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Is Socialist Medicine Constitutional?

November 5, 2009

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) said on the “Glenn Beck Program” Wednesday that the proposed nationalization of America’s healthcare system is unconstitutional.

David B. Rivkin Jr. and Lee A. Casey, who worked in the Justice Department during the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, agree. They argue that a series of Supreme Court decisions related to privacy, including Roe v. Wade, would seem to doom a socialist medicine system.

…the justices posited a constitutionally mandated zone of personal privacy that must remain free of government regulation, except in the most exceptional circumstances. As the court explained in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992), “these matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and the mystery of human life.”

It is, of course, difficult to imagine choices more “central to personal dignity and autonomy” than measures to be taken for the prevention and treatment of disease — measures that may be essential to preserve or extend life itself.

Bachmann is one of those rare lawmakers who actually cares about the strictures placed on the federal government by the Constitution. Plenty of lawmakers –both Democrats and Republicans– don’t give a farthing’s cuss what the Constitution actually allows them to do. They view it as a quaint antique document that is an occasionally inconvenient obstacle to the expansion of government power.

Bachmann previously grilled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner about another constitutionally suspect program, the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and various other bailouts:

Bachmann: Mr. Secretary, what provision in the Constitution could you point to, to give authority for the actions that have been taken the Treasury since March of ’08?

Geithner: Oh well, the Congress legislated in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act a range of very important new authorities.

Bachmann: Here in the Constitution — what in the Constitution could you point to, to give authority to the Treasury for the extraordinary actions that have been taken?

The day before today’s large rally outside the U.S. Capitol in opposition to ObamaCare, Bachmann urged Americans to attend the rally Thursday. Given the speed with which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is pressing the socialist healthcare legislation, Bachmann called the rally an “emergency house call.”

Do something, because this is it. The clock is hitting 11:59 and this health care bill is the crown jewel of socialism. Socialized medicine is the crown jewel. But tomorrow is our Super Bowl of freedom.

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16 Comments
  1. Marilyn, Arizona permalink
    November 6, 2009 1:52 am

    The Progressive movement has been systematically infiltrating the American way of life for at least the last 50 years. In the 70’s the educational research and development labs, at that time completely funded by the National Institute of Education, began their push to change textbooks, demand social justice, and create social engineering for our young people–much the same way that Chavez is doing in Venezuela today. The reason Obama was elected is that the Progressives have finally created enough “followers” in our schools, including self-serving far left educators, to peel away at our freedoms by stifling conservative values. By hijacking the Democratic Party, they slowly made their radical ideas popular, including how “evil” the free market system is. As a result, our lives today are smothered with outrageous political correctness, sympathy for our enemies, and a breaking down of our cultural values–not to mention the dumbing down of the young people, which is just exactly what these Progressive socialists want. The money that backs them is unstoppable, and they won’t quit until their empire controls every one of us. We MUST stop Obama and his mafia thugs from turning our country into a weak, submissive, economically depleted one! America will never be special again if we don’t. Obama wants to bring it to its knees for the sake of power and dominance by a totally corrupt regime, which includes almost all members of Congress. We need to dump them all NOW!

    • Sue in Virginia permalink
      November 6, 2009 8:12 am

      Marilyn,
      Your posting is the most complete and lucid assessment of the past 50 years’ efforts by socialists and communists in our country I have yet read on this website.
      As college students in the early 60s we were “strongly encouraged” by educational professors to join the NEA and other teachers’ unions. We did not. Many of our young people today have little understanding of how our govenment works. They appear lazy and uncommitted to anything but self gratification. I do know some who are not–some who were home-schooled or taught in private schools.
      My husband and I worked for our military establishments for years. Those fine institituions, too, are being undermined by political correctness and political and diplomatic timidity.
      Pray that our United States Constitution is upheld. Pray for reason to be restored to our Congress and vote!

  2. Janet permalink
    November 6, 2009 4:52 am

    My husband said a day or so ago after seeing and listening to Michele
    on FN “wouldn’t she and Sarah Palin make a great 2012 ticket?”, and coming from a male yet, albeit a conservative male!!!

    If HR3962 or a bill similar is signed into law, what are the chances of its unconstitutionality reaching the Supreme Court, and how long would it take? And, more importantly, in the interim, how many more leftist judges will our leader and congress have seated on that Bench?

  3. Michael van der Galien permalink
    November 6, 2009 6:25 am

    The reason Obama was elected is that the Progressives have finally created enough “followers” in our schools, including self-serving far left educators, to peel away at our freedoms by stifling conservative values. By hijacking the Democratic Party, they slowly made their radical ideas popular, including how “evil” the free market system is. As a result, our lives today are smothered with outrageous political correctness, sympathy for our enemies, and a breaking down of our cultural values–not to mention the dumbing down of the young people, which is just exactly what these Progressive socialists want.

    The good news is that their strategy only worked partially. Remember that Obama won because he was able to convince voters he was ‘moderate,’ a pragmatist. If they would have realized then that he was as far left as he is, chances are they wouldn’t have elected him.

  4. mark Hearon permalink
    November 6, 2009 6:29 am

    I was very disappointed that the media, including the 24hr cable news show, completely ignored coverage of the mass Tea Party and said only about 20,000 attended. The public is being manipulated into beleiving there is no support for the Tea Party movement.

  5. Prudent Man, CFA permalink
    November 6, 2009 6:40 am

    If you had any misconception that the policians are corrupt you are seeing it today. Barney Frank claims the law is what “they” say it is. Congressional Term Limits are necessary to take the government from the control of large political contributors, like Socialist/Fascist George Soros, Eric Schmidt with his W.H. Google Cookies, Warren Buffett with Bill and Melinda Gates’ Tax Deductible Foundation, John Podesta, et al. For decades these collectivists have been working and spending tax free money to destroy Democracy aided and abetted by the U.S. Congress.

    Where are Beck, Rush, Newt, Coulter,Fox, Hannity, WSJ, Ingraham, Horowitz, et al when they know we need Congressional Term Limits in order that we have a level playing field for competent political competition? I cannot understand why the Libertarian/Conservative movement ignoring the most important source of tyranny, uncontrolled corrupt incumbency. The career politicians, Left/Right or Conservative/Liberal, with their pork barrel and log rolling are the major part of the problem with governance for the good of the citizens. Lets push the quasi-Right/Conservatives to attack the real problem instead of promoting themselves and their self-aggrandizement. Gingrich is a hypocrite and has about as much credibility as Olbermann.

    Are these so-called spokesmen and women for the Conservative view in it only for their own self-aggrandizement. Everyone in country with the exception of the political class and their parasitic flunkies know we need Congressional Term Limits. Why are those self-anointed leaders silent about it?

    Make elections meaningful and hones by supporting CONGRESSIONAL TERM LIMITS!!

  6. John Davidson permalink
    November 6, 2009 6:48 am

    All this points out to me is how out of touch our government has become regarding the truth. The people are waking up, but our elected official are still sleep-walking.

  7. Janet permalink
    November 6, 2009 6:57 am

    We can start by promoting/supporting Marco Rubio who claims he’s for term limits.

    • John Davidson permalink
      November 6, 2009 10:23 am

      I don’t trust the word,’claim’. I’ve heard it used too often, lately.

  8. Michaelle Maloney permalink
    November 6, 2009 7:36 am

    No, its not constitional; but the leftys always manipulate it to suit their needs. The lefty state run media covers news that suits Obama and the socialist listeners.

  9. bob permalink
    November 6, 2009 8:19 am

    People who write for FrontPage as well as in this blog recognize that a serious danger comes from those who educate our children. Those same people are constitutionally illiterate and have been given over to a program that progresses toward throwing out the very means that sustains successful societal evolution. That progressive teaching holds that the state and its cottage industries have the power to give tribute to armies of under performers at the demise of those who are unfortunate enough to have a work ethic. If at one juncture the Supreme Court finds a Government program overreaching, wait until the Court has a friendlier makeup and reverse direction. This socialist revolution and its disregard for Constitutionality could have long and influential tentacles, but an American ethos will most likely produce a disastrous outcome for it.

  10. Samuel permalink
    November 6, 2009 10:05 am

    Part of the problem has been that we’ve seen an incremental negligence of the Constitution for a number of years, so the response from the left has been, “so”? “The Supreme Court has upheld some of the very programs you say are not constitutional!” and there is always “You Conservatives will never be able to drop Social Security based on constitutional grounds, the public will never allow it.” or “Where would we be if Social Security had been privatized, in this market!” The answer is that people would be better off, but the media would never say that.

    It appears we have two choices, however…. maybe we won’t even be lucky enough to get to pick, but… First, that we find a way to keep the federal government promises, while dismantling, passing to the states and privatizing, so there are no further/additional obligations. Otherwise there is what is behind door two, the more likely and yet more catastrophic, and that is collapse of the dollar and the feds “printing” money and paying their commitments with worthless dollars. At that point, on the edge of a French like revolution, we might be able to find enough people to recognize/rediscover the value of the constitutional limits on federal spending.

    • bob permalink
      November 6, 2009 10:32 am

      “The Revolution will not be televised!!”.

      • Marylou permalink
        November 6, 2009 1:49 pm

        ‘scuze me! It IS being televised.

  11. oldwolves permalink
    November 6, 2009 10:54 am

    “We the people”,… There’s the problem. The progressives interpret that as “Wee on the people”.
    Seriously though, we bare some of the blame. We on the right have been too lax with the left. So now we have to work harder to clean up the mess the left has made. It’s time to shout back. If anyone wants Bi-partisanship, there more than welcome to leave. Point to the door and show them the way. No more reinterpretations. No more revisions. No more rewriting. No more giving in. To hell with ‘Peace at any cost’.

  12. November 7, 2009 12:04 pm

    Learn more about the Socialist Politicians in Congress here: http://www.commieblaster.com/progressives/index.html

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