I have been bursting at the seams to write on the continuing developments in this horror film known as healthcare reform.
Unfortunately, preparation for several coming trials had stilled my pen. Now, I can wait no longer.
Approximately half of our members of Congress are quietly bring us to a Constitutional crisis. It is one thing to pass a law that has unconstitutional provisions in it. While that is hard to justify, it happens at a minimum of once every few years. It is quite another to threaten the citizens with the power of the federal government mandating that we comply with a fiat decree.
A fiat decree? Indeed! When the government compels the citizens to comply with the dictates of a portion of the ruling class without going through the process of passing a law, you have rule by fiat. You have tyranny.
Rule by fiat, tyranny, in America/ Why such extreme language? What else would you call dictating the behavior of otherwise free citizens without passing a law?
The primary purpose of the United States Constitution is to limit the power of those who would rule us. Article One of the Constitution regulates what was thought to be the most powerful branch of government, the legislature. The Constitution lays out with great specificity how the legislative body is to make a law.
Of particular relevance at the moment is Article 1, Section 7, Clause 2. "Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall ... But in all such cases the vote of both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each house respectively."
We have all seen this. A bill comes to the floor and every member present votes Yea, Nay or Abstain by name and every vote is recorded by name. However, the present plan, the "Slaughter Rule," is to "deem" that the healthcare bill has passed without actually voting on the bill. Rather, by the House voting on a list of amendments to the bill, amendments that have not been voted on in the Senate, the Speaker of the House will declare that the healthcare bill has passed. Not vote will actually be taken on the healthcare bill, just some proposed amendments. There is no requirement that the Senate ever consider the amendments proposed by the House and no requirement that the President sign the amendments.
When you understand more details of law making, this violation is even more outrageous. If the House amends the bill, making it different from the bill passed by the Senate, the bill cannot be sent to the President until the Senate votes on the amended bill in the exact form as passed by the House.
The only other way to amend the bill is to pass it in the identical form passed by the Senate and have it signed by the President. Then, the House can pass amendments to the law, the Senate can pass the identical amendments, and the amendments be sent to the President for signature or veto. In short, the so-called amendments that the House would be voting on are not really amendments to the bill at all, but are a new bill and the healthcare bill will have never received a vote in the House.
Ah, but the Speaker of the House proclaims that Republicans have done the same thing in the past. Since it is not possible for Republicans to be corrupt, since it is not possible for Republicans to do things that are unconstitutional, then it must be just fine to do it this time. Since Republicans are incapable of error or sin, if the Democrats emulate them, they must surely be absolved from any misdeeds.
If this decree can be given the force of law without being voted on by one of the two houses of Congress, what other mandates can be imposed on us without being voted on by both houses of Congress. If they can nationalize 17-20 percent of our nation's economy without passing a law to do it, then they can surely regulate any other part of our lives without having to endure the formalities of passing a law.
The good news is that if this decree imposing government controlled healthcare upon us is enforced, the regulating agency will be the IRS, who will be hiring 14,000 new employees as provided for in this healthcare decree. Knowing what it is like to try to secure payment for the medical services my family desires under the present antiquated system of freedom and personal responsibility, I can only imagine what it will be like under the benevolent new system to get permission from the government (the IRS?), to receive the treatment desired.
I think of George Orwell's book, "Animal Farm," where everyone is equal, but some animals are more equal than others.