Conservative Political Commentary

[Under the Radar?] Anti-socialist, anti-communist, anti-globalist, pro-Constitution, and usually with an attempt at historical and economic context (This blog was given its name before I decided it was going to be a political blog.)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Constitutional Question

From Article I – Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution:
“All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.”

The health care bill the Democratic Party leadership is trying to pass (by vote or otherwise) is the Senate bill. This bill is apparently not a product of the reconciliation process since nothing was done to try to reconcile it with the House bill. It is, I think, a revenue bill originating in the Senate. If this is the case, it is unconstitutional.

This would be in addition to its generally unconstitutional content.

Any comments?


The Conservative Leftist said...

The Senate will do what Republicans and Democrats both always do in this situation. They will take the bill that passes in the House and use it as a shell bill. This is common.

This focus on process is all getting really bizarre to me. Let's talk about the substance of the bill, which will insure 32 million more Americans while greatly reducing the national deficit, according to the CBO scoring. I know that the CBO is only reliable when it gives the GOP good news, but surely this counts for something.

Eddie said...

The process of getting this bill through Congress is what's bizarre to me. It is common for the government to skirt serious constitutional issues, and, in all branches, to greatly go beyond their constitutional authority.

I guess if we're going to pay for everyone's health care, we'll soon also be paying for their automobiles, vacations, and HDTV's. That is, those who pay income taxes will pay for the majority who don't. The problem is, the taxpayers don't have enough money.

The Conservative Leftist said...

I disagree with you entirely about the process, and I don't see a resolution to that debate in sight.

On the substance of the issue disagreement will also continue, but I think we can at least understand where and why we differ.

I think you have perfectly valid points. As far as I can tell, you truly care about preserving our uniquely vibrant and rugged society. I admire that. I also understand that even though you don't see a role for government in providing universal coverage, you care just as deeply as I do about the plight of poor people and the uninsured.

But I can't allow myself to believe that health care is a commodity comparable to automobiles and vacations and high definition televisions. Unless we're okay with tens of thousands of people dying annually due to lack of health insurance, wealthy people will subsidize the medical care of poor people, whether this bill passes or not.

I see this bill as a good piece of legislation that has evolved for quite some time. A bill that once the law of the land will insure 32 million more Americans, lower the deficit, and exert downward pressure on skyrocketing health care costs.

I don't think Obama is a socialist, and nor do
I believe that this bill is part of a socialist/fascist/communist agenda. Neither do I have time for people who whip uninformed people into a frenzy about it being sinister and unconstitutional. But I do concede it is a step in the direction towards a more activist government, which is reason for all of us to make sure the government doesn't use it as an opportunity to overstep its bounds.