By Brenna Findley, Candidate for Attorney General of Iowa
Iowa’s liberal Attorney General Tom Miller has refused to take a stand for Iowans against the unabashed power grab of federal government in the recent health care overhaul. The government takeover of healthcare was signed into law on a Tuesday, and within 7 minutes 13 State Attorneys General filed suit to block enforcement of its provisions. Nebraska and South Dakota’s Attorneys General took a stand to protect their citizens, but ours refused. He penned an opinion piece in Politico, a Washington, DC-based political newspaper, to try to justify his lack of action.
As your Attorney General I would pursue litigation to protect you from the unconstitutional federal mandate forcing individuals purchase health insurance. This mandate will force Iowans to buy health insurance—or risk being penalized under the tax code by the IRS, even if they can’t afford the level of coverage mandated by the federal government. A penalty tax is no way to ‘help’ people who cannot afford insurance, particularly with so many Iowans who are out of work, underemployed or concerned about the future of their job or small business.
The Constitution does not give Congress unlimited power. The federal government is claiming that it has the authority to force Iowans to buy health insurance under its power to regulate interstate commerce. However if a person decides not to buy health insurance they are, by definition not engaging in commerce and therefore are not subject to the federal mandate. As Iowa’s Attorney General I would take a stand for Iowans against this abuse of power by joining 14 other Attorneys General from other states to challenge this unconstitutional law in court.
Our current Attorney General claims that Congress forcing you to buy a certain kind of health insurance is no different than our state law which requires licensed drivers to carry proof of car insurance. There are several fatal flaws with his argument. First of all, there is a fundamental constitutional difference between the inherent police powers of a state and the enumerated powers of the federal government. Our country was founded on the principle that the federal government is limited to the enumerated powers granted to it by the Constitution and that Congress does not have unlimited power. Second, car insurance coverage required by state law covers damage to other people’s cars and property (liability coverage). It doesn’t mandate that we insure against damage to ourselves. State law gives us the freedom to decide whether we want to buy full coverage insurance for our cars. Congress mandated “full coverage” health insurance for everyone. Third, car insurance requirements are for a voluntary activity, driving a car on public roads. The health insurance mandate imposes a mandate on a condition of life itself—our very existence as human being. Finally, driving on public roads is a public behavior. Your health is a private matter and the federal government shouldn’t be able to force you to buy their mandated coverage.
As your Attorney General I will fight for you, and work to protect you from intrusive, unconstitutional government mandates. Right now, elites in our national government are trying to fundamentally distort the relationship of ‘We the people’ to our federal government. The Constitution says that ‘We the people’ control government, not the other way around. As your Attorney General I will bring the power back to the people, where it belongs.