Tag Archives: reconsiliation

The Healh Care Drama on Capital Hill

Over the next few days, the American people will be participating in and watching the most important political drama of the last few hundred years. The question to be decided is whether America will continue as a constitutional republic or a socialist democracy.  Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama have pledged to have a health care bill ready for the presidential signature before Monday.  Whether they will be able to or not is still an open question.

A major demonstration is taking place in Washington today with patriot protesters from all over the nation attempting to persuade congressional Democrats to abandon their plan to pass a group of amendments as a substitute for the Senate bill, and then “deeming” the bill itself to have passed. If they succeed in this legislative slight of hand, the bill will go to the President. After adding his signature, it will become the law of the land.

On Sunday, there will probably be a brief debate on the constitutionality of the procedure being used.  There is not likely to be a constitutional debate on the bill itself. The Republicans will refer to Article I, Sections 5:6 and 7:3, arguing that the Senate Bill cannot become law without an actual vote on it by the House. The Democrats will counter with Article I, Section 5:3 which gives the House authority to determine its own proceedings. Hopefully, that debate will inspire many more Americans to actually read the Constitution for themselves.

If the so-called “reconciliation” procedure succeeds in the House and the original Senate Bill is “deemed passed” as planned, President Obama will immediately sign the Bill into law.  That will set off a number of lawsuits, including the one by Mark Levin’s “Landmark Legal Foundation”.  How the courts will eventually rule on these questions is far from certain, based on past history.

We applaud the thousands of patriots who are protesting in Washington this weekend and the tens of thousands across the country that will be participating in protests at their local Congressman’s offices.  There is a good chance that our efforts will be successful in stopping the Democrat’s plan from succeeding —this time. However, it would be unrealistic to believe that we have accomplished any more than to slow down our transition to socialism.  It is possible to win battle after battle and still lose the war. Progressives are patient and stubborn. They do not give up, and as long as we accept their basic premises, they will continue to chip away at our liberty until they have overthrown our constitutional form of government.

The debate over health care gives us the perfect opportunity to examine our attitudes towards the experiment of self-government we have been engaged in for the past two-hundred plus years. If we accept the progressive’s (American socialists) basic premises, then we will eventually get all the changes Obama promised during his campaign. We emphatically oppose these premises because they undermine everything America has stood for since its founding. However, the overwhelming majority of the American people have already accepted them.  This is clearly exhibited in the debate over health care.

The underlying premise, framed by the Democrat Party, on which the health care debate is based, is that our health care system needs to be reformed, and that the reforms necessary can only be carried out by the federal government.  This premise is incompatible with our systems of constitutional government and free market capitalism. In order to make the changes naturally implied by this hypothesis, it will be necessary to abandon our Constitution and convert our economic system to a centrally planned one.  We believe that the American people have not yet examined the implications of accepting the progressive’s vision of “how thing ought to be“. Hopefully, this debate will force them to do so.

That is not to say that we do not need a lot of changes in the way health care is delivered in America.  However, those changes need to be made within the framework of constitutional government and free market capitalism that has proven to be the most successful systems yet devised by man.

Today, the federal government (taxpayers) pays for over forty percent of the health care consumed in the country through Medicare, Medicaid, the VA, and SCHIP. Most of the balance is paid for by employer provided or individually owned health insurance policies.  By comparison, the amount paid “out of pocket” by the patient for health care is infinitesimal.  The market dislocation created by the increased demand brought about by the perceived availability of “cheap” or “free” services is the single most important factor in the exorbitant cost of health care.

We cannot correct the problem by increasing the taxpayer’s, i.e. government’s, share of the market and decreasing the insurance companies’ share. Attempting to do so could lead to the bankruptcy of government, converting our current recession into a depression and guaranteeing its continuance, and the eventual abolition of liberty in America. We have consistently argued that the only thing standing between our liberty and outright tyranny is our Constitution.  Never before has that fact been more evident than it is today.

The Constitution is the “law” for government, setting forth those areas the federal government is authorized to have power over and those that are left to the states and the people. Health care is not one of the powers delegated to the federal government.  Therefore, one of the first “reforms” we need is to get it out of the health care business.  Market prices are the consequences of supply and demand. In order to bring down the price of health care we need to bring down the demand.  This will only happen when patients accept the responsibility for paying for routine health care the same way they pay for routine car repair.  Routine maintenance should be paid “out of pocket” and insurance should only be used for catastrophic or extensive care. These two changes alone would go a long way toward solving our “health care crisis”.

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