Welcome to PatsFans.com

Is the Health Care Reform Bill constitutional?

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by Patsfanin Philly, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    6,708
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0

    #95 Jersey

    A friend sent me the attached opinion on the constitutionality of Obamacare and it raises several interesting points as to whether the bill in its current form ( insurance mandates) could survive Constitutional challenges based on recent Supreme Court decisions.
    You can rest assured that if enacted, there will be court challenges by someone as soon as it is 'ripe' when it can be heard by a court. It raises several esoteric points of Constitutional law but the links explain the individual court cases.
    A precedent would be the Supreme Court decisions on FDR and the New Deal.....Personally I think it would be upheld on left-right lines

    Obamacare is Seriously Unconstitutional


    On October 23rd, a _reporter_
    (CNSNews.com) asked
    Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): “Madam Speaker, where specifically does the
    Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health
    insurance mandate?” Speaker Pelosi shook her head and before moving on to
    another question replied: “Are you serious? Are you serious??” Pressed for a
    more substantive response later, Pelosi’s press spokesman admonished the
    reporter: “You can put this on the record. That is not a serious question. That
    is not a serious question.”

    The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) disagrees. _In 1994, the CBO said _
    (Congressional Budget Office - The Budgetary Treatment of an Individual Mandate to Buy Health Insurance
    48:32517697C91247859B7A1BA1E02003DE) of an individual mandate to buy health
    insurance:

    A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be
    an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required
    people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the
    United States.
    An individual mandate would have two features that, in
    combination, would make it unique. First, it would impose a duty on
    individuals as members of society. Second, it would require people to purchase a
    specific service that would be heavily regulated by the federal government.
    As much as Speaker Pelosi may wish otherwise, the CBO is dead on: the
    Supreme Court has never validated a federal power as intrusive as forcing all
    Americans to purchase a service due to their very existence. Sure, the
    Supreme Court has said that _Congress may regulate a farmer’s production of
    wheat even if he never plans to distribute it off of his farm_
    (Wickard v. Filburn - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    859B7A1BA1E02003DE) , and _the Supreme Court has said Congress may ban the
    possession of Marijuana even if it is for personal use_
    (Gonzales v. Raich - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    9B7A1BA1E02003DE) , but never before has the Supreme Court said the power
    to regulate commerce enabled Congress to force an individual to do something
    just because he existed.

    In fact, the Supreme Court has always been clear that the Commerce clause
    must have some limits. In _United States v. Lopez_
    (United States v. Lopez - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    A1E02003DE) (1995), the Court struck down the Gun-Free School Zones Act,
    which attempted to reach the activity of possessing a gun within a thousand
    feet of a school. In _United States v. Morrison_
    (United States v. Morrison - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    1E02003DE) , it invalidated part of the Violence Against Women Act, which
    regulated gender-motivated violence. In both cases, the Court found the
    regulated activity in each case to be noneconomic; it was outside the reach of
    Congress’s Commerce power, regardless of its effect on interstate commerce.
    The case for the constitutionality of the individual mandate is far weaker
    than either of these two cases. Congress was at least trying to regulate
    an individual’s activity in the cases above. But the mandate does not
    purport to regulate or prohibit activity of any kind, whether economic or
    noneconomic. To the contrary, it purports to “regulate” inactivity.

    If the individual mandate is Constitutional, then Congress could do
    anything. They could: require us to buy a new Chevy Impala each year to support
    the government-supporteIf the individual mandate is Constitutional, then
    Congress could do anything. They could: require us to buy a new Chevy Impala
    each year to support the government-supporte<WBR>d auto industry; require
    us [Socialism?]

    Many on the left immediately point to state mandates that drivers purchase
    car insurance as proof of a mandate that all Americans buy health
    insurance is not new. But car insurance mandates are _distinguishable in at least
    four ways_
    (Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional) : 1) they are state
    requirements and states have broader constitutional authority than the federal
    government; 2) they apply to drivers only, not all Americans (e.g. passengers
    are not required to carry insurance); 3) drivers use public roads; 4) states
    only require drivers to insure against injury to other drivers, not to
    insure themselves against personal injury.

    Yesterday The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies
    released a Legal Memorandum written in conjunction with Georgetown
    University Law Center Professor Randy Barnett and Nathaniel Stewart explaining:
    _Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and
    Unconstitutional_
    (Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional) . Introducing the paper,
    Sen. Orrin Hatch noted:
    James Madison said that if men were angels, no government would be
    necessary and if angels governed men, no limits on government would be necessary.
    Because neither men nor the governments they create are angelic, government
    and limits on government are both necessary for ordered liberty. Politics
    may tell us what we want to do, but the Constitution tells us what we may
    do and we must keep those separate. The ends do not justify the means for
    one simple reason – liberty. Liberty requires limits on government power, it
    always has and it always will.
    Someone needs to explain this concept to Speaker Pelosi. Seriously.
    Legal Memorandum - "Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health
    Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional" (see attached or online
    at _http://s3.amazonawshttp://s3http://s3.ahttp://s3.amhtt_
    (http://s3.amazonaws.com/thf_media/2009/pdf/lm_0049.pdf) )
    More Info on Obama Health Care Plan -
    _http://www.heritagehttp://wwwhttp://www.hehttp://wwwhtt_
    (Obama Health Care Plan - Rapid Response | The Heritage Foundation)

    ____________________________________




    Don't hold your breath, the crowd in power in Washington is perfectly ready to ride roughshod over the Constitution, as it did with the bankruptcy proceedings of GM negating two hundred years of precedent in overturning creditors rights.

    Pardon my cynicism but never in my life have I seen such utter disregard for both Constitutional limits on Federal power (absurd stretching of the Commerce Clause, and basically blowing off 10th Amendment).

    ----------------------------------------------
    Ed.-If this was taken from a copyrighted article, it was not my intent to
    publish it in total. I believe that it was his personal opinion and thus I am free to publish the whole piece.
  2. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2007
    Messages:
    25,853
    Likes Received:
    84
    Ratings:
    +188 / 3 / -10

    I truly hope this actually gets to the supreme court. Just to stall things on this cluster-F***
  3. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    17,758
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +167 / 4 / -4

    There's no doubt that it will be challenged on Constitutional Grounds, especially given that we currently have activist right-wing Supreme Court. That said, however, there is an awful lot of precedence with social program given that Social Security is mandatory, that Medicare/Medicaid are government insurance programs, and VA hospitals are government run health programs. I think the Supemes would have to walk a fine line to rule against health care reform, though they might identify specific elements of the package that need to be modified.

    But, as far as the quotes you provided, it's the usual Republican politician bluster. Those quotes are the same arguments they've been using for years, and frankly they have very few successes. But, again, this particular Supreme Court gives them at least an outside shot of preventing the government from providing health care to poor sick kids and their parents.
  4. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    6,708
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0

    #95 Jersey

    Which quotes? Because citing the court cases was done in a pretty objective way. As for the sick kids, with CHIP there is no reason that ANY child in this country currently should be without health care coverage.

    CHIP Welcome to CHIP
    Overview National CHIP Policy

    I posted a few months ago that I would prefer to see a gradual expansion of a CHIP-type program to include more and more of the uninsured population and solve the problems you cited rather than a complete overhaul/dismantling of the current system. Concurrent with ways to decrease cost increases i.e. write policies across state lines and it increases competition.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  5. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    17,758
    Likes Received:
    130
    Ratings:
    +167 / 4 / -4

    Health care reform provides a lot of good stuff -- affordable insurance even if you have pre-existing conditions, access to insurance at affordable rates, transferability of insurance, administrative standardization and streamlining, and so on. The main problem with our current system is really not so much for the very poor, but for the poor working class who are not eligible for Medicaid, don't have benefits from their jobs, and can't afford insurance. This is the group that health care reform tries to help, but also provides everyone with additional protections.

    CHIP is a good program for kids and pregnant women, but I think the Senate bill instead expands Medicare and Medicaid. I'm not sure why one solution was proposed over another; perhaps because with Medicare and Medicaid there's a largely body of established law or because it was easier to modify to incorporate those who it doesn't currently cover.
  6. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,386
    Likes Received:
    246
    Ratings:
    +350 / 8 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    Gosh, and what president do you have to thank for that??? Considering The Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act was signed into law on February 4, 2009, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

    However, since I'm pretty sure there will be at least one or two people who will be unable to do the math I've included a quote from PFinPhilly's cited article.

    Calling it a "down payment on my commitment to cover every single American," President Barack Obama signed the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 into law on February 4, 2009. The law will provide health care to millions of children across the country and went into effect on April 1, 2009
  7. Real World

    Real World Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    26,819
    Likes Received:
    144
    Ratings:
    +306 / 4 / -2

    Save the children!
  8. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

    Mrs.PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    15,386
    Likes Received:
    246
    Ratings:
    +350 / 8 / -3

    #12 Jersey

    And this whole "save the children" thing, you think there is a reason this should be considered a bad idea?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  9. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Messages:
    6,708
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +29 / 0 / -0

    #95 Jersey

    You do know the difference between authorization and reauthorization??
    Many bills have sunset legislation that require them to have followup bills and/or funding legislation after a certain time period or every so many years..
    http://www.cms.hhs.gov/NationalCHIPPolicy/downloads/CHIPEverEnrolledYearGraph.pdf

    Children began receiving insurance through CHIP in 1997 and the program helped states expand health care coverage to over 5 million of the nation's uninsured children. The program was reauthorized on February 4, 2009, when the President signed into law the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009 (CHIPRA or Public Law 111-3)

    [FONT=&quot]For the record when the program was FIRST enacted in 1997, it was in a Republican Congress and a Democratic President.[/FONT] Facts, silly little thing aren't they?
    The proposed healthcare bills actually do away with CHIP (formerly SCHIP)
    CHIP on Chopping Block in House Health Reform Bill The Washington Independent
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  10. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    37,991
    Likes Received:
    283
    Ratings:
    +566 / 4 / -12

    #87 Jersey


    My how times have changed with the use of that word.
  11. shamsuthbegum

    shamsuthbegum Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Its an interesting information and appreciated for the posting because its very reliable and user friendly...
    Thanks for all your posting...
    ..............
  12. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    37,991
    Likes Received:
    283
    Ratings:
    +566 / 4 / -12

    #87 Jersey


    No problem sham ... thank you and come again and remember the Alamo. ;)
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  13. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    41,008
    Likes Received:
    108
    Ratings:
    +187 / 7 / -23

    This sounds all well and good, and my grandchildren, due to their unemployed father are not eligible for any medical coverage... the devil is in the details.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>