Theodore's World: 'Obama POWER Grab:' What does the Constitution have to say?

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August 16, 2009

'Obama POWER Grab:' What does the Constitution have to say?

'Obamacare:' What does the Constitution have to say?


"No powers can be exercised by the Congress which are prohibited by the Constitution or which are contrary to its spirit." – Justice John McLean, Dred Scott v. Sandford, 1857

Is a federal government takeover of the health care system constitutional?

Some argue that under the Constitution, Congress is not authorized to regulate or subsidize health care.

Michael Boldin, founder of The Tenth Amendment Center, told WND that if citizens want to understand whether health care is constitutional, they must first understand the function of the Constitution.

"The best way to look at it is that it doesn't apply to you," he said. "It doesn't apply to me. It doesn't apply to any person at all. It applies to the government, and it sets the boundaries of what government is supposed to do."

Enumerated powers

In debating whether health care is constitutional, Boldin said citizens must look to the founding document to 1) determine whether the power is specifically listed there, or 2) if there isn't a specific power listed, look to the "Necessary and Proper Clause," or Article I, Section 8, clause 18.

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;

To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;
To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;
To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;
To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;
To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;
To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;
To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;
To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;
To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;
To provide and maintain a Navy;
To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;
To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof .

'Necessary and proper'

Boldin said the last power, dubbed the "Necessary and Proper Clause," does not grant the federal government unlimited authority, but gives it some leeway for certain things – only as long as those actions apply directly to the Constitution's specifically enumerated powers.

'General welfare'

Some critics point to the "general welfare" stipulation in Clause 1 as a key provision granting the federal government the authority to regulate health care. However, in The Federalist No. 41, James Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," argued that "general welfare" in Clause 1 does not give the federal government unlimited power, rendering each of the following clauses redundant.

Madison asked rhetorically, "For what purpose could the enumeration of particular powers be inserted, if these and all others were meant to be included in the preceding general power?
He continued, "Nothing is more natural nor more common than first to use a general phrase, and then to explain and qualify it by a recital of particulars."
Madison sought to address concerns of critics who warned that the "general welfare" clause opened the door to unlimited abuse.
"The Federalist Papers were public arguments to try to convince people to ratify the Constitution," Boldin said. "They weren't just writing about the general welfare clause for the hell of it. There was a real concern by people who were opposed to the Constitution that the general welfare clause would give this unlimited power to the federal government to do whatever it claimed would 'support the general welfare.'"
Referencing the "general welfare" concerns, Madison even accused critics of "labour[ing] for objections" by "stooping to such a misconstruction."
"It wasn't just the opponents of the Constitution saying there had to be limits to this," Boldin noted. "It was the proponents of the Constitution who were saying, in order for it to be general welfare, it must apply to one of the enumerated powers."

No federal authority

Because the power to regulate each citizen's medical care is not included among enumerated powers, he said, the federal government does not have the authority to impose a single-payer system.

"You have to look to the Constitution and ask, 'Is health care listed?'" Boldin said. "No. It's not."
"Is health care directly necessary and proper to carrying out any of the listed powers such as creating post offices and national defense?"

He said critics might argue that to have a good national defense, the United States must make sure that everyone is healthy.

"But that would not fall under any definition of what's considered necessary and proper," he said.

Furthermore, he cited the 10th Amendment, which states:

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.


Wild Thing's comment......

This was sooo interesting and informative. Wow! I did not know about Federalist Papers #41 .

Congress does not have authority over the Constitution! Article 1 Section 8 has authority over Congress by expressly limiting powers granted to Congress. Equally important is that Congress answers to the people. The latter controls the former. Politicians want people to believe to the contrary but couldn't be more disingenuous. And we need to hold the politicians feet to the fire as we are in charge.

The bill is unconstitutional on its face. This point needs to be hammered home by everyone whenever they confront one of their politicians!

Medicare and Medicaid programs are not Constitutional, either. However, at least patients have a nominal “right” not to accept what is being “offered,” even if they do pay for the programs with taxes. The penalties only kick in for Medicare if and when you do join in late.

Obama's Power grab plan is mandatory.You are automatically assigned and/or pay a penalty while refusing.

The next person I see at the gym or anywhere that tries to tell me how they want this ObamaPower grab, this information from this article is what I want to use as to why. I never wanted socialized medicine and I want small government but to have the exact Article number etc.. that will blow them away, there is no debate they can use.

Obama’s biggest fear is that it becomes common knowledge that his Health Care bill cuts Medicare and Excludes Special Needs patients, and how older people will not have much care at all. These things we need to hammer home over and over to the kool-aid bunch if and when we can.

God help us all if this monster is put through even a little will be the worst thing for our country.

....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at August 16, 2009 07:46 AM


Thanks WT and Mark. this post is so important to clarify what is Constitutional instead of 'progressive'. I don't think I had read the constitution and all the amendments until about 25-30 years ago, it's just not taught in school. As for Obama being a Constitutional lawyer, Bullshit!!! He's a liar, a fraud and uses his law degree to destroy the Constitution. Since it's Sunday I'll refrain from calling him a lying son of a bitch!!!

Posted by: Jack at August 16, 2009 12:04 PM

The federal government has been hacking away at The Constitution for decades, but in small increments. The last two and a half years the increments increased in scope. And now, the last 6 momths under obama and a Dem controlled Congress, The Constitution has come under a scathing attack. It is being ignored, violated and rewritten. The SCOTUS with one more liberal will reinterpret The Constitution in progressive/socialist/Marxist lingo. Once The constitution is modified for the use by the obama types, freedom in America is gone.

Posted by: TomR at August 16, 2009 01:39 PM

Jack, LOL me too.

I will refain too.... "Since it's Sunday I'll refrain from calling him a lying son of a bitch!!!"

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 16, 2009 06:07 PM

Tom, yes and we are seeing this getting
so close to happening.

"Once The constitution is modified for the use by the obama types, freedom in America is gone."

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 16, 2009 06:08 PM

The progressives added the 16th and 17th Amendments almost a 100 years ago. By using the same argument they use today. That it is a living document and has to be kept current, with the times. This gets us into trouble.

Posted by: Mark at August 16, 2009 07:07 PM