Skip to comments.Akaka: ‘ Not Aware’ Constitution Gives Congress Authority to Make Individuals Buy Health Insurance
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: Im not aware of that, let me put it that way. But what were trying to do is to provide for people who have needs and thats where the accessibility comes in, and one of the goals that were 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. Its 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 were trying to do, and in this case, were 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.
Its an idea of making it possible for people and this is what its all about, he said. I dont 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 Clausewhich gives Congress the power to regulate commerce among the several statesraises 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 thats the case, then we didnt 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 isnt America. Thats not freedom. Thats 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 weve 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: Im not aware of that, let me put it that way. But what were trying to do is to provide for people who have needs and thats where the accessibility comes in, and one of the goals that were 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 dont get health insurance youre penalized up to $750 per adult by the IRS, if you dont get health insurance. Do you think that is a good idea or is that a bad idea?
Senator Akaka: Well, its an idea of making it possible for people, and this is what its all about. I dont 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. Its 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 were trying to do, and in this case, were 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, Im inclined to support the bill thats there now and reserve, you know, the right to look at it up to the last moment and see what happens. For Hawaii, it weve been able to have it support what were doing in Hawaii. We think we have a good plan in Hawaii too. So, thats where we are on this.
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.
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.
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.
What a pantload.
Time to call my lawyer cousin and start a pre-emtive lawsuit.
Maybe Pelosi herself will machine gun them for not yielding to her will.
Ask any "liberal" and this is their belief regarding government policy and the Constitution.
"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
“Its an idea of making it possible for people and this is what its all about, he said. I dont look upon that as a penalty but as a way of getting help with health insurance.”
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?
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 dont get health insurance, youre 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!"
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.
needs to be a class action suit....on behalf of FREEDOM! (The Constitution?)
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.
I was going to say something similiar. The government already makes you buy social security. What makes healthcare any more unconstitutional than social security?
I thought SS was voluntary.
Ever try to opt out? You can’t.
If that holds it is very good news.