by Jerry Richardson
I bet you didn't know that the Constitution provides for tyranny (unrestricted government)? Well, according to House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, apparently it does. Should Congress have the power to force citizens to buy ObamaCare even if they do not want it? Yes. According to Nancy Pelosi. And, as with all dictators, she is not addressing any questions (“Are you serious? Are you serious?”):
“When CNSNews.com asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday where the Constitution authorized Congress to order Americans to buy health insurance--a mandate included in both the House and Senate versions of the health care bill [emphasis mine]--Pelosi dismissed the question by saying: “Are you serious? Are you serious?”
Pelosi's press secretary later responded to written follow-up questions from CNSNews.com by emailing CNSNews.com a press release on the “Constitutionality of Health Insurance Reform,” that argues that Congress derives the authority to mandate that people purchase health insurance from its constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. [emphasis mine]”
– Reference (1) at bottom.
The so-called interstate commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution comes from the following:
“Section 8. The Congress shall have power...
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;” – U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8, Clause 3
Those four little words, “...among the several states...” is what speaker Pelosi and other Democrats are using as the basis for their dictatorial actions. But despite their arrogant, aggressive, and hurry-up-behind-closed-doors legislative push, their actions are not based upon a sensible understanding of “...regulating commerce...” nor upon legal precedence. But of course, this minor detail never seems to bother liberals/progressives in their determination to change laws and society in the direction of the political left.
In 1994 when the Clinton's were calling for mandating all Americans to buy health insurance, the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) had this to say:
“AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE WOULD BE UNPRECEDENTED
A mandate requiring all individuals to purchase health insurance would be an unprecedented form of federal action. The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States [emphasis mine]. 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.
Federal mandates typically apply to people as parties to economic transactions, rather than as members of society [emphasis mine]. For example, the section of the Americans with Disabilities Act that requires restaurants to make their facilities accessible to persons with disabilities applies to people who own restaurants...Federal mandates that apply to individuals as members of society are extremely rare. One example is the requirement that draft-age men register with the Selective Service System. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is not aware of any others imposed by current federal law.”
– Reference (2) at bottom.
So how exactly does “...regulate commerce...” become force a person to buy. Obviously the definition of the word commerce is a matter of serious legal concern:
“Other scholars, such as Robert H. Bork and Daniel E. Troy, argue that prior to 1887, the Commerce Clause was rarely invoked by Congress, and thus a broad interpretation of the word "commerce" was clearly never intended by the Founders [emphasis mine]. In support of this claim, they argue that the word "commerce", as used in the Constitutional Convention and the Federalist Papers, can be substituted with either "trade" or "exchange" interchangeably while preserving the meaning of the statements. They also point to Madison's statement in an 1828 letter that the "Constitution vests in Congress expressly...'the power to regulate trade'.”
– Reference (3) at bottom.
There are significant, and recent, Supreme Court decisions that support a more narrow, as opposed to a broad, definition of commerce in the interstate commerce clause:
“Commerce” is not defined in the Constitution; some argue that it refers simply to “trade” or “exchange,” while others claim that the founders intended the much broader definition of both commercial and social intercourse between citizens of different states. The interpretation of “commerce” affects the appropriate dividing line between federal and state power [emphasis mine].
“In 1995, the Rehnquist Court again restricted the interpretation of the Commerce Clause in Lopez v. United States. 514 U.S. 549 (1995)...The Chief Justice...held that Congress only has the power to regulate the channels of commerce, the instrumentalities of commerce, and action that substantially affects interstate commerce [emphasis mine]. He declined to further expand the Commerce Clause, writing that “[t]o do so would require us to conclude that the Constitution's enumeration of powers does not presuppose something not enumerated, and that there never will be a distinction between what is truly national and what is truly local. This we are unwilling to do.”
 The federal government’s power was further restricted in the landmark case of Morrison v. United States,...Taken together, Lopez and Morrison have made clear that the Court is still willing to recognize that the Commerce Clause has teeth, and that it will not accept any stated Congressional reason for increased regulation if it does not find certain activity substantial enough to constitute interstate commerce. [emphasis mine]”
– Reference (4) at bottom.
What everyday citizen, in his wildest imagination, would ever believe that anyone in Congress would seriously argue that some provision in the Constitution would allow the Federal Government to make a citizen buy something they did not want?
Nancy Pelosi is arguing that she already has that power.
The power to force you to buy something you may not want. ObamaCare. Obviously, in her head and in the busy circuits of the Obamabots, any action that will result in their ability to ram ObamaCare down the throats of Americans is justified.
But wait a minute. How about automobile, liability insurance? You have to buy that, don't you? Well, you actually don't, and there are other differences from proposed ObamaCare. First, mandated, automobile, liability insurance is not a Federal law, it's a state law. Second, you only have to buy liability insurance if you drive, and you cannot be forced to drive. Third, driving is not a right, it's a privilege, and the liability law protects individuals from reckless damage done by other individuals who may misuse their privilege.
All three of these distinctions do not exist relative to proposed ObamaCare legislation. First, proposed ObamaCare will be a federal law, hence subject to unforeseen federal, bureaucratic changes: price, quality of care, etc. Second, if you live, you will have to buy it, or be fined, no choice. Third, life is not a privilege as is driving. Life is a God-given right (recognized by our Declaration of Independence). Life is not something granted by the government; hence forced ObamaCare is an intrusion into individual care for personal life which is an intrusion into the right of life itself.
Also ObamaCare would ostensibly protect the collective (not just an individual) from people who would prefer to opt-out of ObamaCare coverage (forced participation has been stated as needed in order to avoid free emergency service for uninsured as we have today.). This is a case of the cure being much worse than the disease. This supposed problem could be sidestepped by allowing, or requiring, insurance companies to provide a reasonably inexpensive catastrophic health policy, with high deductible such as that available in car and home insurance policies, for those who would not want ObamaCare coverage. But this is not being suggested, by the Democrats, because it is important to force participation from the group that would currently be least inclined to buy ObamaCare, the young (approximately 21 to 35). The reason that participation of the young must be forced is because they would contribute the most money at the least cost to the system, hence helping pay for ObamaCare.
When you see how liberals/progressive are trying to change the meaning of the U.S. Constitution by broadening the meaning of the word commerce in order to make any activity whatever (i.e., ObamaCare) subject to federal control via the interstate commerce clause, you can see why 38 states have introduced resolutions (non-binding) based upon the 10th Amendment. Constitutionally, the tension between federal and state powers comes down to the tensions between the 10th Amendment and the interstate commerce clause.
The Tenth Amendment
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
“10th Amendment Resolutions
These non-binding resolutions, often called “state sovereignty resolutions” do not carry the force of law. Instead, they are intended to be a statement of the legislature of the state. They play an important role, however. If you owned an apartment building and had a tenant not paying rent, you wouldn’t show up with an empty truck to kick them out without first serving notice. That’s how we view these Resolutions - as serving “notice and demand” to the Federal Government to “cease and desist any and all activities outside the scope of their constitutionally-delegated powers.” Follow-up, of course, is a must.”
– Reference (5) at bottom.
Ask yourself this question: Should Nancy Pelosi and Congress have the power to pass a law that forces you to buy and eat broccoli? Why not, if they can pass a law and force you to buy ObamaCare?
Congress will attain this power, if they get their way in forcing citizens to buy ObamaCare, whether a citizen wants it. If they get their way, they will have succeeded in expanding the interpretation of the interstate commerce clause to mean any activity. After that, the Federal Government will be able to control anything it decides to control. That's a good working definition of tyranny.
Your days of being unconcerned about the nuances of the U.S. Constitution are over...if you wish to retain your freedom.
(1) The Constitution Authorizes Congress to Order Americans To Buy Health Insurance
(2) ...AN INDIVIDUAL MANDATE TO BUY HEALTH INSURANCE August 1994
(3) Commerce Clause
(4) Commerce clause [Cornell Law]
(5) The 10th Amendment Movement