Faria: ObamaCare — Politics and Constitutionality

Journal/Website: 
GOPUSA.com
Article Type: 
Commentary
Published Date: 
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Source: 
http://www.gopusa.com/commentary/2012/03/20/faria-obamacare-politics-and-constitutionality/

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2010), more commonly referred to as ObamaCare, has become one of the most controversial pieces of legislation passed by the Democrat-controlled, 111th U.S. Congress during President Obama’s administration.

Obama announcing health care reformDespite significant political opposition and poll-after-poll evincing the American people’s strong dissatisfaction with a health care plan that was correctly seen as further socializing American medicine, ObamaCare was passed by the two houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by the president on March 23, 2010.

One stated goal of the plan is ostensibly to "expand access to insurance for nearly 30 million Americans" (photo, above). And to accomplish this ”reform,” the Obama administration has introduced the elements of compulsion — and more ominously, unconstitutional powers.

To increase access to insurance for 30 million uninsured Americans, ObamaCare forces insurance companies and managed care plans to extend coverage to people with pre-existing conditions; in effect, converting conventional rules of indemnity coverage (i.e., coverage for unforeseen medical illnesses and injuries) into prepayment for chronic medical care.

But perhaps the most egregious section of ObamaCare is to force uninsured Americans to purchase medical insurance. Noncompliance with this “reform” will trigger heavy fines imposed by the federal government as a penalty. This is referred to as the health insurance mandate, and it is quite different from National Health Insurance as in Canada (2,3,11), National Health Service as in Great Britain (6), or socialized medicine in France, Germany, and Japan.(12,16)  Thus, I make a relative distinction between the Obama administration’s plan for health care as corporate socialized medicine (i.e., public-private, corporativist partnerships) and the fully socialized medicine as in most European countries.(7-10)

HillaryCareThe price of socialized medicine in every country in which it has been implemented is the usurpation of liberty, the erosion of individual autonomy, the gradual loss of the freedom to choose — working in parallel with the rationing of medical services and technology because the raison d'être of socialism is to control the population by depriving the people of freedom and keeping them subservient and dependent on the State.

The free enterprise system in the United States has traditionally relied on free choice in a free market place, whether we are talking about buying a home, an automobile, computers — or medical care. Government compulsion and social engineering are not well received by free marketeers and individualists in our society.

Small steps, incremental “reforms,” have taken place in American medicine via increased rules and regulations regarding utilization and rationing of services, coverage, and payments to physicians, etc. But further large-scale attempts to socialize American medicine have been repeatedly defeated since 1965, when Medicare (i.e., health care for the elderly) and Medicaid (i.e., health care for the indigent) were instituted.(4,5,9) A good example of this rejection of socialized medicine was the failed attempt by President Bill Clinton to revamp the U.S. health care system in 1993-1994. The Health Security Act of 1993 was a grandiose effort to further socialized American medicine in a corporativist direction,(8-10) and was dubbed "HillaryCare" because the effort was led by former First Lady Hillary Clinton (photo, above), who serves today as President Obama's Secretary of State.

If there was so much opposition to ObamaCare, how did it get through Congress?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was introduced in the U.S. Congress in September 2009 when the Democrat Party still had majorities in both Houses of the American Congress. Despite those majorities, the Republican Party (GOP; “Grand Old Party”) was able to introduce several amendments and mount significant opposition to the legislation.

ObamaCare passed in the House of Representatives on October 8, 2009. The Senate then took up consideration of the bill and passed it “with amendment” on December 24, 2009.

According to the U.S. Constitution, when a bill that has already been passed by one house of congress is altered or has amendments added to it by the other house, then the bill must return to the originating house to be re-voted on and passed again with those changes or amendments. Because the Senate version of the ObamaCare bill passed “with amendment,” the bill had to go back to the House of Representatives to be reconsidered and re-voted on.

Likewise, if the House made any further changes or added any new amendments, the bill would then bounce back to the Senate for a re-vote. This process may seem unnecessarily cumbersome to foreigners, but the American Founding Fathers in their wisdom devised this method so that thoughtful consideration could be given to the making and passage of laws, and thus, hopefully preserve our constitutional republic. 

However, the legislative shenanigans used by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), and her counterpart in the U.S. Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), to get the amended ObamaCare legislation finally through congress turned that process upside down. Even the Washington Post, not usually considered a “conservative” publication, astoundingly reported that Speaker Pelosi was willing to do anything to ram the bill through Congress in 2010.(13)

No More Socialized AnythingTime was of the essence because 2010 was also a mid-term election year in the United States. Given the growing voter dissatisfaction with the Obama administration, the slow economic recovery, and the mounting opposition to this bill (photo, left), the makeup of one or both houses of congress could potentially change in early 2011. This political consideration added great urgency to the need to get ObamaCare passed once and for all and signed into law before any of the newly elected congressional members were sworn in.

So, here is what transpired:

In 1974, Congress created a special methodology for balancing the budget, whereby the U.S. Senate could reduce the escalating budget deficit with a simple majority vote (i.e., 51 votes), rather than requiring the usual 60 votes that are needed to stop a filibuster. Under this Senate rule, the expediting process was called "reconciliation," but it was only to be used for balancing the budget.

First, President Obama and his Democrat congressional leaders, Pelosi and Reid, attempted to change the rules to effect passage of this legislation at any price. They used budget "reconciliation" rules to bypass the planned GOP Senate filibuster that would normally have allowed the Republicans to defeat the legislation with 41 Senate votes. (The 41-vote possibility became a potential reality when Massachusetts elected a Republican, Scott Brown, to the U.S. Senate on January 19, 2010.)ObamaCare legislation

Second, the Democrat congressional leaders invoked a convoluted concept of "procedural rules," to make sure one way or the other President Obama could get this cherished piece of legislation through Congress (photo, right).

The Washington Post article expounded the convoluted methodology as follows:

"Rather than passing the Senate bill and then passing the fixes, the House will pass the fixes under a rule that says the House "deems" the Senate bill passed after the House passes the fixes.

"The virtue of this, for Pelosi's members, is that they don't actually vote on the Senate bill. They only vote on the reconciliation package. But their vote on the reconciliation package functions as a vote on the Senate bill...the bottom line is this: When the House votes on the reconciliation fixes, the Senate bill is passed, even if the Senate hasn't voted on the reconciliation fixes, and even though the House never specifically voted on the Senate bill."(13)

And that convoluted way of thinking did not even include Speaker Pelosi's “most revealing” comment expressed during an interview on Fox News on March 9, 2010: "We have to pass the health care bill so that you can find out what is in it."(15)

So, to make the story brief, the socialist members in the U.S. Congress were willing to do anything to pass and have signed into law what Vladimir Lenin deemed "the keystone in the arch of socialism" — government control of medical care!

The ObamaCare legislation again passed in U.S. House of Representatives on March 21, 2010 by a Obama signing health care legislationtight vote of 219-212, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against the bill! President Obama signed it into law two days later (photo, left).

The fact that the legislation was quickly repealed in a largely symbolic gesture by the newly elected House in a 245-189 vote that January 2011 tells how unpopular the law was and remains. President Obama was happy to take credit for ObamaCare when he thought the American people would approve of it with time; but in the intervening years that has not happened. Therefore, many of President Obama's followers are now distancing themselves from the law they helped create!

Violating the U.S. Constitution to Justify ObamaCare

The U.S. Constitution, unlike the constitutions in other countries or other forms of government, limits the power of the federal government to specifically enumerated powers. Powers that are not specifically granted by the constitution are not authorized. Additionally, the first Ten Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, enshrined as the Bill of Rights, even forbid Congress from passing laws restricting individual freedom. For example, the First Amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The Second Amendment forbids the government from disarming law-abiding citizens, etc.

It has been stated that the "Welfare Clause" in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution authorizes Congress to distribute entitlements and to redistribute wealth in the form of socialism. But in discussing this clause, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "a distinct substantive power, to do any act which might tend to the general welfare, is to render all the enumerations [of their specific constitutional powers] useless, and to make their power unlimited."

And James Madison, the “Father of the U.S. Constitution,” in a letter to fellow patriot Edmund Pendleton dated January 21, 1792, wrote: "[If] Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions." In other words, there is no authorization in the U.S. Constitution for the implementation of socialism in America.

Likewise, our constitution does not authorize the federal government to take over the U.S. health care system. To legally justify the implementation of ObamaCare, particularly the section that forces American citizens to buy health care coverage, congressional democrats and the president have used the (interstate) commerce clause of the constitution (that empowers congress to regulate the interstate commerce among the individual states of the nation).

Again, this "broad construction" (interpretation) of the constitution is tantamount to a usurpation of power that would erase the limits of authority set for the federal government by the framers of our constitution. Nor have specific contravening amendments been passed to legally alter those constitutional limits.

U.S. Supreme CourtThe limits have been exceeded only by the judicial activism of court rulings, based on the two aforementioned broad interpretations of the “General Welfare” and “Commerce” clauses. The intention of the Founders was never for congress or a complicit activist Supreme Court to use commerce and trade between the states to wantonly approve unconstitutional federal legislation.

As a result, a majority of the states acting individually, as well as numerous civic and professional organizations, have filed lawsuits in federal court challenging the constitutionality of ObamaCare.(1) The U.S. Supreme Court (photo, above) has agreed to review the lawsuits in March 2012 “as part of the three days of public oral arguments scheduled for March 26-28. There, lawyers for the Obama administration and a coalition of 26 states and private groups will separately plead their case on the health care law's legal limits."(14)

Let’s hope reason and constitutionality prevail, and that at least part, if not all, of the most egregious sections of ObamaCare are declared unconstitutional and repealed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

References

1. Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS). Medicaid Expansion, Individual Mandate, & Entire PPACA Unconstitutional, Doctors Tell Supreme Court. January 23, 2012.

2. Aubrey, ME. Canada's Fatal Error — Health Care as a Right (Part I). Medical Sentinel 2001;6(1):26-28.

3. Aubrey, ME. Canada's Fatal Error — Health Care as a Right (Part II). Medical Sentinel 2001;6(2):57-60.

4. Blaylock, R. National Health Insurance (Part I): The Socialist Nightmare. August 19, 2009. HaciendaPublishing.com.

5. Blaylock, R. National Health Insurance (Part II): Any Social Utility in the Elderly? September 26, 2009. HaciendaPublishing.com.

6. Butler, E. The National Health Service in the United Kingdom: Model for the United States? J Med Assoc Ga 1993;82(12):643-645.

7. Faria, M. ObamaCare — Toward Free Market or Socialized Medicine. GOPUSA.com, September 26, 2011.

8. Faria, M. Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine. Macon, Ga., Hacienda Publishing, 1997.

9. Faria, M. Vandals at the Gates of Medicine — Historic Perspectives on the Battle Over Health Care Reform. Macon, Ga., Hacienda Publishing, 1995.

10. Faria, M. Corporate Socialized Medicine Threatens Medical Profession. Human Events, August 15, 1997, p 12-13.

11. Goodman, WE. Re-privatizing Medicine in Canada — By the Back Door. Medical Sentinel 1997;2(1):16-18.

12. Henderson, JW. Liberty, Equality, Fraternity and the Delivery of Health Care in France. J Med Assoc Ga 1993;82(12):651-655.

13. Klein, E. Strategy for Passing Health-Care Reform. Washington Post, March 15, 2010.  http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2010/03/nancy_pelosis_strate...

14. Mears, B. All Nine Justices Will Vote on Health Care. Jan. 23, 2012.  http://www.news8000.com/news/politics/All-nine-justices-will-vote-on-hea....

15. Pelosi, N. Fox News, March 9, 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoE1R-xH5To

16. Schlitt, M. Health Care Systems in Japan and Germany Provide Facts, Not Theories. J Med Assoc Ga 1993;82(12):651-655. 

Article written by: Dr. Miguel Faria

Dr. Miguel A. Faria is a former Clinical Professor of Surgery (Neurosurgery, ret.) and Adjunct Professor of Medical History (ret.) Mercer University School of Medicine; Member Editorial Board of Surgical Neurology International (2011-present); Recipient of the Americanism Medal from the Nathaniel Macon Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) 1998; Ex member of the Injury Research Grant Review Committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 2002-05; Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Sentinel (1996-2002); Editor Emeritus, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS); Author, Vandals at the Gates of Medicine (1995), Medical Warrior: Fighting Corporate Socialized Medicine (1997), and Cuba in Revolution: Escape From a Lost Paradise (2002).

An edited version of this article was published in GOPUSA.com on March 20, 2012.

Copyright © 2012 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., MD

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Comments on this post

Justice or the Law?

Excerpted from today's commentary in the Macon Telegraph, July 1, 2015

"What’s the difference between justice and the law?" by Buckner F. Melton, Jr.

"... A shame that most of our Supreme Court justices have fallen in such love with their ideas of justice that they are no longer thinking like lawyers. That’s certainly the case with Chief Justice Roberts, at least when it comes to Obamacare.

"When the Supreme Court decided the original Obamacare case, I publicly took swing vote Roberts to task. In interpreting the Affordable Care Act, Roberts declared that the penalty Congress imposed for not buying health care insurance is actually a tax even though Congress denied it’s a tax, but that since Congress treats the tax like a penalty, the court should treat it as if it’s a penalty despite the fact that it’s a tax. Got all that? In sum, to uphold the constitutionality of Obamacare, Roberts played egregious word games that I would flunk a first year law student for trying.

"What the law said was crystal clear. He just didn’t like it. He practically said that’s why he ruled as he did. 'Whether those credits are available on federal exchanges,' he wrote 'is ... a question of deep economic and political significance’ that is central to the survival of Obamacare. Since Obamacare must survive, he had to rewrite the statute.

"The problem is that it isn’t his job. Roberts, together with five other justices, simply -- and with unprecedented blatancy -- made the law say what they wanted it to say, based on their notion of what’s fair and right..."

Buckner F. Melton, Jr. is a Law Professor at Middle Georgia State College

Available from: http://www.macon.com/2015/07/01/3823152/whats-the-difference-between-jus...

Yes, Justice is arbitrary, political, and subjective; the law is stationary, blind and objective!---MAF

I prefer the Law!

From the film “The Man for All Season” (1966)

William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

In the 1966 film “The Man for All Season” Paul Scofield played the courageous and principled classical humanist Sir Thomas More, who preferred to be convicted of “treason” and be beheaded than abandon the Catholic Church and sign the Act of Supremacy making Henry VIII (played by Robert Shaw), personifying the State at its worse, supreme over the Catholic Church.

But the Laws are to no avail where the rule of law is nonexistent and the rule of man prevails regardless of the type of dictatorship, whether the State is incarnated in a banana republic dictator, an absolutist monarch, a well-intended social democracy, or an outright majoritarian mobocracy. — MAF

They Never Read the Legislation!

Excellent article as is the video posted on the home page!

Unlike the people who put together that video, our legislators never read the ObamaCare legislation they are now trying to force upon us!

This coming 4th of July would become a very special Independence Day, once again reasserting freedom, if the Supreme Court repeals ObamaCare!

Women's health

I'm a woman. Why would women's health deserve more attention than anyone else? Why does the government need to get involved with women's health in general and my health in particular?

In a free society, each individual should be responsible for their own health care. We, as women, should feel free to pursue our own health and happiness, but not have government intruding into our medical care or our privacy.

Government intervention is always political and comes with strings attached that I, for one, do not desire!

I'd recommend reading Atlas Shrugged or watching the recently released movie Atlas Shrugged, Part I, which has been reviewed on this website: http://www.haciendapublishing.com/classic-movies-and-documentaries

Excellent article about an overt danger

Excellent article. I am currently working in Queensland, Australia. Interestingly enough, the majority of commercials I view—now that the elections are over here—are for healthcare insurance. Why is it necessary to purchase this since Aussies already pay for everyone’s healthcare through taxes? Long waits for elective surgery such as knee and hip replacements, I am told. Such services are taken for granted in US, yet here one pays $55.00 per week for this additional healthcare with the cost going up considerably as one wages rises above $150,000 per year. With all of the taxes already being paid, one must wonder at the huge cost of this socialized medicine.

How could anyone trust the government with our healthcare after they robbed our retirement? Instead of having trillions in savings, we are constantly reminded that we should not expect to rely on our retirement savings that the government has taken from us without our permission for that expressed purpose. (See "What Happened to the $2.6 Trillion Social Security Trust Fund? by Merrill Matthews posted at Forbes.com on 07/13/2011)

If socialized medicine is so great, then why do they come to the US to get their healthcare? Whether bureaucratic red tape and inefficiency, delays for operations, or lower quality care, I do not know. Yet they continue to come from Canada, Europe, and other countries who have allowed the government to take over their healthcare. Must we make the same mistake?
Repercussions from congress ignoring the overwhelming opposition to Obamacare were striking in the 2010 elections. “Republicans won at least 58 seats, not including those from some Western states where ballots were still being counted, surpassing the 52 seats the party won in the sweep of 1994”. (See "G.O.P. Captures House, but Not Senate" by Jeff Zeleny posted at NYTimes.com on 11/2/2010)

In Arkansas where I reside—at least some of the time—once a Democrat US senator is elected they are there for life, yet the 60th vote to get Obamacare out of the committee cost Senator Lincoln her job by a margin roughly as large as Obama’s defeat here in 2008.

Let us hope that Justice Kennedy follows the constitution and removes the cancer of Obamacare before we move into a totalitarian state; after all, the argument of interstate regulation giving all power to the US government can be taken to nearly every product. Do we really want the government to regulate every activity? It did not work out so well for other socialist regimes like USSR, Communist China, or NAZI Germany, so why would we move toward such an abyss?

ObamaCare and country music!

Ben, you can say that again about ObamaCare: "I got a big laugh at Obama trying to intimidate the Supreme Court. I found that rather funny but again just goes to show his arrogance and narcisstic personality."

Yes, Ben, it reminds me of FDR's threat to pack the Supreme court, if he did not get his corporativist (i.e., economic fascism) New Deal through!

That is the arrogant, authoritarian mentality of these socialist Democrats. What will it take for the American people to see through this narcissism and power-grab?

Let's hope, as I said before (and I agree with Koba about this too), that the Justices, particularly Anthony Kennedy, don't get weak-kneed and rule according to the Constitution. The mandates in ObamaCare are unconstitutional, and the purchase of insurance is the most egregious!

Keep your political analyses and Country music instructions coming! MAF

Ladies, we do what we can!

I have received the following comments from three super-ladies, uneed, chowder3, and last but not least, Dido. I thought I would share their comments with readers of this website.

uneed: The longer our current leadership is in office;the closer this Administration destroys our Constitution. The full intent is to socialize our Great Nation. There are at least 70 known Socialist serving in our Congress today.
The intent is to bring us to our knees. And healthcare is the place to make the largest headway.

More than 75% of this country is against ObamaCare because we know where it leads.
I Want the GOP to “Stand up” for this country. If The Supreme Court does not find this monster unconstitutional. Then The GOP must push to de-fund it. And they can find a way. As we see the socialist in Congress and the Oval Office have found ways around our Great Constitution on a daily basis.

And On a (Friday afternoon March 16) when people weren’t paying attention; the current leader issued his Executive Order for Martial Law in an election year. Many may pass this off as meaning nothing and would have nothing to do with ObamaCare. 
Let me remind everyone we witnessed "how" ObamaCare was passed. They go hand in hand and Americans need to be prepared for what we will find at the end of these paths. It is not a pretty America.

Thank you for continuing to show us what we are fighting for in this country; I pray our forefathers,parents and grandparents didn’t fight to be in this country in vain. God Bless our Country.

chowder3: Dr. Faria, thank you for the outstanding article! Your explanation on how the bill made it through Congress shows how determined President Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senator Harry Reid were to pass ObamaCare, regardless of the disapproval of the majority of voters. The tactics they used were deplorable. This bill must be repealed!

We cannot allow government to dictate the goods and services we purchase. Our founding fathers wrote our Constitution with checks and balances, to limit government and to protect the freedoms we love and cherish. We would do well to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional convention of 1787. When he was asked,”Well, Doctor, what have we got-a Republic or a Monarchy?” “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Let’s hope we can keep it.

Dido: How do we get the free market back in health care? Escalating health care costs are the result of the distortion of the free market in medicine as well as the fact that people want to have the best medical care as long as someone else is footing the bill. I know I was in the health care field for many years.

ObamaCare is corporativist socialism on the way to fully socialized medicine. And Mr. Richarson, let's hope the Justices, particularly Anthony Kennedy, rule according to the Constitution. I know the Liberal Democratic Justices will not!

Constitutionality, we will see. I also don't like the way that sausage was made by Pelosi and Company.

And even the ABC mainstream liberal media pundits are concerned about ObamaCare's unpopularity. They know it might be the Democrats' Achilles heel.

Dr Faria, ladies, we do what we can. "I am only one but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I still can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do." ~ Edward Everett Hale

ObamaCare moves us toward fully socialized medicine.

Reading this excellent article sent shivers down my spine! It details exactly how the Rule of Law and the safe guards established in our U.S. Constitution are being perverted and circumvented by the left-wing liberals in Congress.

Their arrogance galls me!

I sincerely hope that the majority of Justices seated on the U.S. Supreme Court (who are now hearing arguments regarding ObamaCare) can save us from enduring further implementation of portions of this law, particularly the health insurance mandate. They should realize that ObamaCare moves this country further and further toward socialism and away from the founding principles of this nation.



Diary of Dreams performs at the 2016 M’era Luna festival in Hildesheim, Germany. M’era Luna, “one of the biggest dark music events in Germany,” is held each year on the second weekend in August. Close to 25,000 people attend the festival annually to hear gothic, metal and industrial music performed on two large festival-style stages.