To the Editor:
Editor's Note: Chair of the Middletown Republican Town Committee Ken McClellan rejects last week's Supreme Court decision in the case of National Federation of Independent Business et al v. Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. He offers an explanation below.
I disagree with Justice Roberts and the majority of the Supreme Court that the government has the authority to compel me to buy a specific commercial product, i.e, health insurance.
I disagree that the government has the responsibility to provide a means for individuals to pay for health care. It would be a wonderful world, if we could all have free health care, free food, free entertainment, but, that is not reality. If someone would like to start a fund to pay for health care for someone who cannot afford it, I would contribute, voluntarily. But the government does not have the authority to compel me to purchase insurance.
I believe that the general wording and intent, and specific provisions of the constitution would prohibit the government from coercing such purchase. The ramification is that this ruling can now be used by the state and federal government to compel behavior by individuals. That thought is truly frightening.
The Constitution of the United States, as written, generally prohibits the federal government from requiring activity. It limits the power of government. As example, the 5th Amendment, familiarly known as due process, "No person shall….. be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law." This amendment was specifically targeted at preventing the federal government from confiscating property or arbitrarily imprisoning individuals.
If specific provisions, clauses, sections, amendments or articles within the Constitution do not prohibit the government from this type of action, the general tone and intent do.
In the preamble, the purpose of the Constitution and the government formed by it are specified: "To provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, to secure the blessings of liberty." Very specific wording is used here.
The government will provide the common defense and promote the general welfare. To promote means to support or actively encourage; to further the progress or provide publicity. It does not mean enforce, ensure or provide. The government has no authority to provide for my well-being, health or happiness. Examine the Bill of Rights.
The first 10 Amendments to the Constitution are a list of what the federal government is NOT allowed to do, and what the people ARE allowed to do.
In a convoluted decision, regarding whether the government has the authority to punish or tax individuals for not purchasing a commercial product (insurance), Justice Roberts ruled that the government cannot impose a penalty on individuals under the Commerce Clause, but it can impose a tax. Even though President Obama, and all of his publicity spokespersons have stated repeatedly that the money to be collected is not a tax. My head is still spinning trying to make sense of this.
In the decision, Justice Roberts wrote, “We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders.” Remember, this act was passed in 2010, but a House of Representatives and Senate controlled by Democrats, and signed by a Democratic President.
At the presentation of this 4,000-page bill, larger than most L. Ron Hubbard novels, then Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi declared that the legislature should pass the measure (unread) and read it later. That exemplifies that attitude of the far-left liberal.
The conceited, ego-centric group that believes that ordinary citizens are incapable or caring for themselves. That the government, and they in particular, must take care of the common folk. I happen to believe differently. I believe that each individual is responsible for his own behavior, welfare and well-being. The government exists to give me the peace, freedom and opportunity to work, succeed and be rewarded for my success.
The government does not exist to take the rewards of my success and hand them to someone less successful.
Remember this in November. If you don’t like the recent decision, remember the words or Justice Roberts about sound policy and the judgment entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders.
If you question their judgment, take a stand on Election Day. If you can’t vote for a given candidate, at least vote against the elected representatives who gave us the Universal Health Insurance Mandate. Every Democrat in Congress in 2010 voted for this legislation. And they still haven’t read the bill that they passed.
Ken McClellan, Middletown Republican Town Committee Chairman