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  • Obamacare and the Fight to Preserve America's Founding Principles

    Since the passage of Obamacare, the federal government’s role in American citizens’ lives has grown significantly. In a recent lecture, Heritage expert Robert Moffit discusses how passage of the health care law has not only grown the size and scope of government, but has also ignited a debate over the proper role for Washington in Americans’ everyday lives.

    Moffit writes that, under Obamacare:

    Over the next eight years, millions of Americans will be on the receiving end of a flood of red tape—tens of thousands of pages of new rules, regulations, and guidelines directly touching on the minute details of the health care system and impacting their personal lives. It will be unlike anything they have ever seen before. No nook or cranny of the sprawling health care sector of the economy will escape the federal bureaucracy: doctors, hospitals; clinics, pharmaceutical companies and biomedical research facilities, medical device manufacturers, employers (large and small), insurers, and the state health care programs currently administered by governors and funded by state legislators.

    Moreover, serious questions remain as to whether the law—specifically, its requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance or else pay a penalty—can stand under the Constitution. According to legal experts, allowing the individual mandate would greatly diminish restrictions placed on the powers of Congress. Moffit asks, “If Congress really does have the constitutional authority to force us to buy health insurance, logically, where would that congressional authority stop? Why not life insurance? Why not firearms? Why not automobiles?”

    Not only will Obamacare cause a huge increase in government authority in the health care sector; it also fails to live up to the promises that the President made to the American people for health care reform. Moffit points out that the new law will not allow all Americans to keep their current health plans or doctors. It will not reduce health insurance premiums—in fact, it will do the opposite. And taxes will increase, as will the federal deficit.

    In the face of this grim outlook, there is hope moving forward. Moffit expresses that Americans should continue to push back against the ever-encroaching federal government. State legislatures and governors can be especially effective in taking the lead against the bad policies enacted under Obamacare. According to Moffit, “if a state legislator sincerely believes that the health care law is unconstitutional, he is under no obligation to vote one red cent of state taxpayers’ money to enforce it. For those who take their oath seriously, it is not even an option.”

    Obamacare is a threat to federalism, individual rights, and the American way of life. While the federal government continues to overstep its bounds, states and individuals still have the opportunity to fight back. To read Moffit’s lecture in its entirety, click here.

    Co-authored by Margot Crouch.

    Posted in First Principles, Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Obamacare and the Fight to Preserve America's Founding Principles

    1. Kevin H, college par says:

      I guess Dr. Moffitt is more in tuned with the constitution and what the founding fathers had in mind than George Washington and the founding fathers themselves. The first Congress of the US passed the Militia Act of 1792 and President Washington signed it into law. It required every male to buy a musket and ammunition once they turned 18.

      Please explain how that is so wildly different than requiring the purchase of health insurance so the tax payers don't have to cover all your expenses – because no one escapes needing health services. No one. We all pay for those who don't have it, so at least, this forces everyone to be responsible for their own coverage.

      In my opinion, any one who opposes health reform is purely fighting on behalf of the private health insurers to help maintain their monster profits. There is no other logical reason someone on the right would oppose it, espcially since rising health care costs are the single biggest threat to our country's economy and the right was in power from 2000-2006 and they did nothing except excaserbate the costs grealty with the passage of their 2003 Medicare Drug plan, which added trillions of unfunded liability to our debt.

    2. Pingback: COACHEP » Blog Archive » News about Obamacare issue #305

    3. Corky, Howey in the says:

      Gee, it seems to me that President Clinton got into some trouble for telling lies to the American people. But we let obama get away with not one, not two or three but Many lies. He is pushing hard to get in position for the Government to take over our lives. He will have all his big labor buddies out next year doing his dirty work just like they are doing now in Wisconsin. He will lie more. He will allow more dirty deals behind closed doors. This sorry excuse for a president makes Hanibal Lector look like an Angel..This is MY opion…

    4. Andrew, VA says:

      It's funny that Heritage uses "Obamacare," but when Medicare Part D came into effect, you didn't use "Bushcare" or "BushRx" or "Medibush" etc.

      Please stop using "Obamacare." It's lazy, partisan shorthand that's beneath a supposedly non-partisan think tank that wants to bring "leadership for America."

    5. Diana Brown, Illinoi says:

      Obamacare is clearly unconstitutional and should be defunded plain and simple. I realize that our conversatives will have a hard time against the social democrats but we need to fight and fight hard. Government is overstepping their bounds and the president does not believe in the rule of law. He is a definite socialist and must be stopped and I am disgusted when he bypasses Congress to pass these backroom laws. He must be stopped to save our country. The founders and the constitution are the only way to go and people who do not believe this is the way to go, well then leave our country and go to Europe where you belong.

    6. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      A senator, who is also an orthpeadic surgeon, was on Fox this morning, he said, Obama care MUST be repealed that it will cost a bundle and not improve care but actually do the opposite and in the long run our health care will go from good to bad with lack of care for all. In closing he said "It's bad for the patients,bad for doctor's an nurses and bad for the country"

    7. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Kevin H – You fail to understand what the "Militia Act of 1792" was. The requirment of "every male to buy a musket and ammo" is found in the word "militia", a citizens army! Washington and the founding fathers knew they did not have enough of an organized army to defend the new nation. They rightly felt all free men had a responsiblity to defend that freedom by having available a means for that defense, a gun and ammo!. To compair that to forcing people to buy health insurance that they may not want or could afford, is delusional.

      If forcing citizens to by health insurance will protect us all from paying for other's

      health care, why are more that a thousand "exemptions" ( and growing) being granted to only those that the Obama administration chooses, such as unions and his financial supporters? Rising health cost is not the "biggest threat to our

      economy". It's entitlements that is more and more costing all of us. ObamaCare will actually cause that to increase.

      Health insurers on average make less than 5% profit. That's hardly "monter profits". On the other hand, groups that supported ObamaCare purely for money like AARP, are making millions of dollars on supplemental insurance coverage.

      No one is opposed to people getting the best health care they can. We are opposed to ObamaCare! You and your ilk fail to mention that ObamaCare will take over 1/6 of our economy and force total government control over every aspect of our lives. It will cause our dept to continue to rise, despite the deception that Obama and the Dems gave the CBO, to cause the true cost not be known by the American people.

      We are learning throught Obama and his Dem lackey's own words, their true goal through ObamaCare is a Single Payer System. Total government control that will kill any and all private insurance companies. Another nail in our capitalism system.

      Kevin, it's not about health care insurance. It's about ObamaCare!

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    9. tod rubin says:

      Kevin H has his numbers wrong, however, I would imagine many of the folks in College Park have their numbers wrong since the facts always get in their way. I was opposed to the Medicare Part D expansion under GWB, but to say it has added "trillions" to our unfunded liabilities is just wrong. In fact, the program has come in under budget through the expansion of generic drug use which will be reduced under the PPACA as part of Obama's deal to get big Pharma behind his healthcare plan. As far as those with insurance absorbing the cost of the "uinsured" in their premiums is also wrong and has been disproven. Cost shifting has been reported to add on average 1.5-3% to an average premium and certainly does not justify the feds taking over the entire system based on this fallacious claim. Finally, you need to give credit to KH for retreating to the favorite liberal default position of GWB not doing anything for 8 years re: healthcare reform. LOL

    10. Andy, Morton, Il. says:

      Quick, repeal Obamacare. Not worth the paper it's written on and the cost of it will be unbelievable.

    11. Larry Welch, Idaho says:

      Dear Kevin H,

      Take a look at the Constitution, particularly the Preamble providing for common defense and Article II, Section 2, paragraph (1) regarding "militia of the several states".

    12. Leon Lundquist, Dura says:

      I like Judge Vinson's take on Obamacare. This is Noblesse Oblige! Our noble Plutocrats have to steal everything from us American peasants so they can take care of us. I am sure they will want to have sex with our daughters and new wives, ala the movie Braveheart! They already want to feel up your Children and give them sexual advice! Seriously! Noblesse Oblige, the Right and Obligation for our new American nobles to take care of us!

      I argue if they left Medicine entirely alone we would all be ten times better off AND we wouldn't have to give up our privacy! One size does not fit all. Twenty percent of Americans will never need Medicine their whole lives! The whole subject is mad and I am sick of blogging about it! The default is people doing their own Healthcare, in the end that is what most of us do. I don't get it how paying twenty times the value of service is the salvation of poor Americans! Nuts! Nuts! Please, please defund HHS and make them stop destroying American Doctors and businesses!

    13. Kevin H, college par says:

      Larry – it's funny you mention the Preamble of the Constitution when nowhere in preamble does it mention militias, however, it does mention the 'general welfare' -

      seems to me that allowing 30+ million americans to finally have health coverage is promoting general welfare, no?

      'We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.'

      Lloyd – you need to research deeper. Not sure where you get 5% profits from. The top 5 insurers pulled in over 12billion in profits while cutting 3 million Americans off their rolls. Cigna increased profts 360% in 2009 and cut 4% off their enrollees. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/HealthCare/health-in

      Anyone who thinks our health system does not need reform simply has not been watching. The abuses the insurers have been gettign away with are sickening and we all pay far more by having tens of millions uninsured. We need to provide them preventive coverage so they don't clog up the emergency rooms where it costs far more to serve patients.

      You can fight it all you want – you fight Social Secuity sayign it was unconstitutional. You fought the Civil Right Act saying it was unconsitutional – and like with those, you will lose this one.

      I would have loved to see single payer – why not let the government compete with the corporations and let people chose if they want private or public? How could it be bad to offer that option? Why not let the gov't compete? The people who are happiest in America with their coverage are single payer – the VA system.

    14. Yankee says:

      Here's my logical reason to oppose the PPACA. I value my freedom to choose whether or not not to purchase insurance. If I am generally very healthy, if I don't have much money and would rather spend it elsewhere, if I have plenty of money and prefer to pay my own way rather than carry insurance, or if I for any other reason choose not to purchase insurance, that is my own choice. I am forcing no one else to pay for any treatment I may need. On what basis do you say "we all pay for those who don't have it"? When I can't pay a medical bill out of pocket, I must make payments. I have never signed anything that indicated that the taxpayer will bail me out if my expenses exceed a certain amount. If in the unlikely situation that I end up with excessive costs and need financial help, there are options available.

      Rising costs are not likely to be reversed by coercing the purchase of insurance. There are other factors, such as the frequency of malpractice lawsuits and Medicare/Medicaid fraud, that have driven up costs significantly; fixing the big problems will contain the big costs.

    15. joel, cincinnati says:

      Kevin and others that are looking at the 1792 law that was passed. It does resemble the current situation but there is a flaw in that argument. First is the stance that the others here have stated about the militia. Not the best argument but it is one route to challenge the wrong assumption.

      However the law was never enforced and therefore never challenges at the supreme court level. This was for a couple of reasons they could not figure out how to enforce it because of many provisions in the law for exemptions again(which also brings up another constitutional challenge). The second because the mandate was not in the view of many at that time considered constitutional they repealed it before it was challenged on several grounds.

      The other reason that it is unconstitutional just like the current law is that the federal government does not and is not to control commerce but it is to regulate (be a referee if you will) for the many states and individuals in the United States. This was to make our country an easy place to conduct business in and prosper for both the people of the U.S. and other countries.

      The militia act is a bad example and should not be used as a false reason to say that the current overreach and intrusion into our lives. Those that would impose a fascist system on the American peoples backs love ignorance and those that will parrot their talking points.

    16. Kevin H, college par says:

      Tod – actually, the numbers are correct. Yes, Trillions. With a T. Unless there is a vote to repeal Medicare part D (which should never have been passed in the first place and it's passage was called by Cheney to be 'the most arrogant, heavy-handed abuse of power I’ve ever seen in the 10 years that I’ve been here.')

      According to Bruce Barlett, President Reagan's Domestic Policy Advisor – Medicare Part D will add nearly 400b from 2003-2014. U.S. Comptroller General David Walker (who has been cited many times by Heritage) has called Medicare Part D "the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation since the 1960s."

      And as you will see in this piece by Barlett, the Heritage Foundation's own Rep. Istook was one of the 6 policy makers who had their arm twisted to change vote from No to Yes – http://www.forbes.com/2009/11/19/republican-budge

      So yes, when somethign costs 400b over 10 years (which is debatable – Richard Foster said it was closer to 600b) and the program continues, the costs continue to grown and it will be in the trillions – mostly paid for by the federal government – straight from treasury.

      So if you oppose Obamacare, you must oppose Medicare Part D.

      It's not the 6 year of Republicans punting health reform down the road, it's the 6 decades of nothing being done, which costs have skyrocketed and leaves health care to be the biggest threat to nation's economy. Nothing else comes close.

      Yankee – if your earnings are below a certain level, you will not be required to pay for health insurance. But just because you are healthy today, does not mean you always will be. If you get hit by a car or break an ankle playing basketball, what happens then?

      I still don't understand how so many can say this is government takeover of healthcare. If that was the case, the priovate insureres would no longer exist, however, instead there are exhanges being set up for all of them to come and compete in to give the best options for all.

      I think once you all see the reality in 2014 and realize how much of the scare tactics you heard from FrankLuntz and FreedomWorks were lies – it will become wildly popular.

    17. LL, MI says:

      How does one answer the new argument from proponents of a U.S.single payer federally run health care system, which says that the founding fathers, who wrote the constitution, signed into law "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen" July 1798?

      Merchant sailors, employed by private shipping companies, were taxed by the federal government to set up and pay for federally run maritime health care. They could not work as sailors unless they paid this tax from their wages. If the sailors became sick or injured, they were to be cared for at the federal maritime facilities.

      Although it was merely a payroll tax (conservatives argue,) it was specifically mandated by the federal government and used for federally run health care (liberals argue.) And it was a condition of employment.

      Which power(s) in the constitution did the founding fathers point to in order to justify this?

      Proponents of Obamacare are pointing to this precedent as evidence that the founding fathers were the first to institute socialized medicine in some form.

      Was this law ever repealed on grounds that it was unconstitutional?

      Or that it discriminated for/against one particular sector within commerce?

      Were those sailors and/or shipping companies considered to be somehow part of national defense or federal infrastructure at that time?

      The left is making hay with this argument as solid evidence that creating a single payer federal health care system in the United States is completely constitutional and that the federal goverment has proven, through precedence of having passed socialized medicine in 1798, that it has the power to do so.

      I would very much like to see Heritage Foundation produce a thorough analysis of all the history, arguments, justifications, and continuing questions surrounding this early federal law.

      It would be most helpful. Thank you in advance.

    18. Bobbie says:

      The leaders of the time acted in accordance to the time. It wasn't forced on the people and especially at an unknown, scrambled, unfettered cost. People were more driven to help by good will not other people's money or lack thereof.


      Everybody is made up differently. all born into our own WHY DOES ANYONE WANT GOVERNMENT TO COME BETWEEN THEM AND THEIR OWN????? THAT'S SOCIALISM, Kevin, and you protect it with ALL YOU HAVE!

      Kevin, in the preamble where it mentions "general welfare" look up the word welfare in an undistorted dictionary. It's not government handouts!

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