Health Care Reform: Does the Constitution Even Matter?

March 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm 7 comments

The anger between those who bought the campaign push that health care reform must happen NOW, at any cost, and those who preferred a more measured approach to make sure that change is effective, affordable and not over-reaching, has been building for the better part of a year. That anger was finally unleashed last week in the wake of President Obama signing his Health Care Reform bill into law, despite majority opposition to it. There is no disputing that this bill was unpopular, though some of the opposition consisted of those who thought it didn’t go far enough.

Many of us, young or old, cannot remember a time in history when a President acted in such blatant disregard of the will of the people and the Constitution he is sworn to uphold, like it or not. I’m no Constitutional scholar, but even those who supported this legislation don’t deny that nowhere in the Constitution is government given the authority to regulate health care. With 14 states now (and growing) suing the federal government on these grounds, it seems the Obama administration has devised a way to defend themselves under the “commerce clause.” Pretty sneaky.

The Constitution has been under attack for quite some time from those who believe it should “change to reflect the times.” Therefore, the President’s dismissal of it does not offend some in this country. But, have we really advanced as a people beyond the knowledge and wisdom of our predecessors? Those “old farts” who wrote the Constitution could not possibly have foreseen the challenges we would face as a nation today, right? As if history doesn’t repeat itself.

Quite the contrary, the Founders knew exactly what they were doing. As has been written, “there is nothing new under the sun,” and despite the advancement of technology, medicine, communication, travel, etc., at our core, people are the same. The world around us may have changed, but we have not. Sorry, but we are no more enlightened than we were 200+ years ago. Our struggles, needs, wants and dreams have not changed since the beginning of time.

What has and will always be changing are our values and priorities. These are things that are not innate, but are shaped by the ever-changing social landscape. They will always swing back and forth like a pendulum, growing and shrinking in auto-correction mode. In their wisdom, the Framers of the Constitution did not seek to cement their own values and priorities into the document, and designed it to make it difficult for future generations to do so as well. They provided a structure for government not to be able to exercise control over our lives for the “public good,” but to guarantee and protect only that which is intrinsic to all: our rights to life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.

Unlike morality, which is defined as the distinction between right and wrong, and is legislated all the time, values are personal and not shared by all. The beauty of capitalism (also under attack), the social and economic system embraced by our Founders, is that it allows those values to be addressed as the need arises. The higher the value or priority, the greater the competition. The greater the competition, the less cost to all and greater the service. Simple economics. I contend that it wasn’t capitalism, but massive government intervention that led to today’s crisis. In health care and elsewhere. There were better options for providing truly effective reform.

There has never been a more brilliant document written than the Constitution of the United States. It is up to each and every one of us, and those that we elect to protect it from being trampled upon and reshaped at will. The good news is, this fast descent into socialism has awakened the masses…

Despite attempts by the main stream media and liberals to de-normalize the Tea Party movement as a a group of haters, bigots, racists, homophobes, etc., regular folks like you and me continue to show up, exercising our right to peacefully protest. Are there some wackos out there who will show up with their ugly signs and hateful rhetoric? Sure, just as there are at any liberal rally held in America. Are they the norm at a Tea Party rally? It appears the average attender is moms like me – fed up with the encroachment of government into the lives of their families and bankrupting their children’s futures. But, I shall see for myself tomorrow, when I attend the Tea Party rally scheduled to take place on the steps of the Capitol building here in Denver at 4pm. And guess what? Not only am I going with other moms like me, but, I’m bringing Reagan to show her what democracy in action looks like. May she never forget it.

The Tea Party Express is coming your way. Are you on board?

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jeremy L. Knauff  |  March 31, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    Great job on a well-written post Chris!

  • 2. Lori in Denver  |  March 31, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    It was great to see you there, Chris.

    “There has never been a more brilliant document written than the Constitution of the United States. It is up to each and every one of us, and those that we elect to protect it from being trampled upon and reshaped at will. ”

    So true!

  • 3. Helen  |  April 1, 2010 at 5:22 am

    Terrific post!!! I’ll be eager to read your response to the Tea Party rally!


  • 4. Barb  |  April 1, 2010 at 8:56 am

    GREAT post! So well said. I can’t wait to see your accounts of the Tea Party!

  • 5. Alisa  |  April 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

    Well written, Chris! Your passion shines through. You may need to write more political pieces…

  • 6. Milly  |  April 28, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Has everyone forgotten when the Constitution was written there was no such thing as Health Care for anyone? duh

    If they had to worry about health care I’m sure those who wrote the it would have put in there All Americans should have health care.

    Most of the people died at a young age in those days and they didn’t have the doctors and hospitals we have today.
    Stop complaining a Healthy America is important!!!

    • 7. Mama Bird  |  April 29, 2010 at 10:42 am

      I’m pretty sure they had doctors and hospitals when the Constitution was written, Milly. If you mean HMO’s, no, they didn’t have giant bureaucracies in the middle messing things up the way we do today. They did things the old-fashioned way – they paid or traded for their health care services. Duh.

      There’s a reason health care services weren’t written into the Constitution, Milly. It’s because health care is an individual matter best left to individuals to provide for themselves of their own choosing, and for the PRIVATE sector to provide those options. Government has no business in it and never will. They knew that.

      You’re right, Milly. We should all just stop complaining. Let’s just all sit back and let government trample the Constitution, written to guarantee us freedom from government control in our lives. Let’s let them take over 1/16th of the private sector (as they have with Obamacare) and then grow from there, since the precedent has now been set, right? Why not let them control 1/5th of the private sector? How about 1/3rd? Why not 1/2? At what point would it be acceptable to you to “complain?” Hope it isn’t too late by then.

      A truly healthy America is one where the best health care on the planet, as we have now, is available in a truly free marketplace, without state borders so that costs are brought down by competition to make those services more affordable for all. And our Constitution is left in tact.


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