A solution to the current healthcare debate (medical care and health insurance) is possible and will require a paradigm shift from policy makers and the American electorate. The current plans from our lawmakers are unsustainable and leads to continued autocratic rule. Reaching a true solution requires prerequisites that include a basic understanding of the United States Constitution and possessing moral fortitude (a backbone). Without those, healthcare issues will never be resolved and will always be political tools for attaining power and keeping power.
One of the basic doctrines found in the U.S. Constitution is the “separation of powers” and is essential to understanding how our government is supposed to work. Our education system teaches the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the federal government; however, the separation of powers between the federal government and the individual states has been greatly, and probably purposely, neglected. The application of separated powers between the federal and state governments is a catalyst that can resolve the healthcare issues; any other application ensures a less desirable result.
The Republican leadership, which now controls Congress, veered away from the “repeal” position held during the early years of the Obama administration to the position of “repeal and replace.” “Repeal” was so important that the Republicans even specifically addressed it in their platform in 2016: “Any honest agenda for improving healthcare must start with repeal of the dishonestly named Affordable Care Act of 2010: Obamacare.………We agree with the four dissenting judges of the Supreme Court: ‘In our view, the entire Act before us is invalid in its entirety’” – Republican Platform, 2016, page 36.
“Repeal” is correctly based on original intent of the U.S. Constitution where the federal government is limited to explicit and defined powers. Power of the federal government to mandate healthcare is not explicitly given in the U.S. Constitution; it’s just not there. But presto-chango, Obama and the Democrats pulled out of thin air the implied power of healthcare. Of course, use of implied powers is how the left has deceitfully used the federal government to enter every aspect of our lives.
Pinpointing when “repeal” became “repeal and replace” is uncertain, but “repeal and replace” creates the false narrative that somehow the Republicans have a better nationalized healthcare plan than Obama and the Democrats. Regardless if the Republican “repeal and replace” plan increases or decreases the number of people insured, receives a positive CBO score or not, increases or decreases premiums, increases or decreases costs, or becomes the best thing since sliced bread, it is no different than Obamacare. It is UNCONSTITUTIONAL! If anyone objected to the federal government implementing Obamacare on Constitutional grounds back in 2009 and 2010, or even today, he/she must be consistent and claim the same about the Republican “replace” plan. Nationalized healthcare is onerous to the U.S. Constitution, founding principles, and those who signed their death warrant in July 1776. If we, as a people, cannot depend on the words and the original intent of the U.S. Constitution, we are subject to the whims and special interests of those in power. The founders never intended for us to go from one tyrant across the Atlantic to 535 tyrants in Washington DC.
Obamacare and “repeal and replace” is unconstitutional because the federal government is not granted such power. Please note that I said, “the federal government.” I did not say that government should not be involved because the Constitution and the 10th Amendment, which is part of the Bill of Rights, allows the individual state governments to be involved. This is fundamental to understand. Even before the Bill of Rights, the original intent regarding the restrictive nature of the U.S. Constitution on the federal government was advocated by James Madison in Federalist Paper #45, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation and foreign commerce….The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives and liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the State.” Let those words sink-in.
Madison’s statement in Federalist Paper #45 was written to gain support for passage of the proposed Constitution and before the Bill of Rights (the first 10 amendments to the Constitution) was ever written. The Bill of Rights was a compromise between the federalists and anti-federalists to allow passage of the proposed U.S. Constitution after the anti-federalists expressed fears about protection of states’ rights and individual rights. Therefore, the Bill of Rights is just as important as the adopted Constitution and is not negotiable. Without Madison’s promise of writing the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution would not have been approved.
Within the Bill of Rights is the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people,” which is just as important as the first 9 amendments regarding gun rights, the press, religion, search and seizure, etc. Applying the 10th Amendment is essential to limiting the power and growth of the federal government, and is congruent with Madison’s statements in Federalist Paper #45. We already know that the left and Democrats have never had any such inclination to submit themselves to the 10th Amendment, and apparently, the Republicans in Congress are refusing to submit themselves as well regarding healthcare.
So there it is, the federal government does not have the power to regulate or enforce healthcare, but the individual states do. This brings us to another point: if an individual state constitution does not provide the power to regulate and enforce healthcare, the people (i.e. the free market) will provide solutions. With 50 separate state governments and the citizens within those states, serving as incubators of solutions (competition), a better alternative will be found than having a rigid and onerous one size fits all plan from the federal government.
There are many who are probably saying that the federal government is already involved in nationalized healthcare because of Medicare and Medicaid mandates. That point is not being argued and should eventually be addressed; however, it is not and should not be a reason to accept the wrong idea of keeping Obamacare, in any form.
Repealing Obamacare is not complicated. If a Congressman, Senator or Representative, says otherwise, he/she is disingenuous and should be handcuffed immediately to keep his hands out of our pockets. The U.S. House of Representatives voted at least 4 times to entirely repeal Obamacare; so being difficult to do, in perfect Greek, is hogwash. If the U.S. House and Senate now, all of sudden, cannot find the correct wording for repeal, Senator Chris McDaniel has already solved that issue for them, “To repeal Obamacare, it only takes one sentence. ‘Effective as of December 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted.” It is that simple.
The best solution for healthcare will come from the states or the people, if allowed, not from the federal government, and is a process that can only begin when Obamacare is repealed. Also, note “solution” is not synonymous with the “perfect plan” because there will never be a perfect plan that satisfies everyone. That’s just a plain fact. Therefore, it must be left to the individual states and/or the free market to present the best alternatives available. As one state, or free market, discovers a better alternative or solution, other states are much more flexible in adopting that new idea. States and the people should never abdicate their rights and powers over to the federal government when they have the ability, responsibility, and accountability to act in their own best interest.
“Moral fortitude” or a backbone is now needed more than ever among our elected officials, which they are less inclined to use until held accountable by the electorate. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the electorate to educate themselves regarding our exceptional Constitution and the original intent. Once that is obtained, it is much easier to answer the question, “Of the powers granted to the federal and state governments, where would ‘healthcare’ fall according to Federalist Paper #45, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights?” If one is honest, there is only one correct answer.