When asked whether or not Health Reform is Constitutional Speaker Nancy Pelosi profoundly responded, “Are you serious? Are you serious?” Then shook her head and took another question from a different reporter.
Majority leader Steny Hoyer said attempting to answer this question,
Well, in promoting the general welfare the Constitution obviously gives broad authority to Congress to effect that end. The end that we’re trying to effect is to make health care affordable, so I think clearly this is within our constitutional responsibility.”
Does general welfare really cover health care? Hoyer even goes as far as to say that it is “within our constitutional responsibility.” Well Larrey Anderson with American Thinker, thinks not. He says that “general welfare” is only mentioned twice in the the Constitution. Once in the Preamble and once in Article 1 Section 8 (on the powers of Congress).
With the assumption that Hoyer means Article 1 Section 8, let’s take a look,
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States …
Larrey Anderson makes the case by mentioning that, “the Constitution doesn’t say the ‘general welfare of the citizens of the united states.’ It says ‘general Welfare of the United States'” Meaning, Congress can raise money to defend the country, or do whatever for the country as a whole. But it has noting to do with the citizens within that country.
It doesn’t mean that Congress has the power to make bike paths for the welfare of the people. It is just for defense of the country, just for “the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” That’s all.
And just to screw the cap tighter, lets look at Amendments 9 and 10 of the Constitution,
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
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.”
Whether or not you think our current Health Care is fine. It’s not for Congress to fix. It’s our job to fix Health Care if we decide it’s broken. Congress wants that power. They want the power of the people. But they can’t have it, it’s ours. And they need to know this is not their job.
After Pelosi’s response “Are you Serious?” the reporter said “Yes, yes I am.” And so are we.