If you’ve been following my blogs on the whole healthcare reform process, you’ve probably noticed that I am in favor of change. You may (or may not) have noticed that I am not really in favor of some of the changes made by the
bill law that was enacted last month. However, there’s now something new to add to the story, which I’m still not really a fan of: The lawsuit being brought against the federal government on the behalf of (now) nearly 20 states.
While I don’t like the bill as a whole, it does do some good here and there. I think it has it’s shortcomings, but we don’t live in a perfect world, and I know not everyone thinks like me, so it is what it is. Unfortunately, this lawsuit (no links to this, there are so many articles out there – plus many frequent updates – that I’ll just let you Google the stuff yourself) is based on the fact that the passed legislation is unconstitutional, as it violates the states’ rights to their own sovereignty. Some of the suit’s proponents are also trying to make the point that the government is trying to change what it means to be a U.S. citizen by requiring the purchase of something as a condition of being a citizen, which they say is without precedent.
“At no other time in our history has Congress passed legislation that required us to purchase a product or face punishment for not doing so.” –Peter D. Kinder, Lieutenant Governor, Missouri (Rep)
“This bill is an unprecedented overreach by Congress and the President, forcing Americans for the first time ever to buy something as the price of citizenship…” –Mike Cox, Attorney General, Michigan (Rep)
Has nobody ever heard of paying taxes??? Since when has an everyday citizen (aside from some special circumstances), not had to pay some basic form of taxes, in the form of income, sales, or some other kind of tax? If you pay taxes as a citizen, you are paying for something, be it schools, public safety, or any number of other things. And guess what, Mr. Kinder? If you don’t pay taxes (i.e. if you don’t buy some things as part of being a citizen), you face punishment. This is not a new concept, nor is it unconstitutional, lest the taxes we pay also be deemed as much.
Sure I don’t agree with the bill, but this claim of unconstitutionalism is completely misguided. For example, how do you think the court battles are to be paid for? There are some private funds going to support this action (see the link for Lt. Gov. Kinder above), but much will come from taxes. Do these guys really think taxes come from some magical wonderland? More to the point, their very paychecks are funded from the coffers of the public.
I don’t know what the root cause for this sensationalism is - perhaps, the fame/spotlight that comes with heading the charge, perhaps overzealous opposition to the president/the democratic party/reform of any kind – but it’s time to come back down to Earth now. There are more logical and more feasible methods to have the law overturned, and there are better things to do with taxpayer money, especially given the financial hurt many states are already in.