Judge’s ruling is a victory for constitutionalism (Rep. Paul Broun, M.D.)

The legal defense erroneously claims that the Commerce Clause gives Congress the ability to enact the individual mandate. They suggest that the resulting “economic activity” affects interstate commerce and “healthcare is special” because the costs of the uninsured will at some point transfer to the insured. Judge Vinson provides an excellent analogy to demonstrate the consequences of exploiting the Commerce Clause in this manner:
“Congress could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals, not only because the required purchases will positively impact interstate commerce, but also because people who eat healthier tend to be healthier, and are thus more productive and put less of a strain on the health care system.”
I have heard many cries of “but we already have mandatory car insurance! How is this any different?” This misunderstanding is much of our problem as a nation. Our federal government is one of specifically enumerated powers – the 18 mentioned in Article 1, Section 8. Our founders wrote voluminously on the importance of that limitation.
State governments, however, have all powers “not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States.” Although I would philosophically disagree with any big-government plan, should any state wish to mandate something not otherwise prohibited, it is within their purview to do so as they do with car insurance.
Federalist distribution of power is a large part of the great strength of America. As argued in the Federalist Papers, each state is intended as a “laboratory of liberty” with both power and accountability focused upon their local legislators. This fosters innovation and growth and better prevents corruption. It also shields a nation as large and diverse as ours from the infighting and inefficiency of sweeping policy.
As federal legislators, it is not our job to simply propose legislation we like or believe will be good. It is our job, our sacred duty, to uphold the Constitution. Of course, times change and require action our founders could not have anticipated. That is why they gave us an amendment process, not an open license to circumvent enumerated powers as we see fit.
I hope this ruling and our new strongly conservative Representatives are harbingers of a return to the principles that make our nation so great. I also encourage my colleagues in the Senate chamber to read Judge Vinson’s opinion before they vote on repeal.


More Healthcare News

See All
See all Hill.TV See all Video