Skip to comments.Senate Judiciary Chairman Unable to Explain Where Congress Gets Authority to Mandate Insurance
Posted on 10/22/2009 3:41:31 AM PDT by Man50D
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) could not explain what part of the Constitution grants Congress the power to force every American to buy health insurance as all of the health care overhaul bills currently do.
Leahy, whose committee is responsible for vetting Supreme Court nominees, was asked by CNSNews.com where in the Constitution Congress is specifically granted the authority to require every American purchase health insurance. Leahy answered by saying that nobody questions Congress authority for such an action.
CNSNews.com: Where, in your opinion, does the Constitution give specific authority for Congress to give an individual mandate for health insurance?
Sen. Leahy: We have plenty of authority. Are you saying there is no authority?
CNSNews.com: Im asking
Sen. Leahy: Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, theres no question theres authority, nobody questions that.
When CNSNews.com again attempted to ask which provision of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to force Americans to purchase health insurance, Leahy compared the mandate to the governments ability to set speed limits on interstate highways before turning and walking away.
CNSNews.com: But, which provision
Sen. Leahy: Where do we have the authority to set speed limits on an interstate highway? The federal government does that on federal highways.
Prior to 1995, the federal government mandated a speed limit of 55 miles an hour on all four-lane highways. The limit was repealed in 1995 and the authority to set speed limits reverted back to the states.
Technically, the law that established the 55 mile-an-hour limit the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act of 1974 withheld federal highway funds from states that did not comply with it. The law rested on Congress constitutional authority to dole out federal tax revenue.
The individual health insurance mandate contained in all five health overhaul bills currently being considered in Congress would levy a tax on any American adult who does not have one of three government-defined health insurance policies, purchased either through an employer or individually in government-run exchanges.
This is not the first time Congress has tried to force Americans to buy insurance. An individual mandate was a key component of then-President Bill Clintons government-led health care overhaul.
Of that Clinton-era mandate, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said that such a proposal would be unprecedented, adding that the government had never required Americans to purchase anything. A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action, CBO found.
CBO also noted that an individual mandate would carry with it something never before done in the history of America: it would impose a legal duty on American citizenship. In other words, all American citizens and anyone wanting to become one would be forced by the government to do something, even if they didnt want to or chose not to.
The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States," CBO said at the time.
"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."
I question that, but I guess I'm nobody.
Any other nobodies out there?
Never stopped the B******S BEFORE...
Who brought up this question... Michele Bachmann?? she’s the only Republican that DEFinitely NOT A RINO!.. one of the FEW!!
If the citizens of the USA roll over for this, we deserve our chains.
I’m “nobody” too, and I vote.
Leahy obviously never heard of this thing called a Constitution and doesn’t understand what its for.
Somebody better tell this asshat to pick up Liberty and Tyranny and READ IT.
The Supreme Court has already ruled on a mandate to buy “insurance” during the adoption of Social Security. The Justice Department had to present it to the court as a tax, same as the income tax, while FDR was out there selling it as an insurance program.
Even then, with FDR packing the court, they knew it would be an unconstitutional mandate.
Now he's either ignorant, or a liar (probably an ignorant liar). In the Federalist papers, Madison (or Monroe, can never remember which) specifically and explicitly said this clause does NOT give Congress the authority to do whatever it wants to make life comfy for all.
besides, if these gangsters can make me buy health insurance under the threat of the IRS and jailtime, what's to stop theses criminals from forcing me to buy a car from the UAW or face a fine or jailtime?
Maybe they will “offer” it as privilege and then drive every other insurer out of business.
I am not a lawyer but wonder if lawyers, constitutional ones, would weigh in.
They force us to pay taxes, to abide by federal rules about employment, etc.
I am nobody!
We are legion!
You also CAN buy gasoline without ethanol.Stations are not required to sell the 10% ethanol/gasoline mixture . The problem is trying to find stations that can get it from a distributor .
Many years ago I posted this on my FR profile page....
The only amendment required to return control of our government back to the people.
Amendment XXVIII (28th.)
The government of the people, and by the people, shall not write or allow any law, directive, or regulation that shall cause, or require , any citizen or entity to purchase or utilize the products, methods, or services of any entity or individual.
I love that concept. Gee. Our Founding Fathers would have understood that very well.
Being forced to buy tea, for example...
Great. I am going to refer to the 28th Amendment from now on. I can just see the blank stares now. Hell, once you get Americans past the Second Amendment, the only other one they can even cite is the Fifth.
“Sen. Leahy: Why would you say there is no authority? I mean, theres no question theres authority, nobody questions that.”
The arrogance is beyond words! Senator, I QUESTION THAT! That and many other anti-Constitutional actions taken by the Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive staff over the past 60 years and more.
Like all the others, the Tenth Amendment has the force of law, and the Constitution is still the foundational law of this great republic. Awareness of that fact seem to be missing inside the beltway.
It’s time to take back the country.
The problem with “general welfare” business is that bankrupting the country and making most of the population poor does not promote the “general welfare” of the people or the country. These people are so bogus.
In other words, "I don't know".
Nobody: Senator, when will Congress mandate a “public” option for automobile insurance? Home insurance? Mortgage insurance? Unemployment insurance? Liability insurance?
Senator: As soon as we shut you down.
Need T-Shirts at the next rallies that has “NOBODY” on it.
Mark Levin covered this well yesterday on his show (the part about the Constitution not leaky leahy).
We need a 2 million nobody march on Leahy’s house.