Thursday, March 25, 2010

Article 1, section 8

Someone I know was asking how it was legal for congress to have passed the health care reform bill. This person referred to three of the amendments 9, 10 and 5. The answer is not in those amendments to the Constitution that were added when the Bill of Rights (protecting the people's rights) which did little more than add more content to the Constitution. The answer most likely was in the actual Constitution, Article 1, Section 8 (most likely in the case that this person was taking issue with).

The idea that somehow any law that people disagree with is unconstitutional, requires little more than a look at the 4 items listed above. The sole argument does lie with the Article 1, Section 8 ( see http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A1Sec1 ).

"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; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;"

As I read that, the 'general Welfare' is the well-being of the United States, and the United States are 'we the people'. With regards to regulation, one must look no further than a few lines later in the same section:

"To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;"

In other words, their duty is to make the laws and regulations that provide for the well-being of the people and this country. That is so long as they meet the obligation in Amendment 5 that 'no person shall be... ...deprived of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.". That is the part to which I believe my friend was holding up as evidence against the legality, which actually proves its legality. The Congress could not be charged with not putting this bill under a microscope, which I would say qualifies as 'due process of law'. Not to mention, if we're to interpret the taxation aspect, which I'm sure the 'tea-partiers' are fully aware of the taxation aspects of this ( as I'm sure they all are of the tax breaks that 95% of middle class people HAVE received since President Obama took office ). Oh, but since Article 1, Section 8 charges the Congress with imposing tax at it's discretion, through due process of law, then let's just refer to Amendment 9 to make sure that the people aren't being taken advantage of... Well, since Amendment 9 prioritizes the rights of the people to be retained in the case of their being an argument over the wording that might infringe upon ALL PEOPLES RIGHT, as enumerated by the Constitution, those seeming to be of most significance, the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. For all involved to have equal rights to these, the well-being of a person seems to be of utmost importance to equal rights.

And in closing, to address Amendment 10, it is worded in such a way as to state that IF the Federal Government has no law (which must hold for the nation as a whole), it then falls upon the states to make such laws if desired or needed. I'll make a simple point as to the necessity for the regulation reform in health care. A person who has a terminal diagnosis who has private insurance in one state, has no options to see a specialist in his state, within his 'circle' to perform the surgery needed to eliminate the patient's condition (as in the removal of a tumor). So the person is referred to an specialist out of state who is able to perform the procedure but because of the different regulations in the state, not requiring the insurance company to honor their 'customer's' needs, for which the customer has been paying insurance for, the state has no say in requiring the insurance company to respect the coverage. Where is the person's rights?