About a week ago, I was invited on a conference call with Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to hear how his office filed suit against Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), over the Health Care bill.
The Attorney General is making the case that the action taken by Congress violated the Supremacy Clause, and the Federal law is unconstitutional because of its over-reach in the area of Commerce. The AG also argues that this has become prevalent behavior on the part of Congress ever since the New Deal.
I was glad to be on the call as I’m interested in his argument and whether it will be meritorious enough to prevail — because Iowa may have to do the same thing to protect your right to make your own health care decisions.
Over the past several months, in anticipation of passage of the health care bill, I filed and/or supported a number of amendments and bills aimed at protecting your health care choices: a Constitutional Amendment preserving the freedom of Iowans to provide for their own health care, a bill maintaining the health freedoms of Iowans, a bill asserting Iowa’s state sovereignty, a Rule 60 vote to allow consideration of the sovereignty bill, the Sorenson bill maintaining health freedom for Iowans, the House Republican Amendment on maintaining health freedom for Iowans, and the motion to allow consideration of the bill.
I used every mechanism I had available to get a law passed similar to the Virginia law to protect Iowan’s health care choices. (In essence, the Virginia law states that no subject of the Commonwealth could be required to purchase or maintain a policy of individual insurance coverage.)
The attempts made by myself and the House Republican Caucus all met with defeat, primarily along party lines.
If you’re a citizen of Iowa, the defeat of the House Republican Caucus legislation should be of grave concern to you. Because the kind of creeping incrementalism embodied in the health care bill only gets worse over time. And the longer people receive “entitlements” the less inclined they are to give them up.
This kind of top-down statist legislation has never worked as intended in the past. And it won’t work now. It will run up Trillions of dollars in debt, lead to rationing, and diminish you and your children’s quality of life.
That’s why it’s so important to for you to get involved and act now to defend our traditional understanding of federalism and the Constitution as it was intended by our Founders. Our standard of living was not achieved by statist wealth redistribution. It was achieved by free people acting in their best interest in a free market, with minimal interference from government — the antithesis of this health care bill.
How are your Constitutional rights damaged by the health care bill? There are many, but a few points for you to consider are:
- Never before has the Federal Government forced people to enter into commerce (purchasing insurance) as a condition of citizenship.
- Congress has the power to regulate commerce, but not the power to force individuals to enter commerce.
For the very first time, they will have to assume that doing nothing (not owning insurance) constitutes commerce. If the federal government can force anyone to purchase insurance, what stops them from telling us we each have to buy a new Chevy every five years? After all, wouldn’t it save money in the long run? We could keep the company in the black and prevent job loss at the same time.
- You will hear people say this is like Social Security and Medicare, but that is not correct.
Both were handled as payroll taxes. This mandate is not, and a tax is never mentioned in the legislation. Rather, there is a penalty for not purchasing insurance. Congress plans to hire 16,000 new workers to enforce the penalty.
- Some will say that we have to buy car insurance and this is no different.
Again, not true. You have to carry liability insurance to protect others, but there is no requirement to cover your personal losses.
(For a top 10 list of disastrous side effects of the Obama health care reform bill, See the Heritage Foundation Analysis.)
Because Virginia is in the 4th Judicial District, which is very fast, they expect a decision on the case by late summer. Most constitutional authorities believe this is a very good case, but most also worry that the Supreme Court will defer to Congress. On the other hand, some argue this is the most federalist leaning court in decades.
It’s ironic that the President signed this bill into law on the anniversary of Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech.
Some say this is the final blow to federalism, and that states’ rights will be dead if this suit fails.
But someone reminded me today that isn’t true as long as there are still people who care. How true! That is what this is all about!
Please don’t take what has happened lightly or expect it to “just go away”. If you don’t take action you will be stuck with a European-style health care system that taxes you and your children’s children, buries them under mountains of debt, stifles economic growth, rations your health care, and diminishes you and your children’s quality of life.
It’s not too late to defend your health care freedom. Contact your legislators today!
Linda Upmeyer is an Iowa State Representative serving Iowa House District 12 (Franklin County, and parts of Hancock and Cerro Gordo Counties) and a cardiology nurse practitioner.