Well, the Health Care Reform bill has passed and as with most entitlement programs our legislature has deemed necessary to force down our throats I guess we are stuck with it. As the father of our Constitution, James Madison so eloquently stated, “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” However, here we are again with another entitlement passed into law.
The commonly heard excuse given by congressmen when asked under what Constitutional authority they think they have to promote this health care takeover is; “general welfare.” The Father of our Constitution, who was most responsible for the words within it said otherwise. Madison stated, “With respect to the two words ‘general welfare,’ I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators.”
According to Madison in Federalist # 41 , the statement of the power to tax and spend ( Constitution Article 1, section 8 ) serves as a general statement in regards to the manners in which that general power is to be exercised and explicitly enumerated thereafter. In other words, “general welfare” is nothing more than a descriptive introduction to the *specific* enumerated powers that follow in the rest of Article 1, Section 8 and not a specific enumerated power.
For example, if the portion of the clause “to provide for the common defense” was indeed a standalone power, why would the founders then explicitly list a power “To raise and support armies”? It would be redundant. Does providing for the “common defense” exclude the raising and supporting of armies? Absolutely not. Therefore the only reasonable construction is that the power to raise and support armies is the explicit enumeration of the manner in which the general power to provide for the common defense is to be carried into effect.
We can then deal with the “General Welfare” portion of the clause in a similar manner. An example of the manner in which the General Welfare is to be promoted can be demonstrated by the power “To establish post offices and post roads”. Again, any alternative construction renders the enumerated power redundant.
Lastly, the founders were very precise in their wording. They used the words “person” or “citizen” when speaking of individuals and the phrase “United States” or the word “union” when referring to the federation of states. The general power to tax and spend in Article I, Section 8 clearly states that the powers are directed at the “United States” not “persons” or “citizens” therefore the power applies only to objects which will promote the solidarity and prosperity of the union of states, not its citizens.
But like I said, we are stuck with this legislation. Regardless of whether or not we agree with the legislation or if we believe the bill is unconstitutional the fact remains Congress has passed Health Care Reform. It will add $2.6 trillion in new spending and implements a government takeover of 1/6 of the American economy.
Tonight, Democrats in the House passed sweeping legislation that will fundamentally alter the nature of our nation by implementing a government takeover of health care that Americans don’t want and can’t afford. The Democratic health care plan passed 219-212. I stood with all the House Republicans and a good number of Democrats in voting against this bill.
This vote creates an expensive new entitlement that implements a government takeover of 1/6 of the American economy. This law will raise taxes on all Americans, it will kill jobs in a lagging economy, it will put mandates on Americans and on businesses, it will put government in between doctors and their patients, it will raise the premiums of people who currently have insurance.
The Democratic health care bill will add $2.6 trillion in new spending. There’s no free lunch. We’ll either tax ourselves to the point we’re not competitive internationally or we’ll simply add on more and more debt. Regardless, the bottom line is we cannot afford this new entitlement.
We have bills that as a nation we can’t pay as it is. Now we’re adding on more stress to an overburdened system. Our debt obligations threaten to put our economy in critical care, and we’re crippling the ability of innovative Americans to create new jobs.
There’s no doubt that there are many Americans facing tragic situations because they lack health insurance. Many more are under insured and millions live in fear of losing their coverage. By opposing this legislation, we are not belittling or ignoring the real crisis in our nation’s health care system. Republicans have put forth responsible reforms that have fallen on deaf ears with this Democratic Congress and administration. No matter how great our desire to cover each and every American who lacks coverage, we do not serve the greater good if our actions bankrupt our nation.