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 The limit was repealed in 1995 and the authority to set speed limits reverted back to the states.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."
re: compared the mandate to the governments ability to set speed limits on interstate highways
Just because government has done it doesn’t mean they have the authority to do so. It’s a habit they fell into well over a hundred years ago. Do something, and if no one can find a way to stop you, then by default you claim to have Constitutional authority to do it.
And over the years they’ve tightened their grip on this folly by making the laws more and more confusing and by making the judicial system to difficult and expensive to use that it practically assures they can get away with their BS.
It’s a vicious cycle and until someone steps in and disrupts it there is no hope of it changing.
"humida humida humida"
“Prior to 1995, the federal government mandated a speed limit of 55 miles an hour on all four-lane highways.”
That was a bad idea, too.
Yep. See the Heller case for an example of that. The feds make it difficult to own certain firearms (blunderbuss, automatic-fire weapons), then in 2009 SCOTUS says the test for "constitutional" is "commonly available," which short barrel shotguns and machine guns are not, and they are not on account of roughly being illegal. Bootstrapping of an unconstitutional law, by the lapse of time. Same weapons WERE commonly available before the law was passed in 1934.
...And the “28th admendment” was introduced when?
Well your nobody called today, she hung up when I asked her name... uhh
They wont directly mandate it. What they will do is call it a tax in the Internal Revenue Code. If you have Health Insurance, you will enter a code for the carrier and you will get a “credit” which will be offset by lower exemption rates. If you don’t have it, you wonty get the credit and still have the lower exemption rates. Manipulating the Tax code has been the weapon of circumventing the constitution for decades.
And that will matter to them how? Just another day at the office for this crowd.
...enough people send an email to Beck...he’ll run with it..*grins*
Someone ought to pose this question to Mark Levin. Isn’t he a constitutional lawyer?
It is not an amendment to the Constitution but should be.
“Fair Tax”. You wont get an argument from me. I have been listening to and agreeing with Boortz on this for years. But, even he knows congress derives all their powers through the tax code. It is the tax code that they use as a weapon to gain campaign donations and favors. Chances of them adopting the Fair Tax is zero. The only way to do this would be a grass roots effort for a constituional convention and that would be a huge undertaking.
I am not sure Congress understands that. They are about to cram down the peoples throat a Health Care Act that the people don’t want. At any rate, good luck with the Fair Tax Effort.
Second, if Congress doesn't and Scotus hears the case, it is but a short intellectual, Leftist walk for Scotus to build on Helvering v. Davis - 1937. Social Security was challenged and found Constitutional in large part based on the General Welfare clause, rejecting Madison and adopting Hamilton.
Writing for the 7-2 majority, Justice Cardozo held that Congress was given the power to spend money for the public good under the General Welfare Clause. Hence, the Social Security Act did not violate the 10th Amendment. The Court would defer to Congress in determining what legislative acts served the general welfare. Congress itself would be the monitor of what Congress would do.
Bumping this so I can find it later. I need to send this article to some more of my friends.