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Is Government Mandated Health Insurance Unconstitutional?

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It’s become increasingly popular over the last several decades to twist, manipulate, and apply subjective interpretations to the Constitution of the United States.  After all, a misreading of the call to promote the general welfare has led to countless federal programs designed to provide and ensure the general welfare of anyone living in the U.S. (either legally or not), regardless of their initiative or capacity to provide for their own general welfare.  There is a reason why the framers chose the words: “provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare.”  One needs only to grab a dictionary to see that “provide” and “promote” mean two totally different things.

The latest, and potentially most damaging, misinterpretation of the Constitution now approaches us in the form of the 2,000+ page leviathan of a bill nearing passage in the Senate.  After arm-twisting and more than a few multi-million dollar bribes, it appears the Obama Administration has the votes it needs to pass a bill that will, after a few trillion taxpayer dollars, provide free health care to a limited number of people living in the United States.  Nestled within the massive bill (which nobody has actually read entirely, can understand fully, or explain clearly), are provisions that penalize people for not taking part in the plan.

Without a doubt (and probably by design), the various manifestations of the Democrats’ health care bills all seem designed to move towards a Government-run Health Care system that requires citizens to purchase health insurance.

This is where that pesky Constitution causes a few problems.  One particular segment of the Constitution has come up in debate:

Article I, Section 8:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States;

“A-ha!” the Democrats will say, “this clearly says Congress can pass a law that allows it to collect money from taxpayers in order to provide for the general welfare of the people!”  Sure, it does in fact say “provide.”  But exactly where are the “people” specifically mentioned?

This is where it’s important to pay close attention to the wording.  The Preamble states that “We the people” ordain and establish the Constitution to “promote the general welfare.”  However, Article I, Section 8, states that Congress can levy taxes to provide for the general welfare of the United States.  Clearly, the United States refers to the collection of States within the Union – not specifically to the individual people living in the United States.

In other words:

Preamble – We the people, to promote the general welfare (of the people).

Article I, Section 8 – Congress to levy taxes, etc, to provide for the general welfare of the United States (not United States citizens).

The authors of the Constitution were brilliant writers.  They understood the meaning of words, and wrote sentences that were constructed in a specific manner for a specific reason.  When they used “provide” in one section and “promote” in another, they did it because they meant two completely different things.  Likewise, when they referenced “the people” in the Preamble, and referenced “the United States” in Article I, Section 8, they meant two completely different things as well.

Unfortunately, the Democrats’ contemporary translation of these completely different wordings demonstrates a level of intellectual dishonesty that is embarrassing at best, and intentional at worst.  Sadly, there are many Americans – and many politicians, for that matter – who do not understand the conceptual differences between an entity (the United States) and the individual (the People).   However, the framers of the Constitution did understand the difference – which is why they chose the language they used.

It does not take a constitutional lawyer to come to the conclusion that the current health care proposals are in clear conflict with the Constitution of the United States.  Instead, it takes someone with what used to be considered a high-school reading comprehension level.  Again, this is why the authors of the Constitution chose specific words to express specific meanings.

In order for this health care bill to pass the constitutionality test, it must be proven that it will provide for the general welfare of the United States as an entity, not for the citizens who, as individuals, comprise the entity.  In its current state, the bill essentially takes money from people who can (if even barely) afford health insurance and gives it to people who cannot (or prefer to spend their money on premium cable, cell phones, or new car payments).

Each of the proposed health care bills have been explicitly sold to the American people as a means by which we can “provide” health care to individuals who cannot otherwise acquire it.  Clearly, this is an attempt to apply Article I, Section 8, in a way that levies taxes in order to provide for individuals, not to provide for the entity of the United States.  Worse yet, these proposals punish citizens for things such as failing to purchase health insurance!

Thus, we are faced with having a bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama that requires citizens to purchase something, or otherwise be fined or jailed.  It confuses the meaning of “provide” with “promote,” while ignoring the differences between the concepts of the individual American versus the entity of the collection of the States.

Ultimately it is clear that these health care proposals, and any eventual laws based upon these proposals, are predicated upon a misreading of the Constitution and the obvious limits placed upon Congress with regards to passing laws that “provide” or “promote” the general welfare of “the people.”

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Written by ericcvorst

December 19, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Posted in Main Page

2 Responses

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  1. Brilliant analysis. Get the word out!

    Mama Maria

    January 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

  2. Very informative content will subscribe to your RSS Feed.

    Ed

    January 7, 2010 at 1:10 pm


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