The Wall Street Journal has published several editorials questioning the legality of legislation that would require Americans to purchase healthcare insurance or face penalties. These editorials as well as the lead article in the December 2009 issue of Health Freedom Watch were all penned by noted legal minds. The attorneys general of South Carolina, Florida and a handful of other states have also questioned the constitutionality of the federal healthcare bill, differing versions of which have passed the U.S. House and Senate.Even the Congressional Budget Office has weighed in, stating: “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.”
The analyses reach the following conclusions:
- Congress does not have the constitutional power to pass this mandate into federal law. The Constitution provides for Congress to tax and spend, and to regulate interstate commerce — period. The authors of both “Why the Health Care Bills Are Unconstitutional,” published in the Wall Street Journal and “Why the Personal Mandate to Buy Health Insurance Is Unprecedented and Unconstitutional,” in Health Freedom Watch, cite federal cases stating that the courts have never sanctioned Congress to usurp other powers. (It is interesting to note that even in time of war, Congress has never claimed the power to force Americans to purchase anything.)
- The deals cut to benefit the states of senators and representatives whose votes were being sought violate the constitutional concept of “legislation for the general welfare.”
- This legislation — which requires certain actions by the states, including benefit exchanges in violation of the federal-state form of government described by our Constitution — tramples upon states’ rights.
At a time when vested and political interests appear to be manipulating Congress, let’s all vow to support the continued protection of our healthcare freedom of choice as well as every other freedom we hold dear.