Dueling GOP views on health reform constitutionality
Nowhere in the Constitution is Congress empowered to require Americans to buy health insurance, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) charged today.
“I am seriously concerned that the Democrats’ health reform bill violates the Constitution of the United States of America,” Ensign said in a statement. “Is it really constitutional for this body to tell all Americans that they MUST buy health insurance coverage?”
Two thoughts: First, whatever Congress is empowered to do is not, ultimately, for Congress to decide — that’s a job for the courts. (And you can bet that there will be no absence of lawsuits if the individual mandate survives the process to become law.)
And second, why should Congress tolerate a system under which folks without insurance can still receive emergency care on everyone else’s dime? Indeed, even former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), a thoracic surgeon, has said that requiring everyone to buy into coverage pools is “about the only way” to fix the nation’s dysfunctional health care system.
“We have 46 million people who don’t have insurance out there,” Frist told the Fox Business Network in September. “Somebody’s going to have to pay for that. If they can pay for it, they should be responsible to paying for it. And, if not, there are going to be taxes, excise taxes, user taxes on companies like Aetna, on individuals.
“And I’m hard-core Republican,” Frist added.
Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
It’s often said that a district attorney has more direct power over people’s lives than a mayor. If that’s so, Denver voters need to know […]Read More
In March, Colorado’s chaotic caucuses caused confusion for caucus-goers. Say that one 10 times fast. Joking aside, the messy, party-run early nominating contests for […]Read More