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Uncle Bill
01-12-2010, 02:03 PM
...HB 3200, here's what one brave soul found after actually going through the entire, scary, proposal.

UB



Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill
3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with
particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was
frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed
might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard
or expected.

To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications
is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The
law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly
where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free
health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably
forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.

The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of
business and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about
personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats and most
of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments
to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly
controlled.

However, as scary as all of that it, it just scratches the surface. In fact,
I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing
affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the
most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that
has ever occurred, or even been contemplated. If this law or a similar one
is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the
United States will effectively have been destroyed.

The first thing to go will be the masterfully crafted balance of power
between the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the U.S.
Government. The Congress will be transferring to the Obama Administration
authority in a number of different areas over the lives of the American
people and the businesses they own. The irony is that the Congress doesn't
have any authority to legislate in most of those areas to begin with. I defy
anyone to read the text of the U.S. Constitution and find any authority
granted to the members of Congress to regulate health care.

This legislation also provides for access by the appointees of the Obama
administration of all of your personal healthcare information, your personal
financial information, and the information of your employer, physician, and
hospital. All of this is a direct violation of the specific provisions of
the 4th Amendment to the Constitution protecting against
unreasonable searches and seizures. You can also forget about the right to
privacy. That will have been legislated into oblivion regardless of what the
3rd and 4th Amendments may provide.

If you decide not to have healthcare insurance or if you have private
insurance that is not deemed "acceptable" to the "Health Choices
Administrator" appointed by Obama there will be a tax imposed on you. It is
called a "tax" instead of a fine because of the intent to avoid application
of the due process clause of the 5th Amendment.
However, that doesn't work because since there is nothing in the law that
allows you to contest or appeal the imposition of the tax, it is definitely
depriving someone of property without the "due process of law.

So, there are three of those pesky amendments that the far left hate so much
out the original ten in the Bill of Rights that are effectively nullified by
this law. It doesn't stop there though. The 9th Amendment that
provides: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not
be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people;" The
10th Amendment states: "The powers not delegated to the United States by
the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are preserved to the
States respectively, or to the people." Under the provisions of this piece
of Congressional handiwork neither the people nor the states are going to
have any rights or powers at all in many areas that once were theirs to
control.

I could write many more pages about this legislation, but I think you get
the idea. This is not about health care; it is about seizing power and
limiting rights. Article 6 of the Constitution requires the members of both
houses of Congress to "be bound by oath or affirmation" to support the
Constitution. If I was a member of Congress I would not be able to vote for
this legislation or anything like it without feeling I was violating that
sacred oath or affirmation. If I voted for it anyway I would hope the
American people would hold me accountable.

For those who might doubt the nature of this threat I suggest they consult
the source. Here is a link to the Constitution:
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html)

And another to the Bill of Rights:
http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript..html (http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript..html)

There you can see exactly what we are about to have taken from us.

Michael Connelly
Retired attorney,
Constitutional Law Instructor
Carrollton, Texas

road kill
01-12-2010, 02:39 PM
Mr. Yardley, SNOPES please??

RP--spell check??

YardleyLabs
01-12-2010, 02:43 PM
Mr. Yardley, SNOPES please??

RP--spell check??
There's nothing to fact check since there are no facts stated, only conclusions on impact. HR 3200 is now moot. We'll have to see what emerges as a compromise bill and who wins in the Massachusetts special election.

Eric Johnson
01-12-2010, 02:49 PM
Here's the URL for the actual article and a blog by Michael Connelly in which he answers questions on the article.

http://michaelconnelly.viviti.com/entries/general/the-truth-about-the-health-care-bills

Eric

road kill
01-12-2010, 03:09 PM
There's nothing to fact check since there are no facts stated, only conclusions on impact. HR 3200 is now moot. We'll have to see what emerges as a compromise bill and who wins in the Massachusetts special election.
He had links to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
I thought maybe you could tell us if they were real and what they really mean, you know, from a liberal perspective.

Sometimes, as you so often point out, we the unwashed struggle with such concepts!!

Keep up the good work!!:D

rk

paul young
01-12-2010, 03:25 PM
i can't wait to see how quickly this guy files his suit on the grounds of it being unconstitutional. put your money where your mouth is regards.-Paul

Gerry Clinchy
01-12-2010, 03:54 PM
Evidently, in both versions of the reform bills, there is an exemption for religious beliefs that conflict with the concept of "insurance." The Amish were one group that were mentioned. They would not have to comply, nor would they be taxed for failure to comply.

YardleyLabs
01-12-2010, 04:03 PM
He had links to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
I thought maybe you could tell us if they were real and what they really mean, you know, from a liberal perspective.

Sometimes, as you so often point out, we the unwashed struggle with such concepts!!

Keep up the good work!!:D

rk
The Constitutional question has come up before. The fundamental authority for Congress to adopt health care legislation rests on the commerce clause, which is the basis for most Congressional action. Legal precedents have given wide latitude to Congress in making its own judgments with respect to what does and does not fit within the commerce clause authority.

The one arena where the Supreme Court has limited Congress are in cases where Congress imposes a direct mandate on States (for example, Congress cannot compel States to enroll State employees in the Social Security system but can require individuals and all non-State employees to contribute to Social Security). HR 3200 is very careful not to impose direct mandates on States of the types that have been prohibited in the past. It does withhold Federal funds from states that do not choose to participate in the program. The SCOTUS has historically permitted that type of pressure.

There is no question that health care services consumption, health services delivery, and health care insurance meet the test of being interstate commerce activities subject to Congressional regulation. There is also no question about the authority of Congress to compel individuals to purchase specific benefits as it has previously done in the Social Security and Medicare programs.

None of this limits the ability of anyone to initiate legal challenges against whatever passes, and I am sure that such challenges will be launched.

Eric Johnson
01-12-2010, 05:08 PM
There's been a growing stream of cases starting with US v. Lopez that have found against Congress and the unlimited use of the commerce clause.

Congress passes bills all the time that are unconstitutional. However, the laws continue until they are successfully challenged. I expect this one will be challenged very quickly .... and often.

Eric

YardleyLabs
01-12-2010, 06:02 PM
There's been a growing stream of cases starting with US v. Lopez that have found against Congress and the unlimited use of the commerce clause.

Congress passes bills all the time that are unconstitutional. However, the laws continue until they are successfully challenged. I expect this one will be challenged very quickly .... and often.

Eric
I would take the US v. Lopez decision as an indicator of just how far the commerce clause can be extended.

From Wikipedia:
In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals. It held that while Congress had broad lawmaking authority under the Commerce Clause, the power was limited, and did not extend so far from "commerce" as to authorize the regulation of the carrying of handguns, especially when there was no evidence that carrying them affected the economy on a massive scale.

The very fact that school districts do not cross state lines, that school zones are defined by close proximity to school facilities, and that neither the action of carrying a gun or attending the school would be considered interstate commerce would seem to make it obvious that this gun carrying near schools would not be subject to Congressional regulation. Despite that, four members of the Court still voted to uphold the law! There is no such ambiguity concerning health care services. Health care expenditures represent about 17% of GDP. Virtually all health care providers, as measured by revenues, operate across states lines. Virtually all insurance group plans cover employees in multiple states. Nothing about any of the proposed laws directly mandates State action other than by using the leverage of related Federal funding. Health care services are already heavily regulated by Federal law under statutes that have already been heavily litigated and upheld (e.g., Medicaid, Medicare, HIPAA, etc.). There may be successful challenges about components of whatever law is ultimately adopted, but it is highly unlikely that any of those challenges will succeed in a ruling that health care is somehow exempt from Federal regulation under the Constitution.

Eric Johnson
01-12-2010, 09:28 PM
You also need to look at US v. Morrison and Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United States Army Corps of Engineers. Both of those are subsequent to Lopez and both further chip away at the "anything goes commerce clause"...particularly the latter.

I just don't think that the Court is as predictable as you seem to think it is when the case is of this magnitude.

Eric

Nate_C
01-13-2010, 01:10 AM
Let's call it like it is. There is no constitution, only what the government says it is. It constantly gets twisted and turned to meet the needs of the groups in power. For instance the commerce clause was used to stamp out segregation. It was a joke legally but we wanted it and thank god got it. The supreme court also OKed Japanese internment camps. The presidents for years have stacked the courts with biased/political justices (both sides) who are extremely active for their side. If something really big came up, some awful violation of the bill of rights then sure the justices would step in, but short of that they will vote down party lines.
Honestly though on another note, the bill does address a lot of things that needed to be addressed and in its current form (besides all the pork) isn't too bad. These are some of the things that I would support in the bill:

1. Prohibits pre-existing condition exclusions.
2. Requires adjusted community rating, guaranteed issue, and guaranteed renewal of individual and small group health insurance that: limits age rating variation of premiums to 2:1 (200 percent), prohibits gender and health status rating variation of premiums, allows variation of premiums by geographic area and family (vs. individual) enrollment.
3. Prohibits cancellation of coverage except for evidence of fraud.
4. Limits annual out-of-pocket expenses to $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a family.
5. Establishes a Health Insurance Exchange (HIE) within a proposed Health Choices Administration, to provide a market place for insurers to sell qualifying plans on a public web site.
6. Requires the creation of a risk equalization pool that will allow qualifying plans to minimize the impact of adverse selection of enrollees among the plans.
7. Provides a tax credit for low-income individuals and families to help pay insurance premiums.
8. Reduces Medicare payments to hospitals with excessive re-admissions.
9. Further expands Medicaid eligibility and scope of covered preventive services, for lower-income individuals and families.
10. Increases Medicaid payments to physicians for primary care.
11. Provides for a phased-in elimination of the Medicare Part D coverage gap and requires drug manufactures to discount and/or rebate additional qualifying drugs originally excluded from the plan.
12. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop quality measures for the delivery of health care services in the United States.
13. Establishes the Health Benefits Advisory Committee chaired by the Surgeon General of the United States.
14. Prioritizes any eventual implementation of best practices in the delivery of health care.
15. Establishes a National Prevention and Wellness Strategy along with appropriations for its trust fund.
16. Outlines Administrative standards that reduces costs and improves service, including the ability for Administrators to determine an accurate total financial estimate at the point of service as well as enabling real time electronic transfer of funds to take place if possible mirrors currently existing laws.

Obviously there are some bad parts too. And yes some of these address healthcare rationing which we desperately need. New York state spends on average 16,000.00 on individuals in the last two years of life were as Iowa spends 6,500.00. Yet NY doesn't have better survival rates for major diseases or better performance in other healthcare related areas like post surgical infections...ect... I mean when someone is 85 and has terminal cancer what is effective treatment really deserves some though.

YardleyLabs
01-13-2010, 05:35 AM
You also need to look at US v. Morrison and Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County v. United States Army Corps of Engineers. Both of those are subsequent to Lopez and both further chip away at the "anything goes commerce clause"...particularly the latter.

I just don't think that the Court is as predictable as you seem to think it is when the case is of this magnitude.

Eric
Both of these cases are also very narrow and hinge, in part, on the fact that regulatory decisions were being made on the absence of any clear Congressional mandate and/or regulate non-economic activities. In the Solid Waste Agency case, the Corps of Engineers was asserting jurisdivtion to protect "wetlands" that were not near any navigable waters despite the fact that the law under which they were operating only addressed wetlands that were adjacent to navigable waters. The Morrison case is more interesting in that it ruled that Federal courts could not be used to obtain civil relief in the form of damages in a case of rape which had already been heard under state law. The court rejected the application of the commerce clause because it was based solely on the aggregate national impact of gender related crimes without recognition of the fact that the crimes involved were themselves inherently local in nature. That is very different from health care where the nature of services delivery, services consumption, and services payment are all inherently interstate activities.

Eric Johnson
01-13-2010, 10:12 AM
First of all, the bills being considered do not give a person or firm the right to seek healthcare insurance from out of state sources.....er, interstate commerce. That alone will be an issue that the Court will have to deal with.....how can it be said that healthcare is interstate commerce when the very same law prohibits interstate commerce in healthcare?

Secondly, there's a case that was argued yesterday (U.S. v. Comstock) that may bear on the issue. The question is whether the Federal government can civilly commit a released sexual offender forever after his Federal sentence is completed if the state takes no action. It's not a directly related case but it speaks to the relationship between the Feds and the states. It also has the germ of the larger argument that Federal government can act in something like healthcare even though states might elect not to do so.

I offer this merely to show that the larger issue of interstate commerce may be affected by a seemingly unrelated cases.

Eric