February 4, 2011
Federal Judge Roger Vinson ruled this week that the “individual mandate” portion of Obama’s health care reform was unconstitutional, dealing a significant blow to the Obama administration’s desire to force government-run health insurance on the entire U.S. population. Department of Justice spokespeople reacted with a sense of twisted desperation, calling Judge Vinson’s decision “judicial activism” as if he were inventing new law. In reality, of course, Judge Vinson merely ruled to protect existing law as written in the United States Constitution.
Three years ago, even President Obama would have agreed with Judge Vinson’s decision. In arguing against the idea of an individual mandate in government-run health insurance, President Obama said in 2008, “If a mandate was the solution, we can try to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house.”
Obama’s quote demonstrates the ludicrousness of the federal government requiring people to buy certain products or services in order to solve what the government perceives as a problem. If the government is allowed to dictate commercial behavior by forcing citizens to purchase things they don’t want to purchase, then it won’t be long before Washington starts forcing everybody to buy a U.S.-made automobile each year to support the auto industry… or pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and other products and services the government wants to push onto the people.
Judge Vinson cited this same argument in his 78-page ruling, in fact, writing:
“Congress could require that everyone above a certain income threshold buy a General Motors automobile — now partially government-owned — because those who do not buy GM cars (or those who buy foreign cars) are adversely impacting commerce and a taxpayer-subsidized business.”
In a demonstration of the ridiculousness of governments forcing citizens to buy things, five South Dakota lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require all residents of that state to buy a firearm to provide for their own self defense. (http://www.argusleader.com/article/…)
The bill is, of course, being put forth solely to make a point: That governments have no business forcing citizens to buy things they don’t personally want or even believe in.
But if Obama can force you to buy health insurance, there’s no reason why someone else in Washington couldn’t force everybody to buy a firearm, or a pound of broccoli each week, or a water filter, or anything else the government says is “for your own good.”
The federal government has no power to force Americans to buy stuff
In light of the potential for runaway federal abuse of the Commerce Clause, Judge Roger Vinson correctly ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not grant the federal government the power to engage in “market dictatorship” activities such as requiring people to buy health insurance. Such power was never granted to the federal government in the U.S. Constitution (no, not even in the Commerce Clause, which was written to prevent states from enacting tariffs, not to grant the federal government power over all commerce), and therefore the federal government has no legal basis from which to enforce such mandates.
Congress, of course, rarely abides by the limitations on federal power as enumerated in the U.S. Constitution. That’s why Congress passed Obamacare in the first place, even though the law blatantly violated the Constitution in requiring people to purchase a product many of them were ethically opposed to purchasing. (How many of us really want to be forced by Washington to send money to Big Pharma and the conventional medical industry?)
Congress, it seems, wants the federal government to essentially be able to have absolute power over the American people; to tell them what to buy, how they’re supposed to react to tragedy (Giffords shooting), and even what they’re not allowed to read (health claims on nutritional products). And yet, the primary purpose of the U.S. Constitution is to place limits on federal power, and it is the proper role of federal judges to strike down laws when such laws clearly attempt to undermine the Constitution by engaging in unjustified expansions of federal power.
On to the Supreme Court
The ultimate legality of Obama’s health care law will, of course, be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, and it’s anyone’s guess how the Supreme Court will rule on the constitutionality of the individual mandate (or the law in its entirety). Through American history, the U.S. Supreme Court has made some rather wild and seemingly-irrational decisions that supported federal government’s power grabs, such as the case of Wickard vs Filburn as we reported here on NaturalNews: http://www.naturalnews.com/030799_f…
At other times, the U.S. Supreme Court has limited the power of the federal government in the context of the Commerce Clause. It seems that the high court’s decisions in these matters rest on whether it believes the federal government has “a compelling interest” in the matter which would, in the opinion of the Court, justify what is obviously the federal government’s attempt to establish vast overreaching powers that would intrude upon individual liberties.
This case may not even be heard until 2012, and until that time, Obamacare rolls forward, causing steady increases in health insurance premiums and an ongoing loss of jobs as U.S. corporations move their operations to other countries where health care mandates don’t bankrupt them. In order to protect its favorite corporations and unions, of course, the Obama Administration has now granted over 700 waivers to various business organizations (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100…). Recipients of the waivers include PepsiCo and various unions.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
This brings up the obvious question: Obamacare is so good that Americans have to be forced to buy it while PepsiCo — a company whose products actually contribute to health care costs in America through obesity and diabetes — is exempted from participating? How is it that powerful corporations are getting waivers from such a “great” health care system, but individuals get a knock on the door from the IRS if they try to opt out?
This is how tyrannical governments work: They pass oppressive, overreaching mandates and then exempt their own buddies and corporate supporters from any such requirements. Everyday working people, meanwhile, are locked in and actually penalized by tax authorities if they try to avoid buying a health insurance product they never even wanted in the first place!
So far, 26 states have filed suit against the federal government to halt Obamacare. They’re doing this because Obamacare threatens to bankrupt the states. These states are, in essence, fighting for their financial survival.
Anticipating the devastating financial consequences on states if Obamacare remains law, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced yesterday that he plans to attach an Obamacare repeal effort to an upcoming funding bill that’s pending in the Senate. This effort reportedly has the support of all 47 Republican senators.
Any such attempt to repeal Obamacare, of course, is almost certain to be vetoed by President Obama. The federal government is fighting hard to force the American people — and the states — to accept this Washington power grab that actually feeds right into the monopolistic (and health-harming) business practices of the conventional medical industry, Big Pharma, the vaccine industry and even the cancer industry.
Obamacare care is, in effect, the law that guarantees a Big Pharma medical monopoly by forcing people to financially support it even if they would rather support natural medicine or the healing arts.
Yet another reason for the states to distance themselves from Washington
In the end, I believe this issue will provide yet more justification for states to consider distancing themselves from Washington’s runaway power grab efforts. When the federal government attempts to enact measures that will financially ruin the states, those states have little choice but to reject and nullify such federal mandates.
That’s exactly what we’re seeing right now with the rapid growth of the Tenth Amendment Center (www.TenthAmendmentCenter.com) and its efforts to encourage states to protect themselves from the financially and ethically bankrupt policies of Washington.
States have the power to simply say NO to Washington and refuse to implement unconstitutional laws, especially when those laws would cause financial devastation. In fact, it is not merely a state’s right to resist such tyrannical laws, but a state’s duty to resist. This is why the Tenth Amendment clearly spells out, in plain language, that those powers not granted to the federal government are reserved for the states or the People. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tenth_…)
Nowhere in the Constitution was the federal government given the power to force the American people to buy health insurance, or automobiles, or vaccines, or pharmaceuticals for that matter. Washington’s attempt to force the American people to make purchases they do not wish to make is un-American at its core, and almost certainly illegal as well.
Might does not make right. Even while Washington attempts to bully states into accepting this ill-considered law, those states are increasingly resisting it out of a sense of financial sanity if nothing else. Those states that wish to go along with every loony idea that comes out of Washington will, in due time, suffer the same fate as the federal government itself: Outright bankruptcy followed by serious political destabilization.
Remember: You cannot force people to buy health insurance they don’t want and often don’t need. And you can’t stick a high-dollar IRS fine in someone’s face and tell them they’re free if they don’t “voluntarily” buy into the government’s health insurance scheme. Freedom means we have a choice, and the Obama administration doesn’t want Americans to have a choice on this matter.
They want Americans to basically sit down, shut up, and do what they’re told. As even Egyptian dictator Mubarak is learning all of a sudden, ruling over a country is a whole lot easier when people don’t fight back.
Sources for this story include: