by cracking down on Medi-care and Medi-cade Fraud, why not start by doing that today. Why do we need this massive takeover of Health CAre service to crackdown on Fraud within the system?

I favor reform, common sense reform. Frivilous lawsuit reform where the loser pays, abolishment of state lines for the purchase of health insurance, allowing business groups to align into associations across state lines and within the states to purchase and negotiate for lower rates, allowing individuals to determine what type of plan they want to purchase or not purchase, allowing individuals to take a tax deduction for premiums paid, elimination of ‘pre-existing conditions’ by the establisment of a “pooling arrangement” similiar to the Flood and Crop Insurance programs whereby insurers can re-insure those persons with significant medical issues which would generally make the uninsurable.

The HB plan also does not insure everyone. Why does it cost over $1 Trillion? Does that number seem extraordinarily high to insure 20 million people? SUre it does, the reason is the Dems are creating several new Federal AGencies and levels of bureaucracy and adding in excess of 300,000 new Federal Employees.

Mark, you keep trusting Democrats. This is the same Democrat Party whose Medicare and Medicaid agencies deny 2 claims for every 1 in the private sector, the same Democrat Party whose Social Security Administration requires over 1/2 of those applying for SS benefits to employ an Attorney for the very benefits they’ve paid for. You trust those Democrats and their Federal Government agencies to show you their kind and understanding side. I prefer to look elsewhere for reassurance, the Federal Government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs are horrible. The End.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
4:44 pm

bob: To say that we have not a representative democracy, but a representative republic, is one of those silly statements that does not even make sense. The term republic already includes the fact of representation, so that representative republic is superfluous. And since most decision are made by democratic means, we have a representative democracy, that is a republic.
As for the current proposal being a step to single payer system: So what? It is not a single payer system proposal. If, in our system of a republic (representative democracy) we the people elected representatives, who would choose to establish a single payer system, what is your problem with it? Is it not up to the people, through their representatives, to decide what they want?

jt

November 9th, 2009
5:04 pm

The Captain just keel-hauled the silly statist Mark.

I shudder to think of what mandates Mark would have if he was in charge.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
5:08 pm

Captain: I won’t torture everybody at such length.
Supreme Court as the arbiter: I never said that our representative should ignore constitutionality. I am a amazed by the number of Constitutional experts among the critics of the reform. History shows that while many laws are challenged, but few are overturned as unconstitutional, showing that the legislators have a much better understanding of the Constitution that those armchair experts.

The difference between a state and federal law requiring insurance is meaningless when it is a matter of principle. The auto is in most part of the country an essential means of transportation, therefore to force insurance is very comparable to forcing health insurance. As for fulfilling obligation by posting a $50,000 bond, is is pretty much equivalent to being forced to pay a fine in place of buying health insurance. It also involves financial sacrifice.

Your interpretation of the insurance requirements is wrong. There will be no fine if your plan is better than HB.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
5:09 pm

jt: your comment shows your intellectual capacity.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
5:28 pm

Captain: The statement that the 2044 page bill passed by Pelosi and the Radical Left is anything less than a Government takeover of Medical Services in this country is silly on its face, quite meaningless. No matter what the final law may be, the government will not provide any medical services, therefore there cannot be any takeover. Why again that comment about the 2044 pages? Is it beyond the brain capacity of a human? As for the reality in places like France, apparently you know nothing about it. One thing is certain: the people in that country would never exchange their system of health care coverage for ours.

Stumpy

November 9th, 2009
6:09 pm

Dumbest thing I’ve seen in awhile Mark. Completely sidestepping the excellent points Mr Barr makes and calling those who believe the Constitution is the basis of this government is MINDLESS. Then you move on to the obvious straw man fallacy of equating not wanting the Feds running health care with not wanting to help disaster victims. Truly, a cheap and hollow argument.
In truth the General Welfare clause has been used for good things (such as those you cite). But it is also the gateway for the unrelenting push for the Federal Government to take over every aspect of life in this nation. I don’t think it’s wrong to point out when this kind of abuse is happening. And I shouldn’t have to give up the interstates (which I help pay for) to do it. Try some intellectual honesty please!

JR

November 9th, 2009
6:15 pm

According to Mark, it is perfectly acceptable to pass patently unconstitutional legislation and then punt the decision regarding its legality to the Supreme Court. Great logic. Must be an Obama voter.

JR

November 9th, 2009
6:17 pm

Mark, P.S. How can you support legislation you have never read and don’t know what’s in it?

Bob

November 9th, 2009
6:26 pm

Mark, does the constitution have the word democracy in it ? The problem I have with single payer is that it will suck and will only benefit people that vote themselves benefits by electing people that have nothing to offer other than playing robinhood, are you admitting that you have no problem with that.

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
6:35 pm

Mark

November 9th, 2009
2:02 pm
Hard Right Hook: Your arrogance is clearly showing. You think you are a Constitutional expert? I know well what the 10th amendment says.

No, I’m no Consitutional expert.

If you know what the 10th Amendment says, tell us,man! It’s really simple.

But you don’t really know, do you?

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
6:39 pm

PS, Mark. Republic is from the Latin Res Publica.

jt

November 9th, 2009
6:42 pm

KEEL-HAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUL.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
6:46 pm

Stumpy: Do not tell me about intellectual honesty. You have not made any arguments, just stated that I was wrong.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
6:48 pm

JR: Patently unconstitutional? By whose analysis? The constitutional expert JR’s?

Mark

November 9th, 2009
6:51 pm

Hard Right Hook: So what? Why don’t you tell me what was wrong with what I wrote about the republic and representative democracy.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
6:54 pm

Hard Right Hook: Your are getting really funny. You have disovered a secret, the 10th amendment, that nobody knows? You want me to reproduce it here? Come on man, be an adult.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
6:56 pm

Bob:”Does the constitution have the word democracy in it ?” What that has got to do with anything?

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
6:57 pm

Because we do NOT live in a representative democracy. The United States is a representative republic. Most people learn that in 7th grade civics.

Are you going to tell us what the 10th Amendement says or not?

JR

November 9th, 2009
6:59 pm

What does the 10th amendment preclude the federal government from doing? Nothing? Show me the right to privacy in the constitution. The problem with the living document argument is that it means you can literally make up whatever suits your goals with respect to the meaning of the constitution. If you don’t like something in it, then amend it. Again, what is the purpose of the 10th Amendment? You’ve got nothing. Also, please show me an example of successful centralized economic planning. You should read the Road to Serfdom by Hayek. You’re a statist.

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
6:59 pm

If you are not intelligent enough to understand the difference between a democracy (mob rule) and a representative republic, you belong a Bookmans blog, with all the other screaming libtards.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
7:02 pm

JR: Where and when did I say that I supprted any particular legislation? I have been pointing out bad arguments.

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
7:04 pm

JR: I think the right to privacy was taken from the 4th Amendment…..”The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects……”

To be sure, better ask Mark.

JR

November 9th, 2009
7:06 pm

When are you going to explain the purpose of the 10th Amendment? You’re making bad arguments and are clearly not an attorney.

JR

November 9th, 2009
7:10 pm

That’s right. The Supreme Court made up the right to privacy 180 years after the 4th Amendment was created. Just made it up out of whole cloth. Utter sophistry.

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
7:24 pm

I was taught the 10 Amendment was to prevent the Feds from “interfering” in matters of the states. In other words, if the Constitution doesn’t specifically authorize the Feds, it remains a states’ right, specically.

And I think it is the most abused Amendment there is.

JR

November 9th, 2009
7:36 pm

This country has been in a death spiral since FDR.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
7:45 pm

Hard Right Hook: People who learned the he United States is a representative republic in 7th grade civics were badly served by their school. The US system can be called a Constitutional republic, or Representative democracy, as opposed to Direct democracy. It was James Madison who defined our republic as representative democracy.

Richard

November 9th, 2009
7:48 pm

Mark wrote: “The difference between a state and federal law requiring insurance is meaningless when it is a matter of principle.”

There is definitely a difference. Things that the federal government is not permitted to do (such as taxing property directly) are reserved to the states. Things that the state is not permitted to do are reserved to the people.

I think the tax itself is easier to prove unconstitutional. Pollock v. Farmers’ Loan & Trust Company would easily show the tax is unconstitutional if not an income tax covered by the 16th. The wording directly taxes noncompliance with the “Acceptable Coverage Requirement” subsection. Assuming the Supreme Court could be convinced that lacking insurance is not a source of income (I feel pretty good about the odds on that), Congress would have no constitutional authority to levy the tax. It would also be invalid as an income tax on an identifiable group of individuals, as that would clearly violate equal protection at a minimum.

Hard Right Hook

November 9th, 2009
7:52 pm

November 9th, 2009
7:36 pm
This country has been in a death spiral since FDR.

I think you and I agree. The worst President in the 20th century. Lend Lease, National Recovery Act, court packing, WPA, CCC et al.

What Me Worry

November 9th, 2009
8:46 pm

If the legislature or executive branches (or really the judicial) cared about the constitution we wouldn’t have the FBI setting up straw domestic terror plots so they can knock them down. The New York synagogue plot was staffed by ex-cons, drug addicts, losers and ran by one informant frustrated at the lack of his patsies dedication. Fort Dix plot same thin. How far will the FBI stretch the facts about Fort Hood, how many leaps of logic will some politicians take to make this into a full blown terrorist plot.

What Me Worry

November 9th, 2009
9:13 pm

“For a former Congressman, Bob Barr’s views of the Constitutional Powers are staggering. He joins other mindless people, who ask, whenever they do not like an action of the government, the question “Where in the Constitution …?””-Mark

Barr like many others don’t like it when the government overreaches it’s authority. What pray tell is mindless about trying to keep our government in check?

“The constitutionality of the bill should be the least of the concerns of Mr. Barr and his ilk, because there is such as simple remedy: the Supreme Court.”-Mark

So our legislators lack of constitutional knowledge is fine let them pass what they like and we will work it out in the courts. Dangerous thinking to say the least. As evidenced by our inability to sue telecoms for violating our rights at the behest of the Bush admin. (The Supreme Court lets our rights be violated if given a smoke screen of weak legality. Just in case you wonder why that is dangerous).

A. Kinnebrew

November 9th, 2009
10:44 pm

The fact is that the congress is supposed to consider the constitutionality of a law before passing it.

And the US provides the best health service in the world thanks to our market economy. Lack of profit means lack of motivation means worse service. Even if all the doctors are willing to work hard for less money (yes it will be less money, Medicaid and Medicare only cover up to a set amount and after that the hospital just takes a loss. It happens all the time) they will be losing money and the hospitals will have to either raise prices for people not on the gov plan or close their doors.

If people in private policies have to pay higher premiums, their quality of life will decrease as they spend money on insurance instead of other things and they’ll eventually have to switch to the public option.

The public option will then be overwhelmed and the govt will have to pump more money into it. The gov will also have to either raise taxes, raise premiums, and/or take over hospitals. All of this cause americans to have to pay more to healthcare and have less money.

Less money means lower quality of life, it also means people aren’t buying as much from stores and industries, hurting the economy. If the economy is hurt, then wages will fall and unemployment will increase. This means quality of life will decrease even more not to mention that the govt will have a harder time getting the money to run the public option as people have less income to tax and aren’t able to afford copays and premiums.

So this will cause a short term increase in the quality of life for a minority of the population followed by a long term fiscal drop in quality of life for everyone and a blow to the economy.

Mark

November 9th, 2009
11:48 pm

A. Kinnebrew: Is your comment supposed to be a satire? ” And the US provides the best health service in the world thanks to our market economy.” That is a bad joke. Best health service producing some of the worst results among all developed contries? I am sure the people who cannot afford the rates of the insurance companies, the thousands of people ill and dying because of lack of care are not amused by this nonsense.

“The fact is that the congress is supposed to consider the constitutionality of a law before passing it.” And you have evidence that the Congress does not? Because you and other armchair legal experts have an opinion about it?

Also, isn’t it wonderful that we have clairvoyants like you among us? Who know exactly what will happen?

The simple, fundamental facts are that there is a certain number of people who get sick or injured, that they should be treated, and that this would cost certain amount of money. The insurance companies do not treat anybody; they just skim a large portion of money people pay. Either we all pay own own medical expenses, and when we cannot, we are let to die. Or we have a basic universal insurance, to which everybody contributes, without a middleman of the private insurance companies, which then can be supplemented either by individual payments for services, or by private insurance.

The sad fact is that our country, which has lagged behind the civilized world in most aspects of social progress – slavery, child labor, women’s right to vote – probably will continue to lag behind in health care because of the loud rants of selfish and ignorant people.

Government Option Done Deal

November 10th, 2009
12:26 am

The only ignorance I see is a former US Attorney who has not cited any case law to support his contentions. The vast majority of constitutional law scholars have weighed in from both sides of the aisle that the extremist fringe position that Barr is proposing would never prevail in federal appellate court. That won’t stop ignorant hick states like Georgia from wasting millions in appeals, the same way Purdue did with the water fiasco, and Handel did trying to foreclose voting rights.

It’s comical for bar to bawl that no one is offering any constitutional citation for Congress’ ability to make laws.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
1:57 am

The first comment – Mark – brings at least a start of an effective argument. There is not a “need” to explicitly justify the constitutionality of a bill, but his logic falls apart thereafter.

There are numerous quotes of founders, including one by Madison, regarding the spirit of the “general welfare” clause indicating that not only is the clause NOT designed to allow gross redistribution or as a catch-all, but Madison warns of government abuse:

“To refer the power in question to the clause “to provide for common defense and general welfare” would be contrary to the established and consistent rules of interpretation, as rendering the special and careful enumeration of powers which follow the clause nugatory and improper. Such a view of the Constitution would have the effect of giving to Congress a general power of legislation instead of the defined and limited one hitherto understood to belong to them, the terms “common defense and general welfare” embracing every object and act within the purview of a legislative trust. It would have the effect of subjecting both the Constitution and laws of the several States in all cases not specifically exempted to be superseded by laws of Congress, it being expressly declared “that the Constitution of the United States and laws made in pursuance thereof shall be the supreme law of the land, and the judges of every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.” Such a view of the Constitution, finally, would have the effect of excluding the judicial authority of the United States from its participation in guarding the boundary between the legislative powers of the General and the State Governments, inasmuch as questions relating to the general welfare, being questions of policy and expediency, are unsusceptible of judicial cognizance and decision.”

The Constitution LIMITS the power of government, and if we follow both letter and spirit, rather than violating the 9th amendment as Mark suggests, we must say that the right to “not be forced to buy something, nor pay for something for others lest we face prosectution and imprisonment”, is as valid as any other “implied” right.

For my own part, I submit that “being that our fore-fathers threw tea into the harbor due to the forced purchase of that good”, the founders never would codify the ability to do that very thing with any good, including health care. Hence, the bill violates spirit and letter of the federal supreme law and aught not be tolerated.

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
2:20 am

My girlfriend brought up a good point – the constitution “provides” for the common defense, but only “promotes” the general welfare.

And I do disagree with “Interstate highway system” (should be inter-states’ highway at state level), federal disaster relief (should be charities first, then states, and if that aint good enough, we have bigger societal problems), and other things that help me (???? what? The federal government cannot give $1 to anyone without either taking it from me (or interest on such takings) or printing money, which means that the first $1 of “help” required TAKING from another. Perhaps YOU are comfortable with the government making the decision of who/where they take from, but you cannot speak for me. If you like government deciding these things today, what about tomorrow?? What if I get to make the decision and don’t like you? What if it’s vice-versa?? And what if you change your mind – do you think they’ll give up that power as easily as you did?

PatHenry

November 10th, 2009
2:34 am

Mark – “No middle man”???

Wouldn’t the government be a middleman?? If you don’t like middlemen, you could just pay directly.

My answer to my own question: The government is a middleman, and is a bad deal because as bad as any insurance company is (and I’m not defending insurance co.’s) the government is worse because they have the additional power of “putting a gun at your head” and lack effective limitations on power. I cannot “go to a competitor” if the gov’t doesn’t “allow” it. In other words, we should not let the referee play the game.

Hard Right Hook

November 10th, 2009
5:20 am

What Me Worry

November 9th, 2009
8:46 pm

So the FBI “fabricated” the Ft. Dix plot. And you’ll tell us next that the aircraft didn’t actually hit the Pentagon on 9/11.

Are you an American?

Do you still believe in the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny?

Or are you just off your meds?

Mark

November 10th, 2009
8:45 am

PatHenry: Government as a middle man at least does not have the enormous overhead of the private insurance comnpanies – several times that of Medicare. We have seen how the private companies have played the game, denying payment for treatments. Where do you see, in reality rather than words, that free market advantage? Moreover, most people forget the enormous costs related to the need of many doctors to keep track of hundreds of different insurance plans, which would only increase if everbody could choose plans from all over the country. Think about nightmare!
Funny thing, how just about all senior people like Medicare (including those warning “do not let government’s hands on my Medicare”), a government program, and hardly any Republican in the Congress would want to abolish it, but it would be the end of civilization if all people were covered that way..

Mark

November 10th, 2009
9:15 am

One sure way to recognize people who have a problem with thinking is when you hear somebody react to the word “democracy” with claims that the US is not a democracy, because it is a republic.

Jason Koley

November 10th, 2009
9:24 am

There’s a lot of anger, clearly, in these posts.

Really, the only posts that are coherent have been written by 2 or 3 people, who seem to have read the bill and have opinions on it. I have not read the 2000+ pages and therefore if you choose to ignore what I have to write, have at it…that is your right.

1. Our country has over 40 million uninsured.
2. Far from having the best system of health care in the world, we suffer from high insurance premiums, inflated costs, and a pharmaceutical industry that reaps record profits.
3. Our system of politics (and marketing/lobbying) rewards scare tactics and misinformation.
4. We consider ourselves a superpower, as does the rest of the world.

It seems to me that this health care bill, while not perfect, tries to address the problems of 1 and 2 above, and is thwarted by 3. If this really were the end of the republic, as some seem to imply, I am not sure that many medical associations would support it, as they have.

For me, I want to live in a society that takes care of its people. As such, I am proud that we are making the effort. It may be flawed, but I have faith in America as a self-correcting republic. To address the problems of 1 and 2 is to demonstrate that we are indeed the 4th: a superpower. While I haven’t agreed with all of Mark’s posts, he is correct in that if the bill is unconstitutional, it will eventually be self-corrected by the very institution that makes this country different from many others: an independent judiciary.

Captain makes some fine points. That is his opinion. I have mine. Can we not debate in a civilized fashion and come to a good and just decision? All this article and comment has made me want to do is read the legislation in its entirety. I suggest others do the same, and not spout whatever argument they heard from their favorite talk show host or other political pundit.

Thanks for reading.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
10:02 am

Jason Koley: While I agree with most that you have written, I respectfully suggest that “reading the legislation in its entirety” is, at least for now, a waste of time. There is not one bill; there is the HR bill, there will be (hopefully) a Senate bill, and eventually (again perhaps) the final bill. Moreover, as I heard Paul Krugman say and I agree, in spite of the saying that the devil is in details, I believe the important provisions (in the HR bill) are pretty clear and rather simple. Reading the bill in the entirety one can get easily distracted by some detail (a favorite weapon of the detractors), which may not even survive the furher negotations anyway, or can be changed later. The real debate for the populace is about the principles and philosophy of the health care system.

Ayn Rand Was Right

November 10th, 2009
10:11 am

Mark – apologies if this has already been addressed, but you suggest that it is not prohibited for a person to purchase care not approved by the government. I beg to differ as it is illegal currently for any doctor to accept payment for services from someone currently receiving Medicaid. This includes a Medicaid provider on services that were not approved by Medicaid or a non-Medicaid provider.

Mark

November 10th, 2009
10:21 am

Ayn Rand Was Right: Medicaid is a special case, because by nature it is a program for eligible individuals and families with low incomes and resources. A much bettere example is Medicare, and many people have Medicare as primary insurance and a private insurance as secondary.

Turd Ferguson

November 10th, 2009
10:44 am

Pelosi is a rogue horse apple.

Turd Ferguson

November 10th, 2009
10:45 am

PS…there are somethings such as, OboboCare, global warming/cooling or whatever is the politically expedient term today, the lazy, the bums, etc that are more important than the Constitution.

Just ask Obobo, Peloshyt, Reid, Frank etc…

Hard Right Hook

November 10th, 2009
1:23 pm

“While I haven’t agreed with all of Mark’s posts, he is correct in that if the bill is unconstitutional, it will eventually be self-corrected by the very institution that makes this country different from many others: an independent judiciary.”

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.

chuck

November 10th, 2009
1:36 pm

I read most of the posts today and I have to say Mark, you are one funny misinformed dude. I had Iced Tea come out of my nose when I read your post that said you’ve been pointing out “bad arguments”. DUDE, you’ve been MAKING BAD ARGUMENTS.

First, you don’t have to be a “Constitutional Scholar” to read and understand the Constitution. I am actually TEACHING a unit on the Constitution right now and my 8th graders are having very little trouble understanding and APPLYING Constitutional Principles. The left has no desire to abide by Constitutional restraints. They beleive that that they are smarter than all of the rest of us and that THEY know what is best for us.

My biggest lament about this country is that we have LOST the ESSENCE of America. We are a country built on rugged individualism NOT this collectivist garbage being spewed by the left. Part of the problem is with knuckleheads like you think that government is the solution to our problems. NO!!!! We have and are the solutions to our problems.

My second biggest lament is the loss of all sense of the meaning of the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution. Your off-handed dismissal of the 10th Amendment as it relates to the healthcare bill shows both your political and intellectual immaturity. The Federal government is NOT ALLOWED to just do whatever it wants to do. IT IS BOUND by the Constitution and all branches have an OBLIGATION to follow the Constitution in carrying out their duties.

In short, we really have to lay aside politics and begin electing people who will rein in this massive, fraud-riddled federal government.

Hard Right Hook

November 10th, 2009
1:56 pm

You have my vote, chuck.

Chris Broe

November 10th, 2009
3:03 pm

The feds should ban texting while driving, but the problem is, “how do you prove it in a constitutional manner?”

How does the arresting officer know that the driver wasn’t just playing Donkey Kong on his Iphone, and not texting? See the constitutional ignorance in this problem?

The driver would have to be texting a taunting message directly into a patrol cop’s blackberry while both are driving around in the same vicinity or no arrest would be constitutionally possible. What are the odds of that ever happening? Then, even more unlikely, the text would have to read exactly like this for any arrest to be warranted: “Hey, copper, I heard there’s a new donut shop open near Maple and Fifth Street, man. bwa. give the ape a banana. off the pigs. woohoo! top of the world, ma!”

I mean, the cop would have to be like right next to the guy, receive the message, pull him over, and tazer him, and then take him downtown in some sort of constitutionally-ignorant stupor, man, wouldn’t he?

I just cant see that ever happening. but I’d vote for the legislation anyway. This is america, after all, and if you cant make fun of the cops, get tazed, and thrown into prison then what good is ignorance itself?

This text was Paid for by Texters for a More Constitutionally Ignorant America.

Linda

November 10th, 2009
3:11 pm

The health care insurance reform bill has nothing to do with health, care, insurance nor reform.

When will all Americans wake up & see that O HAS & IS doing exactly what he said he would do a year ago? He said, “We are 5 days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”

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 [...]