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Jim DeMint to Force Vote on Constitutionality of Mandate for Individuals to Purchase Health Insurance

Senators Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Ensign (R-NV) raised a constitutional point of order that will compel a vote by the full Senate on the constitutionality of the Senate Health Care bill's requirements for individuals to procure health insurance under the threat of fines or incarceration. The vote could take place as early as this afternoon. DeMint has stressed that a mandate compelling citizens to purchase any product from a private company is clearly an illegal and unprecedented form of federal action:

"Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect," said Senator DeMint. "This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance. This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We're forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans. This is not liberty, it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can."

The point of order will either be waived or it will stand and the health care bill would be invalid until the unconstitutional parts are deleted. The Senate chair will not rule on the constitutionality of these parts of the bill, so the matter shall be placed before the full Senate to ask if the point is "well taken". Simple majority is required to declare the bill unconstitutional.

While it is a virtual certainty the Democrat-held Senate will deem their bill to be constitutional, Sen. DeMint hopes to change the focus of the debate:

"What I hope we can do by raising the point of order is to maybe turn our focus back to our oath of office and the whole foundation that we are supposed to be making laws from, which is completely un-tethered now," DeMint said. "There is no mention of constitutional framework now when we deal with legislation. As I said [Monday] on the floor, most of the people here in this Congress believe that there is not a pothole in America today that should not be filled with a federal earmark -- or a scratched knee or a hurt feeling. I mean there's nothing that can be brought up on the floor of the Senate that people could say, 'That's not constitutional,' and be taken seriously. In fact it's gone the other way. If you have the audacity to suggest that the government shouldn't do something -- you are accused of not wanting it to be done. We have to break that pattern. And part of it with this bill that's now become very high profile, if we raise a Constitutional Point of Order, get people thinking about it, my hope is if the thing does go through, and I'm going to fight to the end to stop it, but if it does go through that there are constitutional challenges to this thing for years."

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Comments (26)

I wonder if this will be gr... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I wonder if this will be grounds for any action against those members who vote this bill to be constitutional? If it violates my civil rights, and it does, should there not be some action that can be taken to insure this does not go unrewarded? Must these people be physically removed from office by an angry mob? Will they not listen to the people who put them in office? My Senators, from California, will not. Dumb and a brick Boxer cares not if she is defeated next year. I want her held accountable.

Doesn't the Supreme Court d... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Doesn't the Supreme Court decide what law is or is not constitutional? And those two Senators didn't care about the constitutional law when President Bush invaded Iraq, did they?

ZR III. I agree with you, every damn member in Congress should be held accountable for their actions.

The vote could tak... (Below threshold)
Brett:
The vote could take place as early as this afternoon. DeMint has stressed that a mandate compelling citizens to purchase any product from a private company is clearly an illegal and unprecedented form of federal action

Careful! There's certainly a way around that problem - make us buy insurance from a public entity instead of from a private agency. It's certainly legal to levy taxes.

"...it is tyranny of good i... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"...it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can."

Good intentions???????
I think not.

"The vote could take pla... (Below threshold)
Sabre5:

"The vote could take place as early as this afternoon. DeMint has stressed that a mandate compelling citizens to purchase any product from a private company is clearly an illegal and unprecedented form of federal action"

Really? You mean we don't have to buy auto insurance any more? In my state that's a requirement. I had no idea that requirement was unconstitutional.

Of wait a minute, it isn't.

The Supremes decide the con... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

The Supremes decide the constitutionality of a law when ... wait for it ... its a law ...
The congress is expected to pass constitutional laws. It is the job of Congress to NOT try and pass a law that is clearly unconstitutional.

I'm confused, are you saying the Iraqi War Resolution was unconstitutional ?
really ??? laws you don't like are unconstitutional because .... you don't like them ? How about the Resolution about the Balkens under Clinton ? constitutional or unconstitutional ?

that of course is a trick question because Clinton didn't ask anyone for permission, he just went to war ...

ZR III asks, "Must these pe... (Below threshold)
davidt:

ZR III asks, "Must these people be physically removed from office by an angry mob?"

It sure looks like it.

Sabre5 ...you don'... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Sabre5 ...

you don't have to buy collision insurance in your state ... and you don't have to buy any if you walk to work or ride a bike or take public transportaion ...

in other words you DON'T HAVE TO BUY ANY INSURANCE ... now if you WANT TO drive a car, thats another matter ...

but guess what, even if you buy a car you still don't have to buy insurance ... as long as that car stays off the public roads, like say, a farmers work truck ...

and liability insurance doesn't pay for damage to your car (your body) ... what is equal to liability insurance in health care insurance ?

This is the way to kill the... (Below threshold)
John S:

This is the way to kill the program even if Obama gets a bill to sign. Unlike federal employees-for-life, most voters understand unemployment. Let them imagine a scenario where they sign up for unemployment but must show proof of insurance. Imagine being forced to buy a $900 month policy to get a $600 month unemployment check.

Wait until Walmart fires its 1.2 million employees and brings them back as 1099 contractors. Imagine being forced to buy a $900 month policy to earn a $600 month salary.

Since the insurance mandate is blatantly unconstitutional, and will be universally hated, Republicans should make it their single campaign theme for 2010.

I've already emailed Boxer ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I've already emailed Boxer and Feinstein and told 'em to come lock me up. I have no intention of supplying them with any information regarding my health care and I'm not paying any fine. IT'S NONE OF THEIR DAMNED BUSINESS!

And Pax was supposed to be ... (Below threshold)

And Pax was supposed to be good for people too, but instead we got Reavers ...

(A cookie for you if you get the reference!)

I 2nd GarandFan, stay out o... (Below threshold)
914:

I 2nd GarandFan, stay out of My business Franken & Klobutcher.

@ 5. Sabre5:I hope... (Below threshold)
SWBS:

@ 5. Sabre5:

I hope you're kidding. But in case you aren't...

The car insurance argument doesn't hold any water, as the two are different. You only have to buy car insurance if you own a car and want to drive it (granted, a necessity to many this day and age). However, we cannot not use our bodies.

Car insurance is a mandate to drive legally; the health insurance requirement is a mandate to live as a law-abiding citizen.

Car insurance benefits from non-public competition in the free market, keeping the costs low to purchasers. With no government interference and burdensome regulations as to exactly what needs to be covered, as health insurance regulations do.

Progressives view health insurance as a right, which it is not. Rights as defined in the Constitution are granted by God and not by governmental authority. Driving is a privilege with the responsibility of owning auto insurance. Car insurance is a commodity, like a cell phone or a hair cut. Enough competition keeps the costs low.

0% chance this doesn't go t... (Below threshold)

0% chance this doesn't go to the Supreme Court (several groups are ready to file already). Has anyone asked Kennedy what he thinks since this one man will decide whether the US collapses under the weight of entitlements in the near future or not?

"The car insurance argum... (Below threshold)
Sabre5:

"The car insurance argument doesn't hold any water"

It's exactly the same in that it's a mandated purchase under specified conditions.

Long-term disability insurance, payments into medicaid and social security are also mandates.

You do not have to purchase... (Below threshold)
Paul:

You do not have to purchase auto insurance. I know many people who do not have it. You only need it if you want to drive. The Dems are saying that you only need health insurance if you want to stay out of jail. Not exactly the same.

jc hammer[head] "And th... (Below threshold)
Marc:

jc hammer[head] "And those two Senators didn't care about the constitutional law when President Bush invaded Iraq, did they?"

And just what was unconstitutional?

saber5 "It's exactly t... (Below threshold)
Marc:

saber5 "It's exactly the same in that it's a mandated purchase under specified conditions."

You're so full of sit your eyes are brown, not to mention misinformed.

Car insurance in most states in NOT mandated in the strictest sense. I'd suggest you lookup how states have formed uninsured motorists funds.

They are funded by people who either can't afford to pay for car insurance or refuse to. In each case they pay a small yearly fee [small relative to "real" insurance fees] that covers liability.

And note these state programs are different than uninsured motorist insurance riders that may or may not be part of a normal car insurance policy.

Sabre5, you are a nitwit if... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Sabre5, you are a nitwit if you actually believe there is even a close relation between car insurance and this monstrocity that Reid is hiding. Please tell me you are not that dumb? Last I heard, driving was a priviledge of the state and any state can take it away from you. Like someone already stated, you do not have to purchase car insurance if you do not drive and even then only liability. You do not even have to register your vehicle if you keep it on your property, so your "analogy" is false.

The healthcare plan is just a power grab to keep the less fortunate beholdning on the dems for their lives. There is a name for that...oh yeah! Slavery.

One thing this fiasco has done. Make it very easy for conservatives to take over power in Congress. Six months ago, I thought we would have the house but now, thanks to Reid and Obama, I predict both houses and in a big way. A huge majority of americans do not want this mess but the dem's are thumbing their noses at them. The commercials in the next election cycle will be so easy to produce. "Hi, I am John Patriot, republican candidate for house or senate. Democrat Hard Hearing ignored you when you voiced your concerns about the so called healthcare bill. If you want a representative that doesn't care what you say or what you are concerned about, vote to keep Hard Hearing in office, but I believe you really want representation in Washington and I, John Patriot pleadge to you to keep your interests foremost in my mind."

It is that simple. We know it. Liberals know it. Yet they went ahead anyway. ww

Since the insurance mand... (Below threshold)
Clay:

Since the insurance mandate is blatantly unconstitutional, and will be universally hated, Republicans should make it their single campaign theme for 2010.

I've been saying this for awhile, and I'll say it yet again: The Democrats have already written off 2010. While the Republicans are myopically focused on next November, the Democrats are seeing way beyond. This horrible bill is about growing the federal government and their constituency. Do you know that the third largest employer in the world is the NHS, Britain's counterpart to Obamacare? At 1.3 million employees, only the Chinese Red Army and the Indian State Railways employ more people. How do you stop a bureaucracy of that magnitude once it's begun? Well, you don't, and the Democrats know that. And they are counting on the Republicans to lack the commitment to reverse the damage. The single campaign theme to which the Republicans should be forced to adhere is that they will deliver this socialist monstrosity the death blow it well deserves.

Start threatening the Republicans with the 2010 election now. Make each and every Republican pledge his or her commitment that this POS will not prevail.

Sabre5: "It's exactly the s... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Sabre5: "It's exactly the same in that it's a mandated purchase under specified conditions."

"specified conditions"?? Like being ALIVE?? 'Cause that's the specified condition!

You only need car insurance... (Below threshold)

You only need car insurance if you want to drive your car on the road and apparently if we want to live free (should this bill pass) we will have to buy health insurance so Sabre5 is sort of right.

#11 Lissakay: Serenity. Great movie, great quote. May I request a ginger molasses cookie?

vote to keep Hard Hearin... (Below threshold)
Clay:

vote to keep Hard Hearing in office, but I believe you really want representation in Washington and I, John Patriot pleadge (sic) to you to keep your interests foremost in my mind.

The problem lies in that America has learned that the politician's talk is cheap, and that seems to be from both sides of the aisle. And Obama showed us how gullible the American people are as he has broken every single campaign promise. Now you'll have every Republican promising to somehow be different, with no intention of delivering. What specifically will they deliver? We need to ask them and make them believe that they will be held accountable.

GarandFan"I've alrea... (Below threshold)
Staylor:

GarandFan
"I've already emailed Boxer and Feinstein and told 'em to come lock me up. I have no intention of supplying them with any information regarding my health care and I'm not paying any fine. IT'S NONE OF THEIR DAMNED BUSINESS!"

I will be right there with you.

"One thing this fiasco has ... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

"One thing this fiasco has done. Make it very easy for conservatives to take over power in Congress. Six months ago, I thought we would have the house but now, thanks to Reid and Obama, I predict both houses and in a big way."

I would LOVE to put some money on that statement, wee Willie. Let me know.

"And Obama showed us how gu... (Below threshold)
Ryan:

"And Obama showed us how gullible the American people are as he has broken every single campaign promise."

Wow, you cretins really do live in your own, little factless worlds.
From 2009's Pulitzer prize winning politifact.com, here are Obama's campaign promises ratings for all to see.

Please visit the actual website for the details.

You can have your own opinions, but you CAN NOT have your own facts, nut jobs!!!!

Tracking Obama's promises
"75" Promise Kept. "20" Compromise. "9" Promise Broken. "45" Stalled. "206" In the Works. "158" No Action.




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