On the gurney to serfdom 1

Investor’s Business Daily explains how the Democrats are moving steadily towards single-payer total government control of health care:

Are the Democrats who want to place price controls on premiums trying to destroy the health insurance business? If we didn’t know better, we’d say yes. And we do know better — don’t we?

It was just a month ago that the Democrats passed and signed a radical overhaul of the country’s health care sector. But 3,000 pages of new law apparently are not enough for lawmakers who don’t read the bills they vote on.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat, says there’s “an enormous loophole” in her party’s reform effort that must be closed. So she’s introduced a bill that would give the secretary of health and human services the authority to review health plan premiums and block “any rate increase found to be unreasonable.”

This, after the public was told many times over that the Democrats’ health care legislation would bring down costs and rein in those troublesome health insurance companies that are making so much money.

It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in economics to see where the Democrats are going with this. Their regulators will establish price controls, which will drive health plan providers out of business as the restrictions make it impossible or unreasonable for them to make profits.

To deal with the shortage of health plans, Democrats will then complete the government takeover of medicine by placing Washington in the position of being the sole provider of health care.

Posted under Commentary, Health, Progressivism, Socialism, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, April 23, 2010

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The most intrusive program ever devised 1

Today, in the Wall Street Journal, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, law professor J. Kenneth Blackwell, and legal analyst Kenneth A. Klukowski write a clear, informative article on why the health-care bill is unconstitutional.

Read it in full here.

Excerpt:

President Obama’s health-care bill is now moving toward final passage. The policy issues may be coming to an end, but the legal issues are certain to continue because key provisions of this dangerous legislation are unconstitutional. Legally speaking, this legislation creates a target-rich environment. We will focus on three of its more glaring constitutional defects.

First, the Constitution does not give Congress the power to require that Americans purchase health insurance. Congress must be able to point to at least one of its powers listed in the Constitution as the basis of any legislation it passes. None of those powers justifies the individual insurance mandate…

It is one thing … for Congress to regulate economic activity in which individuals choose to engage; it is another to require that individuals engage in such activity. That is not a difference in degree, but instead a difference in kind. It is a line that Congress has never crossed and the courts have never sanctioned…

A second constitutional defect of the Reid bill passed in the Senate involves the deals he cut to secure the votes of individual senators… This selective spending targeted at certain states runs afoul of the general welfare clause.

A third constitutional defect in this ObamaCare legislation is its command that states establish such things as benefit exchanges, which will require state legislation and regulations. This is not a condition for receiving federal funds, which would still leave some kind of choice to the states. No, this legislation requires states to establish these exchanges or says that the Secretary of Health and Human Services will step in and do it for them. It renders states little more than subdivisions of the federal government.

This violates the letter, the spirit, and the interpretation of our federal-state form of government… [T]he Constitution forbids the federal government from commandeering any branch of state government to administer a federal program. That is, by drafting and by deliberate design, exactly what this legislation would do…

This hardly exhausts the list of constitutional problems with this legislation, which would take the federal government into uncharted political and legal territory…

America’s founders intended the federal government to have limited powers and that the states have an independent sovereign place in our system of government. The Obama/Reid/Pelosi legislation to take control of the American health-care system is the most sweeping and intrusive federal program ever devised. If the federal government can do this, then it can do anything, and the limits on government power that our liberty requires will be more myth than reality.