Tag Archives: health care

Romney’s Repeal and Replace Pledge Will Not Solve our Problem

They say “a picture is worth a thousand words”. That being the case, this picture is worth volumes in explaining what is wrong with America’s political system and why we find ourselves on the very brink of economic collapse and facing the prospect of losing the individual liberty we have enjoyed since the founding of our Republic.

America did not become the most successful and  prosperous nation in the history of the world because of the wisdom and skills of our political leaders. Instead, it was because our Founders, knowledgeable in both political philosophy and history, understood that democracies always lead inevitably to some form of socialism and ultimately to despotic tyranny. To guard against this political probability and still allow the people to remain sovereign over their government, the Founders established a Constitutional Republic consisting of four co-equal parts designed to protect our liberty and our God-given inalienable rights. The four parts are the national Legislature, the national Executive branch, the national Judiciary, and the state governments, all operating within their sphere of authority with carefully limited powers under the watchful eye of the citizenry.

The bedrock on which this system was based is the Constitution. It worked well until the beginning of the Progressive era at the end of the nineteenth century. The progressive movement used deception, misdirection, and man’s weaknesses to appeal to the basest of human passions, greed, envy and jealousy to gain a prominent foothold in American politics. Progressives in both the Democrat and Republican Parties set the political agenda for the twentieth century. Although most republicans were opposed to the ideas of progressives (American socialists) as a basic principle, in the spirit of political expediency, they accepted many of the progressive’s policies, appealing to their constituencies with the implied motto, “we can do it better”.

On virtually every important issue during the twentieth century, the Republican Party accepted the premises put forth by progressive democrats, even though they may not agree with the policy based on the premise. It became a habitual strategy for the Republican Party to propose policies in opposition to the democrats that accepted the progressive premise but altered the pursuant policy just enough to make it palatable to their constituents. This practice gave rise to the “moderate” republicans so valued by both parties and the national progressive media of today.

The core principles on which the progressive movement is based are the polar opposites of the core principles on which the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights are based. A hundred years of compromise and accommodation of these principles by the Republican party and its elected officials has led to a steady erosion of the Constitution, leading to the lawless state of our national government, as well as a growing part of American society that we have today. (The Constitution is the Supreme Law of government.)

On Monday, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on whether or not parts of the Obamacare law is unconstitutional. Already the trial is being played in the press as a sporting event between the four progressives on the court and the four constitutional conservatives, with Justice Stevens, the “moderate”, being the unknown factor. The outcome is far from certain and the results will probably not be known until June, more than likely after the Republican candidate for President has already been decided on.

There is a slim chance that the Court will put aside its law books, consideration of prior Court decisions, and International law and focus their deliberations on the Constitution itself using the debates in the 1787 Philadelphia Convention and the Federalist Papers, to determine the intent of the Framers. In which case, they will rule the Affordable Health Care Act as unconstitutional in its entirety. A more likely scenario, however, is that they will strike down parts of the law, leaving the basic premise intact; that the “commerce clause” gives the Congress, and through it, the bureaucracies in the Legislative Branch, authority to legislate in this, and other matters that are not among the enumerated powers of Congress. If that happens we will have made very little progress in returning America to its Constitutional foundation.

Romney’s “Repeal and Replace” plan simply carries on the Republican tradition of compromise and accommodation, accepting the premise that Congress has the power under the commerce clause to regulate health care in America. Regardless of how many remnants of Obamacare the Supreme Court leaves in place, the entire law must be repealed and eradicated from any possibility of being revived, if we are to salvage what is left of our Republic and the liberties it provides. A concise outline of Romney’s Repeal and Replace plan is found on Romney’s website. Following are the highlights and why they should be unacceptable to the American People.

“On his first day in office, Mitt Romney will issue an executive order that paves the way for the federal government to issue Obamacare waivers to all fifty states. He will then work with Congress to repeal the full legislation as quickly as possible.”  ~mittromney.com

Article I, Section 1, “All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.” The President does not have the Constitutional power to, in effect, make law or alter laws passed by Congress. Neither does he have the power to waive by Executive Order, laws passed and signed into law under prior Presidents. One of the few direct responsibilities given to the President by the Constitution is the enforcement of laws passed by Congress.

Article II, Section 3, at the end of the last paragraph we read: “he [the President] shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed”. The President does not have the prerogative of deciding which laws his Justice Department will or will not enforce. Once a law has passed Congress and been signed into law it becomes a part of the Constitution until it is determined to be unconstitutional by the appropriate courts; (Article VI, paragraph two.) If a new law is passed by Congress that the President considers unconstitutional, it is his duty to veto it and return it to Congress along with an explanation for his veto. (Article I, Section 7)

Romney also promises to:

  • Block grant Medicaid and other payments to states
  • Limit federal standards and requirements on both private insurance and Medicaid coverage
  • Ensure flexibility to help the uninsured, including public-private partnerships, exchanges, and subsidies
  • Ensure flexibility to help the chronically ill, including high-risk pools, reinsurance, and risk adjustment
  • Offer innovation grants to explore non-litigation alternatives to dispute resolution ~mittromney.com

Here again, Romney is playing fast and loose with the Constitution. Block grants should be considered as what they are; bribes to the states in an effort to bend them to the will of the federal government. Withholding them from states that refuse or neglect to comply with federal requirements is primarily a pecuniary method for enforcing compliance with the bureaucratic rules of the Executive branch. At best, they represent an application of the socialist principle of redistribution of wealth, as tax money is taken from wealthier states and redistributed to those less wealthy.

His promise to “limit federal standards and requirements on …private insurance” is clearly a violation of Article I, Section 10: “No State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts…”. Contract law provides the underpinning of market capitalism. The founders assumed the federal government would not have the power to impair contract law because it was not given as one of the enumerated powers. At the same time, they considered the matter of protecting the integrity of private contracts so important that they also prohibited the states from passing laws that would impair them. Insurance policies are private contracts between the insurer and the policy holder. Neither the President, Congress or the state legislatures have the power to interfere with that relationship. These same arguments apply to the last three promises in Romney’s list as well.

In fact, the same argument is valid against all fifteen points of Romney’s plan listed on his website. They all impair, to a greater or lesser degree, private contracts between private insurance companies and policyholders or between health care providers and their patients. However there is one ironic exception: “Allow consumers to purchase insurance across state lines”. Here, Romney inadvertently discloses the original purpose of the interstate commerce clause, which he evidently does not adequately understand himself. Its original purpose was to insure free and fair trade between the states, breaking down the protective barriers put in place by various states during the former government’s existence under the  Articles of Confederation.

It is important for voters in states that have not yet held their primaries to keep this in mind when they vote. Substituting a revised version of Romneycare for Obamacare does not solve the problem of Washington’s failure to follow the dictates of the Constitution every member of government is sworn to uphold and defend.

Romney Continues to Win in Blue States and Democratic Strongholds.

Mitt Romney continues to display his ability to win in Democratic States while Conservatives in those states, desperate to rid themselves of Barack Obama, fall for the Republican Establishment propaganda that only Mitt Romney can win in the General Election against Obama. History tells us otherwise. Obama is beatable, and short of massive voter fraud, I believe he can and will be beaten. In fact, if John McCain and Sarah Palin were running against Obama in this election they would beat him handily. If not, then the nation is too far gone for any conservative to make any difference.

There have been few times in history when the American people were given the opportunity to vote for a tri-partite conservative. When they are, they elect them by a landslide. “Tri-partite conservative” is the term I use to designate a conservative who embraces all three aspects of Conservatism; constitution conservatism, fiscal conservatism and social conservatism”. Those that stand out in history are: Thomas Jefferson (1800), James Madison (1808), James Monroe (1816), Calvin Coolidge (1924) and Ronald Reagan (1980). In between, we have tried “moderate conservatives”, “compassionate conservatives”, and republicans masquerading as conservatives. In each case the socialist juggernaut continues to move forward.

We have to face the fact that the Republican establishment is only concerned with who wields the power of government, not with how they use that power. This election is the most critical election since 1860. While we cannot afford another term of Barack Obama’s style of socialism, we also cannot afford to elect a Republican who is likely to play “footsie” with the Democrat socialists, RINOs, and other big government Republicans in Congress. What we must have this go-round is a tri-partite conservative who has the character and the willingness to attack the socialism in our society on all three fronts.

Of the four remaining candidates in the race, only Rick Santorum is a tri-partite conservative.  Ron Paul is pretty good on the Constitution except for the clause, “provide for the common defense”. He is also a libertarian who believes that  social conservatism is fatal to the  future of the Republican Party. —So much for “insuring domestic tranquility”.

Newt Gingrich is the most knowledgeable of the field when it comes to the Constitution and history. However, in several of the debates he has shown himself to be a “big government” conservative who still believes the federal government can solve our problems —If only he were in charge. He seems to be not so concerned with getting rid of Obamacare and the Department of Education, as he is “making them work better for the American people”.

In many ways Mitt Romney expresses the same attitude. There are four reasons given for the support of Romney during the primaries. According to USA Today, 60% of the Romney voters interviewed in yesterday’s primary election in Illinois, gave as one of their main reasons in voting for him was that they believed he was the only Republican who could beat Obama in November. This seems to be more of a tribute to the national media and the Republican establishment’s campaign to once again pick the Republican candidate than to their confidence in Romney. It also shows the gullibility and desperation of too many Illinois voters.

The second reason given for supporting Romney is that he has been a successful business man and investor. But then, so has Warren Buffet and George Soros. That does not qualify them to be President of the United States; neither does it qualify or disqualify Romney from being President. Another reason given for Romney’s appeal, is his success in turning around the Salt Lake City Olympics. These supporters never mention how much of his success was dependent on the financial support of the federal government. The fourth reason given for Romney’s appeal is his “successful” term as Governor of Massachusetts. This is perhaps, the weakest part of his resume.

While Governor of Massachusetts, Romney instituted same-sex marriage when the Massachusetts Legislature refused to do so. It is a mistake to claim that the Mass. Supreme Court mandated gay marriage. It did not. The Court only recommended that the Legislature change its then existing laws prohibiting same-sex marriages. In fact the Court acknowledged that it did not have the power to change the law itself. —So much for social conservatism. While Governor, Romney also signed into law “Romneycare” which has been a total failure.

He gives two excuses for doing so. First, he blames the Legislature and the people of Massachusetts, claiming that as Governor of a progressive state he had to follow “the will of the people” — so much for standing on principle. He also argues that Romneycare is constitutional because it was instituted at the state level and the state’s power to do so is protected by the Tenth Amendment. In this he is correct. However, although it may be Constitutional, experience has shown it to be extremely bad public policy, and will be a major stumbling block when running against Obama. In addition, it will greatly increase the difficulty of getting Obamacare repealed should Romney become President.

Perhaps the most damaging aspect of Romney’s Massachusetts experience is his willingness to follow, rather than lead in critical situations. He followed the Court’s lead in the matter of same-sex marriage and set the precedent for other states to do the same. He followed the lead of the people and the Legislature with Romneycare, and supplied Obama’s advisers with the model for Obamacare. If elected President without a veto proof Senate and a large majority of conservative Republicans in the House, we stand little chance of substantially reversing the hundred-year-old trend toward socialism. The best we can hope for is to slow it down slightly.

On the other hand, if Rick Santorum becomes president he may prove to be a disappointment, as have so many other Republican Presidents before him. However, at this point in history we cannot take a chance with the future of our Republic and elect anything less than a tri-partite conservative who will fight for conservative principles on all fronts; social, political and economic. At this point in the campaign, it appears that Santorum is the only one likely to do that.

Greece – The Canary in the Coal Mine

By now, just about everyone is aware that Greece has issues. But what’s a bit appalling is how little we know about what is really happening with that country. The knowledge most people have boiled down to two points; Greece has run out of money and the people there are rioting in the streets. However if one digs a little deeper, you’ll realize that Greece is essentially no longer a sovereign country – it is a country led by a technocrat and more or less owned by the EU and ECB. Before I get into the implications of what that means, let’s first go through the brief history of how Greece got to where it is today.

Between 1999 and 2008, Greece’s real GDP was hovering between 3-4% while their debt percentage hovered in and around 100% until 2008 where it stood at 113% during the global recession. In 2009, the newly elected Prime Minister George Papandreou came into office and soon after revises the country’s budget projections, indicating the government had been understating its deficit for years. That year Greece’s debt percentage shot to 129% and is currently standing at 173% projected. After several credit downgrades in 2009 and 2010, Papandreou agrees to implement harsh austerity measures in exchange for $152 billion in loans from the European Union and the IMF. Riots ensue as the Greek population does not want to give up anything. Despite Greece meeting the austerity requirements of 2010, credit ratings continue to be downgraded so Greece pushes through another set of highly unpopular austerity measures June 2011 to qualify for a second bailout package for $157 billion in loans. Shortly after this, the Greek parliament agrees to new highly unpopular taxes, cutting public sector jobs, decreasing public sector wages, decreasing pensions for high-income workers and scaling back collective bargaining rights.

In addition to this very brief recent history, it is also important to note how Greece got to this point in the first place. Ironically, it began 30 years ago Papandreou’s father Andreas began building an unsustainable civil service in order to continue winning elections. Additionally, Greece had spent the last few decades erecting social safety nets producing cradle to grave benefits such as government healthcare, a generous welfare system and a retirement age of 61, (social security). In fact, the entitlement mentality is so firmly entrenched in Greek society, the population there does not understand anything else and seems perfectly willing to give up its’ national sovereignty while devolving into a cesspool of pain and misery grasping at the last reed it can find while drowning. And because they have no basis for understanding true freedom and liberty, they are willing to live through the degradation of their country in the hopes that things might magically get better. Here are a few of the things that are going on in Greece that are getting very little press in the US.

  • After the collapse of the socialist party in November 2011, an interim prime minister, Lucas Papademos was sworn in to lead Greece through the economic crisis. Papademos is a technocrat and was previously vice president of the European Central Bank. (Could you imagine Ben Bernanke being sworn in as interim President?)
  • Having lost its fiscal independence, Greece is now required have the permanent presence of a Eurogroup Task Force with strong onsite monitoring capabilities. (In other words, it’s their money and they have the right to manage their money. Who owns the bulk of the US debt?)
  • This EU presence will ensure that state revenues will flow into a segregated escrow account for state revenues.
  • The Greek constitution will be amended to ensure that priority will be given to serving debt payments. This includes the right for European banks to seize Greece’s gold reserves, 111.6 tons.
  • Public sector salary cuts are so deep and because they are retroactive to November 2011, up to 64,000 workers will have to work without salary for a month and some may even be asked to return money.

There is far more to the Grecian condition than what I can post in this blog but the point is obvious. Greece’s socialistic experiment has been a complete and utter failure and from a practical perspective, they are no longer a sovereign country. And despite all of this, Greece is virtually assured to default anyway, only now with zero gold reserves.

Socially, the Greeks are feeling completely hopeless and are turning bitter towards the EU and specifically Germany. There are riots and lootings in the streets. Well dressed Greeks have been reported rummaging through the garbage for food. Clinics that were set up to service the immigration population in Greece have seen a 22% jump in the domestic population. And still, they’re clinging on to an idea that didn’t work – hoping against hope that it will all just go away

Understanding what is happening in Greece is essential when looking at our current economic situation. From a GDP perspective, the US is in a worse economic condition than Greece but we have the ability to print money. However, eventually every country will have to pay back the debt that they owe and Greece gives us a better understanding of what can happen when we fail to make the tough choices today. We cannot afford our current social programs and Obamacare begins to hit its stride in full in 2013. That means higher taxes and still more debt. Despite what’s lacking in our current healthcare system, Obamacare literally means the destruction of economy.

We have an opportunity this year to elect real leaders that will face our issues head-on. We need to repeal the healthcare bill and we need to seriously manage the scaling back of all of our social programs – social security, Medicare, food stamps, etc. We either face up to our issues with honesty and determination, or we will wake up one day and realize our country isn’t even ours anymore.

Mitch McConnell plays “Charlie Brown” on Washington Stage

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, a compromise proposal crafted by Senate Majority leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is likely to come before the Senate for a vote this week. Under this compromise plan designed to increase the debt limit before the August 2 deadline, the President would be given the authority to raise the debt limit three times for a total increase of $2.5 trillion without Congressional approval,  in exchange for a series of budget cuts that would reduce the budget $2.5 trillion over the next ten years.

In this scenario, Mitch McConnell plays the role of the Peanuts cartoon character, “Charlie Brown” and Harry Reid plays the role of “Lucy” holding the football. The budget reductions promised over the next ten years are reminiscent of the character “Wimpy” in the old Popeye comic strip as he tells the counterman at the local diner, “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”. Taking into account that the Tribune is a part of the MSM and this article comes out of their Washington News Bureau, the quotes of some conservative Republicans in Congress concerning the possibility of a last minute compromise is somewhat disconcerting.

It seems the Republican Leadership in Washington does not yet realize just how determined its conservative base is in taking back their country. By the same token, a large percentage of conservatives throughout the country do not yet realize that we are in the midst of a war between the socialists inside our government and the constitutional conservatives that make up a large part of the patriot or “tea party” movement. This war has been going on for the past 130 years and has now reached the critical stage. Make no mistake, this is a war with one side, the socialists or progressives, determined to destroy America, as we know it. Their goal is to destroy republicanism, capitalism, conservatism, the American culture and the U.S. Constitution. On the other side, the constitutional conservatives’ goal is to destroy socialism, purging it from the power structure of government and restoring the republican form of government designed by the Founders in the Constitution.

I was eleven years old when World War II ended. I did not understand at the time all the details behind the war but the one thing that made a lasting impression on me that I have never forgotten is the spirit of patriotism that permeated American society. No one would even think of compromising with the Axis Powers; the goal was to defeat them, totally and completely. The socialist in America have always understood the nature of the conflict we are engaged in and have been persistent and relentless in their attacks on the institutions of our government and culture. Conservative patriots have been on the defensive since the beginning of the socialist movement in the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

In the twentieth century, the socialist seemed to have lost most of the battles fought at the ballot box, in the courts and in the halls of Washington. Conservatives were content to defend their positions policy by policy with every contest ending in a compromise giving the socialists a little more ground. We are beginning to understand that compromise with socialists is simply another name for surrender.

For their part, the socialists never concede defeat. They simply accept the compromise and move forward to the next battle while the conservatives return to the mundane world of daily life. For example, universal, state-run health care has been a goal of socialism since the 1854 Bill for the Indigent Insane, vetoed by President Franklin Pierce because the Constitution does not give Congress the power to pass national welfare legislation. The push for universal health care was taken up again by President Theodore Roosevelt in the election campaign of 1912. Roosevelt was defeated and the issue lay dormant until revived by Franklin Roosevelt. The first bill for social security included publicly funded health care programs, but Roosevelt was forced to remove them from the Social Security legislation in 1935 while he sold Social Security to the American people as “insurance” and to the courts as a “tax”.

Socialists refused to accept these expressions of the American people’s will and kept on fighting for universal health care which they finally succeeded in getting passed into law, piece by piece, beginning with Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 and culminating in the health care bill, “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” passed by the Progressive Democrats led by Barack Obama in 2010. The hundred-year socialist vs. conservative contest over universal health care showcases the nature of the ongoing war for the future of America we are now engaged in.

As Israel has been demonstrating for the past fifty years, you cannot compromise with those who are determined to destroy you. In doing so, you merely let the enemy off the hook so they can regroup and return, even stronger, and as determined as ever in their mission of destruction. America cannot afford to compromise on the upcoming debt crisis. The Reid-McConnell compromise only assures that our national debt climbs to 17 trillion dollars in the short term, and the continuation of massive deficit spending in the long term.

America is not Soviet Russia or Communist China. Five-year and ten-year plans are meaningless in American politics because promises of future actions by Congress are binding only on the sitting Congress that makes the promise. They are not binding on future Congresses. The 112th Congress can plan and promise anything. The 113th Congress can do as they please because those promises are not binding on them. The only way we are going to return to fiscal stability and a thriving economy is to simply say NO to more debt, take the consequences and start over. That may mean short-term hardships for many but it will save the country for future generations.

Health Care: The Canary in the Coalmine

By Jerry McDaniel

America is perhaps one of the only places on earth where ordinary citizens have the power to substantially change the policies of government without armed revolution; that is, IF we act before Obama and his minions become so entrenched that he can completely override the Constitution and rule by Executive Order as many of his advisers are already encouraging him to do.

During the next two years, Republicans will attempt to dismantle much of the Obama agenda, particularly, the recently passed health care bill. At present, there are a number of plans for doing so. Some twenty states have filed a lawsuit challenging the Constitutionality of the individual mandate. Other states have indicated they will not attempt to enforce parts of the legislation requiring major outlay of funds by the states. Several Republican members of Congress have half-heartedly promised to introduce bills to repeal the health care legislation, while expressing the belief that outright repeal will not be possible.

Any efforts short of total repeal will constitute a major victory for progressivism and another giant step toward the eventual abandonment of the Constitution. It is not necessary that we accept the health care bill as written in order to give the federal government ultimate control over our lives and almost one third of our economy.  It is only necessary that we accept the premise that the federal government has the power to regulate the nation’s health care system.

Money is always the key. Currently, most health care for persons under sixty-five is paid for through private or employer paid insurance. Private health care insurance companies are now regulated by the individual states. Once the power to regulate has been shifted from the states to the federal government, as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires, the federal government will be able to regulate insurance companies out of business by requiring coverage that private companies cannot meet and remain solvent. As private insurance companies abandon the marketplace, the only alternative is single-payer insurance through the federal government.

As is now true with Medicare, once the government becomes the only source of health care funding, it can then determine through its payment schedules the medical treatment and procedures individual patients will be eligible to receive. Federal government involvement in the health care field through Medicare and Medicaid for the past fifty years or so has already pushed the cost of medical treatment far beyond the financial ability of the average person, by increasing the demand.

Alaska and Minnesota so far, have refused to apply for ACA grants to set up insurance exchanges in their states. However, as a recent article in TIME points out, there is a provision in the legislation that permits the federal government to step in and take over when states refuse to cooperate. If that isn’t bad enough, what will trigger the Fed’s take over has not been defined yet. That is left for the Health and Human Service’s rule-making authority to determine. The ACA is a lose-lose proposition for the American people. Accepting any part of the bill requires that we first accept the federal government’s power to regulate health care and health care insurance in America.

A centerpiece of the Republican plan is to allow for the purchase of health care across state lines. On the surface that sounds good, however, once that becomes law then the insurance companies can be regulated by the feds with little resistance under the interstate commerce clause in the Constitution. Either way the result is the same. Health care has become the canary in the coalmine. If we are unable to effect a total repeal of ACA, we can wave goodbye to the Constitutional Republic our ancestors and we have enjoyed for the past two-hundred plus years.


Health Care: Repeal or Amend?

By Jerry McDaniel

The current national discussion of Obamacare gives us an easy to understand object lesson as to just how the progressives (American Socialists) have taken over our government in a hundred year bloodless revolution. According to an AP/GfK poll released Friday, only 37 percent of Americans want the “Affordable Care Act” that Obama signed into law last March repealed outright. This is an astonishing number because it means that 67 percent of Americans have bought into the premise that the federal government has the authority and should regulate, to some extent, America’s health care.

Vladimir Lenin considered universal health care to be the lynchpin of communism, not because he was concerned about the health of the people — he was responsible for the death of millions — but, because it provided the surest means of guaranteeing citizens’ dependence on the state. Food and medicine are two main essentials of life. When the government is able to control access to these essentials, citizens become dependent on, and thus slaves to the state.

Obamacare, when fully implemented, will make all citizens dependent on the state for their health care; meanwhile, eligibility for food stamps has been quitely expanded to the point where 42 million Americans are now receiving food assistance through the federal government. (States are only responsible for half the cost of administering food stamp programs. The food stamps themselves are funded entirely by the federal government).

Millions more Americans are partially or wholly dependent on the government for their livelihood, through direct grants, tax incentives or employment by companies that depend on government contracts for major parts of their revenue. Government largess is like a potent drug in the economic system of any nation, destroying individual initiative and liberty.

Once the population becomes addicted, it is difficult, if not impossible, to cleanse it from the system. We only have to look to the news from Europe today to see the turmoil caused by withdrawal from an addiction to socialism. To understand the dynamics of socialist addiction, consider the difficulty of reforming the popular social programs of Social Security, Medicare, Medicare and Welfare in our own country. Imagine what is likely to happen when it eventually becomes necessary to dismantle them completely.

It is the addictive characteristic of socialism that accounts for its steady progress in America since the late eighteen hundreds. Government controlled health care is the last step in the long journey to socialism started during the final years of the nineteenth century, and becoming firmly entrenched during the twentieth century. It has been the dream of American progressives since the inception of the progressive movement.

The idea of universal health care began in Germany in 1883 with a compulsory “sickness insurance” for workers. It soon spread to Austria, Hungary, Norway, England, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, France, Switzerland and the Netherlands. By 1912 virtually all of Europe had some form of “state mandated” health care. This drain on European economies was one of the factors that allowed America to become the economic superpower of the world during the twentieth century.

The seeds of universal health care were planted in America during the administration of Theodore Roosevelt (1801-1809), through a proposal by the American Association of Labor Legislation (AALL). In 1917 AALL, backed by the AMA proposed a plan for compulsory health insurance; the advent of World War I caused it to be put on hold, however. The effort was revived in the mid-twenties by the Committee on the Cost of Medical Care.

Franklin Roosevelt toyed with the idea of including health insurance in the Social Security Bill of 1935, but it was not included for fear it would destroy the chances of the Social Security Bill being passed. The Roosevelt administration again attempted health care legislation with the National Health Act (Wagner Bill) of 1939. It was defeated by a conservative legislature elected in 1938 and World War II prevented its further progress.

Another attempt at national compulsory health insurance was attempted in 1943 with the Wagner-Murray-Dingell Bills. In 1945, Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman again proposed a plan for national health care. It died in committee. In 1958 Congressman Aime Forand (D-RI) introduced a bill to cover hospital costs for senior citizens on Social Security. His bill did not make it through Congress but the proposal became a part of the Great Society legislation signed into law by Lyndon Johnson in 1965 as Medicare, parts A and B and Medicaid. We are all familiar with the ill-fated efforts of Bill and Hillary Clinton for universal health care after they took office in 1993.

Barack Obama has accomplished in a little over a year what no other progressive President has been able to accomplish in over a century of trying. We can expect that progressives will go to any length to salvage as much of the health care bill as possible. However, it must not be allowed to stand. It must be repealed in its entirety, not modified, reformed or altered to rid it of some of its more egregious parts. Like a cancer, it must be exorcised completely, otherwise it will Metastasize and eventually kill the patient.

The greatest danger to our individual liberty and our economic survival is the danger of a compromise on Obamacare, as the AP/GfK poll shows. Already we are hearing talk of amending the bill rather than repealing it, and that comes from the Republican side of the aisle. Twenty states have filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the mandatory insurance section of the bill. The theory is that if the courts determine that part of the bill to be unconstitutional the whole plan will unravel. However, that theory does not stand up in the light of history. In fact, that part of the bill could be nothing more than a “Trojan Horse” meant to establish the constitutionality of government regulation of health care.

If only compulsory insurance is found to be unconstitutional, then by inference, the balance of the bill will be considered constitutional by default, thereby inhibiting any further court challenges. The government will attempt to argue in court that the “commerce clause” empowers government to regulate health care and, by extension, compulsory health insurance mandated by the government. This is an extreme corruption of the commerce clause based on a 1942 Supreme Court ruling in Wickard v. Filburn that “any activity that exerts a substantial economic effect on interstate commerce” may be regulated by Congress. Because of the precedent established by this case there can be little confidence in how the courts will rule, and for that reason the bill must be repealed completely.

It should be obvious to any thinking person, literate in the English language, that the delivery of health care does not and cannot constitute interstate commerce. Health care delivery requires the face to face interaction between the provider and the patient. A physician in Chicago cannot diagnose and treat a person in Milwaukee, for example. Insurance does not fall under interstate commerce because it is not a product but a contract. The sanctity of a contract is emphasized in Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution by forbidding states from passing any law “impairing the obligation of contracts”.

Obama will certainly veto any attempts by Congress to repeal the health care bill, and repeal may not be possible before 2013 when the next Congress is seated without Obama in the White House. However, the amount of effort put forth by the Republican Congress over the next two years for repeal is the best possible indicator of who should be reelected in 2012. Any Republican Congressman or Senator who fails to support and vote for repeal in the next Congress should not be sent back to Washington in 2013.

Click here for a thorough explanation of the “commerce clause”.

Comments on Republican’s Pledge to America

By Jerry McDaniel

Finally, with the release on Thursday of the Congressional Republicans’ “Pledge to America” we have a document we can use to hold the Party accountable in 2012 and 2014. The next step is to require all Republican candidates to sign the pledge and refuse to vote for those who do not. While far from perfect, the Pledge is at least a first step in returning America to the Constitutional Republic envisioned by the Founders. It is also a document that Congress is going to find it politically difficult to follow.

The most important part of the pledge will also be the most difficult to keep. That is their pledge to “honor the Constitution as constructed by its framers and honor the original intent of those precepts that have been consistently ignored – particularly the Tenth Amendment.” That is going to be particularly difficult since other parts are in conflict with it. Along the same lines they also pledge that, “We will require that every bill contain a citation of Constitutional authority”. Congressman John Shaddag has been using this as a campaign gimmick for over a decade. Let’s see if they finally follow through with it.

They also pledge to “repeal and replace” the government takeover of health care.  Some of their proposals are sorely needed; for example, the promise of “tort reform”. I have not studied this part of the plan, however, I cannot immediately think of a part of the Constitution that gives to Congress that authority. It will be interesting to see what they come up with on that. The “repeal” part is a “gimmie”, since there is no constitutional authority given Congress over health care to begin with. It’s the “replace” part that is going to give them difficulty. Since health care is not one of the enumerated powers given to Congress by the Constitution it is going to be difficult to find “Constitutional authority”, for any of the reform legislation they propose.

The one place where they are on solid constitutional ground is in the pledge to “allow individuals to buy health care coverage outside the state in which they live”. This they can legitimately do under the interstate commerce clause, whose original purpose was to insure free trade between the states. However, if they attempt to expand the commerce clause to allow Congress to regulate other parts of our health care system they will be violating their pledge to honor the “original intent” of the Founders.

Another part of their promised health care reform is their promise to ensure access for patients with pre-existing conditions. This involves telling private insurance companies who they must insure and under what conditions. Although, there is ample moral justification for such a requirement there is nothing in the Constitution that gives Congress that power. In the same paragraph they explain that they will “expand state high-risk pools, reinsurance programs and reduce the cost of coverage;” another laudable goal with no Constitutional authority to implement.

Still another pledge they make is, “we will end the practice of packaging unpopular bills with ’must pass’ legislation to circumvent the will of the American people. Instead, we will advance major legislation one issue at a time”. This sounds good, but it would sound better if they passed a rule only allowing single issue legislation, period. The practice of “bundling” legislation should be stopped, no more “comprehensive” legislation on any issue.

In general, the pledges relating to national security and border protection are good. However, no mention is made of illegal immigration, and there is no pledge regarding amnesty. A lot of the sections are written in generalities, with plenty of “wiggle room“. As we said, this is only a first step. Obviously they have heard the American people and have hastily drawn a plan to protect their jobs by telling us what they think we want to hear. If history repeats itself, many will go through the motions and then say they “tried” but simply did not have the votes to get particular items of the pledge passed.

One area that is conspicuously missing is what to do about eliminating some of the unconstitutional bureaucracies such as the Department of Education, National Endowment of the Arts, Bureau of Energy, HUD, and the myriad of alphabet soup departments that continue to clog up the machinery of government, and infringe on the liberties of the people.

In spite of the pledge’s shortcomings, if we just succeed in forcing them to adhere to the pledge they made concerning the Constitution, we will go a long way toward restoring constitutional government. Although, that pledge is simply a different way of repeating their oath of office, and had they honored that to begin with, we would not have the problems we are forced to deal with today.