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Akaka: ‘ Not Aware’ Constitution Gives Congress Authority to Make Individuals Buy Health Insurance
CNS News ^ | November 12, 2009 | Nicholas Ballasy

Posted on 11/12/2009 8:21:06 AM PST by IbJensen

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) says he is “not aware” of the Constitution giving Congress the authority to make individuals purchase health insurance, as the health care bills in both the House and Senate require.

When CNSNews.com asked whether the Constitution gives Congress the authority to make Americans buy health insurance, Sen. Akaka said: “I’m not aware of that, let me put it that way. But what we’re trying to do is to provide for people who have needs and that’s where the accessibility comes in, and one of the goals that we’re trying to present here is to make it accessible.”

When asked if there was a specific part of the Constitution that gives Congress the authority to make people buy health insurance, Akaka said: “Not in particular with health insurance. It’s not covered in that respect. But in ways to help citizens in our country to live a good life, let me say it that way, is what we’re trying to do, and in this case, we’re trying to help them with their health.”

Both House and Senate health care bills mandate that people buy health insurance, facing a financial penalty if they do not. Akaka said this mandate should not be looked upon as a penalty.

“It’s an idea of making it possible for people and this is what it’s all about,” he said. “I don’t look upon that as a penalty but as a way of getting help with health insurance.”

In 1994, when Congress was considering a universal health care plan proposed by then-President Clinton that included a mandate that all individuals purchase health insurance, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) studied the issue and discovered that the federal government had never in the history of the United States mandated that individuals purchase any good or service.

“A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action,” said the CBO. “The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.”

In an analysis published this July, the CBO said that an attempt to justify a mandate that people buy health insurance by using the Commerce Clause—which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce “among the several states”—raises a “novel issue.”

“Whether such a requirement would be constitutional under the Commerce Clause is perhaps the most challenging question posed by such a proposal, as it is a novel issue whether Congress may use this clause to require an individual to purchase a good or a service,” said the CBO.

In a recent interview with CNSNews.com, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), a longtime member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that it was “not constitutionally sound” for Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance.

“But here would be the first time where our [federal] government would demand that people buy something that they may or may not want,” said Hatch. “And, you know, if that’s the case, then we didn’t need a 'Cash for Clunkers,' all we had to do is have the federal government say you all got to buy new cars, no matter how tough it is on you. You know, they could require you to buy anything. And that isn’t America. That’s not freedom. That’s not constitutionally sound.”

Hatch said that if we let the federal government begin forcing us to buy things we may not want to buy without having a clear constitutional justification for doing so “we’ve lost our freedoms, and that means the federal government can do anything it wants to do to us.”

Below is the full transcript of the interview with Senator Akaka (D-Hawaii):

CNSNews.com: “Does the United States Constitution give the United States Congress the authority to mandate individuals to have health insurance, to carry health insurance?

Senator Akaka: “I’m not aware of that, let me put it that way. But what we’re trying to do is to provide for people who have needs and that’s where the accessibility comes in, and one of the goals that we’re trying to present here is to make it accessible.”

CNSNews.com: “In both the House and so far the Senate proposals have the mandate for individuals to get health insurance and I believe if you don’t get health insurance you’re penalized up to $750 per adult by the IRS, if you don’t get health insurance. Do you think that is a good idea or is that a bad idea?”

Senator Akaka: “Well, it’s an idea of making it possible for people, and this is what it’s all about. I don’t look upon that as a penalty but as a way of getting help with health insurance.”

CNSNews.com: “Is there any specific area of the Constitution that would give Congress the authority to be able to mandate individuals to have to purchase health insurance?”

Senator Akaka: “Not in particular with health insurance. It’s not covered in that respect. But in ways to help citizens in our country to live a good life, let me say it that way, is what we’re trying to do, and in this case, we’re trying to help them with their health.”

CNSNews.com: “If a bill comes to the floor with that actual mandate in it, the final bill, after both proposals are merged, would you support that bill?”

Senator Akaka: “Well, I’m inclined to support the bill that’s there now and reserve, you know, the right to look at it up to the last moment and see what happens. For Hawaii, it – we’ve been able to have it support what we’re doing in Hawaii. We think we have a good plan in Hawaii too. So, that’s where we are on this.”


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: filthyharry; nutsypelousy; obummercare
In the end, he'll prove to be a good member of the Communist Party of Death and vote his 'conscience' shouting out 'aye.'
1 posted on 11/12/2009 8:21:09 AM PST by IbJensen
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To: IbJensen

There are many Americans whose religion prohibits the purchase of most forms of insurance. One wonders how the government will deal with troublemakers such as the Old Order Amish.


2 posted on 11/12/2009 8:25:14 AM PST by Mr. Lucky
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To: IbJensen

I want to know who was telling Akaka what to say in his little earphone. The guy seems nice but definitely far past his prime mentally. I swear at the debates last election that they’d fed his campaign the questions and they’d written the answers for him to read off 4 x 6 index cards. It was that pathetic.


3 posted on 11/12/2009 8:27:08 AM PST by BuckyKat
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To: IbJensen

This bill basically says as long as the government is trying to help you they do anything they damned well please, Constitution and your rights be damned.


4 posted on 11/12/2009 8:28:29 AM PST by CodeToad (If it weren't for physics and law enforcement I'd be unstoppable!)
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To: IbJensen
Akaka said: “Not in particular with health insurance. It’s not covered in that respect. But in ways to help citizens in our country to live a good life, let me say it that way, is what we’re trying to do, and in this case, we’re trying to help them with their health.”

What a pantload.

5 posted on 11/12/2009 8:28:36 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Abolish the IRS, income tax, the 16th amendment and the Federal Reserve. Replace them with nothing.)
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To: BuckyKat

Time to call my lawyer cousin and start a pre-emtive lawsuit.


6 posted on 11/12/2009 8:29:20 AM PST by Gillmeister
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To: Mr. Lucky

Maybe Pelosi herself will machine gun them for not yielding to her will.


7 posted on 11/12/2009 8:30:11 AM PST by MichiganConservative (Abolish the IRS, income tax, the 16th amendment and the Federal Reserve. Replace them with nothing.)
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To: CodeToad
This bill basically says as long as the government is trying to help you they do anything they damned well please, Constitution and your rights be damned.

Ask any "liberal" and this is their belief regarding government policy and the Constitution.

8 posted on 11/12/2009 8:30:50 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a humanist and a Satanist is that the latter knows who he's working for.)
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To: IbJensen
They do unconstitutional things every day. What's with jailing people who don't have health insurance? Its for their own good.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus

9 posted on 11/12/2009 8:31:37 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: IbJensen

““It’s an idea of making it possible for people and this is what it’s all about,” he said. “I don’t look upon that as a penalty but as a way of getting help with health insurance.””


This man, like the rest of the socialists in Congress, talks like a child. He is speaking to childish people for childish people. He is as dumbed down as the current generations coming out of the government-run schools.

He doesn’t look upon a penalty as a penalty. This means that he cannot use a dictionary, and he is hoping that the American people themselves have forgotten how to use one.

How can we abide people who speak like this(?): words having no standardized definition. Bills passed as a shell to be scribbled in later for detail, probably by bureacrats that we didn’t elect.

How is it possible to defend ourselves against these kinds of deceivers? How do we defend truth itself?


10 posted on 11/12/2009 8:36:30 AM PST by John Leland 1789
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To: IbJensen
Below is the real transcript of the interview with Senator Akaka (D-Hawaii):

CNSNews.com: "Does the United States Constitution give the United States Congress the authority to mandate individuals to have health insurance, to carry health insurance?"

Senator Akaka: "I have no idea, but we are going to do it anyway."

CNSNews.com: "If you don’t get health insurance, you’re penalized up to $750 per adult by the IRS. Do you think that is a good idea or is that a bad idea?"

Senator Akaka: "Look, don't you understand? Being healthy is good. Being sick is bad."

CNSNews.com: "Is there any specific area of the Constitution that would give Congress the authority to be able to mandate individuals to have to purchase health insurance?"

Senator Akaka: "Motherhood. Apple Pie. The Flag."

CNSNews.com: "I understand that, come the Revolution, it'll be nothing but peaches and cream - but I don't like peaches and cream!"

Senator Akaka: "You'll get peaches and cream!"

Regards,

11 posted on 11/12/2009 8:41:16 AM PST by alexander_busek
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To: IbJensen
"...the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) studied the issue and discovered that the federal government had never in the history of the United States mandated that individuals purchase any good or service."

The Militia Act of 1792/95:

I. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, That each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia... and ...shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder...

Of course you could argue Constitutional authority for the above from Article I Section 8, but apparently they have "mandated that individuals purchase" unless "provide himself" is authority to steal it.

12 posted on 11/12/2009 8:48:15 AM PST by KrisKrinkle (Blessed be those who know the depth and breadth of their ignorance. Cursed be those who don't.)
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To: Gillmeister

needs to be a class action suit....on behalf of FREEDOM! (The Constitution?)


13 posted on 11/12/2009 8:48:55 AM PST by goodnesswins (Become a Precinct Committee Person/Officer....in the GOP...or do NOT complain.)
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To: alexander_busek

You’re giving him too much credit. His responses (your version) were written by his staff as responses to the written questions given them by the reporter. More likely that Akaka just stared off into the great beyond picturing himself as a Beach Boy in Waikiki in better days past. The reporter took the written questions and answers Akaka’s staff had given him and rewrote the whole thing himself.


14 posted on 11/12/2009 8:50:38 AM PST by BuckyKat
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To: BuckyKat
Congress had already mandated that we pay for health care. We are already paying for medicare. Been doing it for years.
15 posted on 11/12/2009 9:07:31 AM PST by garyb
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To: garyb
Congress had already mandated that we pay for health care. We are already paying for medicare. Been doing it for years.

I was going to say something similiar. The government already makes you buy social security. What makes healthcare any more unconstitutional than social security?

16 posted on 11/12/2009 9:29:26 AM PST by NELSON111
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To: NELSON111
The government already makes you buy social security. What makes healthcare any more unconstitutional than social security?

I thought SS was voluntary.

17 posted on 11/12/2009 9:45:37 AM PST by nonsporting
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To: MichiganConservative
What a pantload.

[A]kaka.

18 posted on 11/12/2009 9:46:37 AM PST by nonsporting
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To: nonsporting

Ever try to opt out? You can’t.


19 posted on 11/12/2009 9:49:05 AM PST by Republic of Texas (Socialism Always Fails)
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To: IbJensen

If that holds it is very good news.


20 posted on 11/12/2009 9:51:23 AM PST by jmaroneps37 (Conservatism is truth. Liberalism is lies.)
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To: IbJensen

Mandatory healthcare is COMPLETELY unConstitutional, but, unfortunately, it has to be law before it can be challenged.


21 posted on 11/12/2009 9:53:41 AM PST by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: IbJensen

The Politburo never paid any attention to the Soviet Constitution, either.


22 posted on 11/12/2009 9:56:03 AM PST by Gritty (Every voter now understands they can use their ballot as an instrument of plunder-Neal Boortz)
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To: nonsporting

I was thinking his name should be classified as hate speech... I am sure someone somewhere will find it offensive. Saying this without reading the article, just the name struck me.


23 posted on 11/12/2009 10:01:12 AM PST by ican'tbelieveit (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team# 36120), KW:Folding)
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To: IbJensen

“it is important for people to be able to live a better life”.

In the USA, before Nov 4, 2008, there was every possible opportunity for any legal citizen to ‘have a better life’.

It meant that they would have to get up off their dead backsides, refuse Section 8 Housing, Food Stamps, Welfare, WIC, Earned Income Credit, and other forms of government handouts.

They would have to stay in school- stay off drugs and alcohol- learn some personal hygiene- learn some skills which have a value in the working world- and stay away from the rest of the losers they were raised with.

There are millions of examples of ‘the downtrodden’ who have made something of themselves in the USA.

They didn’t get there because Warren Buffet got his income taken from him and handed out elsewhere.

NObama said he was ‘going to level the playing field’.

I understood that from the first time I heard it. No One would believe me.
It is now happening.

NObama is never going to raise up the person who ‘wants a better life’.
He is only going to tear down those of us who have stayed in school- learned a skill- worked hard and diligently for our employers- stayed out of jail- a laundry list of behavior which made us good citizens of our communities and valuable to our employers.

None of my 3 brothers nor myself have ever been in trouble. None of us has ever been on any kind of welfare or handout. We have paid our bills, raised our kids, and been a benefit to the community. We are now the targets of the NObama administration for whatever level of success we have worked hard to attain. All 4 of us were self-employed.....3 with employees.

You cannot replace a productive person with a person who has lived their entire life on free handouts, with no skills and no motivation.

Where will the next generation of printers- bookkeepers- auto mechanics- building painters- accountants- landscapers- heating/cooling metal fabricators- computer experts- come from?

Most certainly NOT from the labor pool that NObama is praising and attempting to bring to his ‘level playing field’.

Good luck to those of you in the future who never learned to fix something yourself. Roofers, glaziers, appliance repairs- you will not have persons who know how to do things. Persons who know how to use their hands.

This generation only knows how to dial their cell phone to call someone else to ‘fix it’.

It won’t be long before there is no one on the other end of that call.

Good Luck.


24 posted on 11/12/2009 10:06:15 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: goldstategop

What’s with jailing people who don’t have health insurance? Its for their own good. “

How many homeless persons are there in the USA?

The government at all levels has spent millions of dollars trying to build shelters for these people.

Are we going to put them all into prison for 5 years instead?
Is that 5 year sentence a rolling item...as each year comes up for insurance renewal, they cannot pay in that year, now the next, etc, so the prison sentence just keeps rolling forward???

How much money will be spent on illegals???


25 posted on 11/12/2009 10:10:53 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: garyb

We are already paying for medicare. Been doing it for years.”

I heard last night that Dirty Harry wants to raise the percentage of employer/employee payment into Medicare for gross incomes $250,000 and over- with no cut off.

It is currently 1.45%, for each= 2.90% of your gross paycheck.

Let’s say that Dirty Harry wants to raise it ‘only 1%’- for each half.....

I did a little math-
Bret Favre signed a reported $13 million one year contract with the Vikings.

Bret already pays $188,500 for his 1.45% of $13 million. The Vikings match that for another $188,500. Total ==$377,000. Just for one employee for current Medicare!!

Adding an extra 1% for Bret is another $130,000 from his paycheck- and additional $130,000 from the Vikings.

That would be a total of $260,000 for the additional ‘just 1%’ from this Congress. Now a grand total of $637,000 would disappear from Bret and the Vikings and disappear down the Medicare rat hole.
This is the same rat hole that has perfectly able bodied persons drawing Disability payments while they can ride all over town and shop and go desert dune buggy riding....NOT exactly disabled!!

My example is just for ONE sports athlete. I haven’t even thought about all the entertainment and Hollywood types!!
Wonder how Babs Streisand will feel about paying out this money?????


26 posted on 11/12/2009 10:21:04 AM PST by ridesthemiles
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To: nonsporting
I thought SS was voluntary.

You got a way of not paying FICA? If you are in certain fields you can opt out...but most have no choice.

27 posted on 11/12/2009 10:58:25 AM PST by NELSON111
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To: ridesthemiles
When we couple the current lying, socialist, muslim leader with the complicit evil Congress we have a bleak future indeed.

Both he and Congress must be flushed....but quickly!

28 posted on 11/12/2009 12:43:15 PM PST by IbJensen (America being militarily and economically strong isn't enough: We must be morally strong!)
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To: Gillmeister

Better not make that call. Being a lawyer, he may be a secret member of the ruling party and may turn you in to the gaystapo.


29 posted on 11/12/2009 12:45:24 PM PST by IbJensen (America being militarily and economically strong isn't enough: We must be morally strong!)
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