Sunday, July 4, 2010

The ObamaCare Constitutional Threat

Americans face a direct and historic challenge to their personal liberty and to their unique citizenship in a federal republic. Though its enactment of the massive Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), official Washington is not merely engineering a federal takeover of health care, but is also radically altering the relationships between individuals and the government as well as the national government and the states. In other words, the PPACA is a direct threat to federalism itself. As Jonathan Turley, professor of law at George Washington University, has argued, "Federalism was already on life support before the individual mandate. Make no mistake about it, this plan might provide a bill of good health for the pub lic, but it could amount to a 'do not resuscitate' order for federalism."[1] Never before has Congress exercised its power under Article I, Section 8 of the Federal Constitution to force American citizens to purchase a private good or a service, such as a health insurance policy.[2] Congress is also intruding deeply into the internal affairs of the states, commandeering their officers, specifying in minute detail how they are to arrange health insurance markets within their borders, and determining the products that will be sold to their citizens. If allowed to stand, this unprecedented concentration of political power in Washington will result in the states being reduced to mere instruments of federal health policy rather than "distinct and independent sovereigns," as James Madison described them in Federalist No. 40.[3]...more

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