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Unconstitutionality Of Health Care Legislation

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Mr. Garrett. I appreciate your yielding this evening.

In Hosea 4:6, God tells us, ``My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge.'' Unfortunately, people all over this country have a tremendous lack of knowledge about how much liberty and freedom we've lost in this country. Now, I differentiate between freedom and liberty. I talk more about liberty than freedom. A wild dog is free. Let me define for the American people what ``liberty'' is. ``Liberty'' is freedom bridled by morality.

We have things going on here in this Congress, and we've had things going on in Congress after Congress under both Democratic as well as Republican leadership. We've had things going on with the executive branch under both Republican and Democrat Presidents, and we even have things going on in the Federal court system, all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, where rulings are handed down where the American people are losing their liberty.

I am a strict original intent constitutionalist. In fact, I carry a copy of the Constitution in my pocket at all times, and it's in every one of my suits. On my desk, there is a tremendous document. It's called ``The Federalist Papers in Modern Language,'' which is a transliteration of ``The Federalist Papers,'' which are very difficult to read because they're in old-style English. This is in modern-type English. It's not an interpretation. It's just a transliteration. It goes from one form of English into another.

So I highly encourage the American people to get these documents. I give copies of the Constitution to anyone who walks into my office here in Washington, D.C., and I give my constituents copies of the Constitution out of our district offices. Every Congressman can do the same. The American people need to become knowledgeable about how much liberty we've lost.

One of the greatest attacks upon liberty is what's going on here in Congress today where the leadership in this House, where the leadership in the Senate, and where the leadership down Pennsylvania Avenue, in the White House, want to take away your liberty to see your doctor and for that doctor and you to make the decisions that you need to have made so that you have the best quality health care.

Now, Ms. Foxx was talking about the 10th Amendment. I'll go back and read it just to help educate the people because you may have not listened to Ms. Foxx, but listen up, please, Madam Speaker, to what the 10th Amendment says.

It says, ``The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution--'' in other words, those powers specifically given to Congress, the President and the courts ``--nor prohibited by it to the States.'' Those are such things as minting money and having armies and things like that. ``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.''

So we in Congress can only technically constitutionally pass laws that are specifically given to us by the powers of this document. Article I, section 8 actually lists the things that Congress can pass laws about.

Madam Speaker, this is just a little booklet which contains the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and every single amendment. It's just this little bitty booklet, not the thousands of pages that PelosiCare and ReidCare and ObamaCare entail. Madam Speaker, it starts right here, and it goes to right here. It's 1 3/4 pages in this little booklet. It's just 18 things. It says, ``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.''

Now, Madison was very specific, and Mr. Garrett was talking about that. If you read the Federalist papers, the general welfare, which one of the clauses that has been perverted by Democrats and Republicans, courts, Presidents, and Congress alike, means the general welfare. Not direct welfare, but the general welfare of the Nation.

So we have the ability to collect taxes and pay the debts.

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.

Now, Mr. Garrett was just talking a few minutes ago about this commerce clause being utilized to make folks do something because the leadership here thinks that we have to mandate every person in this country to buy health care insurance whether you want to or not. That has never been done, and it is totally unconstitutional, as Mr. Garrett was saying.

Actually, this commerce clause is one of the three that have been perverted, also. The original intent of that is that we don't lockbox trade within State borders. And we have done that on health insurance, which is unconstitutional in itself.

Republicans over and over again have suggested, and in fact in my comprehensive health care reform bill that I introduced, H.R. 3889, it would allow people in Georgia to buy health insurance in Alabama, which is cheaper, for the same Blue Cross-Blue Shield policy. Why shouldn't we be able to do that? This commerce clause under the original intent should allow us to do so. Republicans have proposed that. Democrats have fought against that.

Going on. To establish a uniformed rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States. So we should have naturalization and bankruptcy laws.

To coin money, to regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and to fix the standard of weights and measures.

To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States. In fact, this is one of the few constitutional criminal justice things that the Federal Government is supposed to be doing. Most of the criminal justice laws that the Federal Government has on its books are unconstitutional because we don't have the authority to do them.

To establish post offices and post roads. Post roads during the Founders' time were the highway system. So we do have constitutional authority for Federal 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. That means patent laws. So we have constitutional authority for patents.

To constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court.

Folks, there is only one Federal court that is established in this document, and that is the U.S. Supreme Court. Every single Federal court, every single Federal judge serves at the pleasure of the Congress. We need to start putting checks on these dudes, and ladies, around this country who have actually broken their oath of office when they swear to uphold the Constitution. In fact, every one of us, when we are sworn in, every Congress swears to uphold the Constitution against enemies, both foreign and domestic. Madam Speaker, we have a lot of enemies that are domestic, enemies of the Constitution. This House is overrun by many domestic enemies of the Constitution, and the Senate is full of a bunch of them also. The courts are full of a bunch of them likewise.

To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations. That is another one of the few criminal defense laws of the Federal Government.

To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on lands and water.

To raise and support armies.

To provide and maintain a navy.

To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces. That is for the Army and the Navy, and the Marine Corps. I am a Marine, by the way--Semper Fi.

To provide and call forth the militia.

To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia.

To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases over the District of Columbia. So when the District of Columbia decides that they want to have homosexual marriage recognized in the District of Columbia, we in Congress are supposed to tell them no. In fact, I have got a House Resolution that says that.

To make all laws that should be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers.

That is it, folks. That is it. The 18 things that we have the authority here in Congress to pass laws about. There is absolutely nothing in this document that gives Congress the authority to take over the health care system in this country. None.

And when we see PelosiCare on this floor or when we see ReidCare, ObamaCare on this floor, there is absolutely zero constitutional authority.

Now, God says in his Word, with the multitude of counselors there is safety. And I make a challenge to the Democrats. One Democrat in this House. If one Democrat in this House or one Democrat in the U.S. Senate were to show me in this document where Congress has the authority to pass a bill that takes over the health care system in America and sets forth socialized medicine, as they are trying to do under ObamaCare, I will vote for it. If one person in this House or the Senate shows me where in this document that we have the constitutional authority to do that, I will vote for it.

I make a pledge to my Lord God, my Lord Jesus Christ up above, to the people of the United States, I pledge to vote for it if one, just one House member or Senate member will show me in this document where we have the authority to do so. I am not worried about that pledge,

because there is none.

Pelosicare, Reidcare, Obamacare, secret--well, they are all secret bills. They are all in secret, with no transparency we have been promised by the Speaker as well as by the President. There is nothing in this document to give the Federal Government the authority.

Mr. Garrett was talking about that one mandate on individuals which in itself is unconstitutional. There are so many things in this thing--in fact, in the Senate bill, Mr. Garrett, Madam Speaker, they say we, the next Congress, can't pass laws regarding that bill to overturn it, to amend it, or to withdraw it, appeal it. That in itself is unconstitutional. We in this Congress can't make a law that subjugates the next Congress to what we pass. That is unconstitutional. It doesn't pass the smell test, either.

The American people, Madam Speaker, are being destroyed for a tremendous lack of knowledge of this document and how much liberty we are losing.

Madam Speaker, it is up to the American people to rise up and say no to Obamacare. To say no to whatever bill.

I understand that the Majority Leader, Mr. Hoyer, today said that, ``The Senate bill is better than nothing.'' So I am expecting with that comment that they are going to try to force down the throats of this House the Senate bill. I pray and hope to God, Lord Jesus Christ, please help us to not pass that bill. It is in the name of Jesus that I pray that. But I just hope and pray that we don't pass any bill that is being presented here.

I have challenged Democrats, many of them individually, to introduce a bill. I will give them the legislative language. And it is totally constitutional, Mr. Garrett, Mr. Speaker--it has gone from Madam Speaker to Mr. Speaker. Welcome. We are glad to have you tonight--to do four things.

One is have cross-state purchasing of insurance for individuals and businesses, which is constitutional under the commerce clause. And we should be doing that under the commerce clause.

To have associations so that associations could be developed. I am a Rotarian. We could have a Rotary International pool. I am a graduate of the University of Georgia, Medical College of Georgia. We could have a University of Georgia system pool. We could have any kind of pool. We could have a construction pool. We could have a college graduate pool. We could have all these pools that anybody in the country could join and have multiple options to buy many different kinds of policies, and it would put a whole lot of market forces into the system to lower the cost.

The third thing is to stimulate the States to set up high-risk pools for those who can't buy insurance because of preexisting conditions.

And, fourth, to have 100 percent tax deductibility for every single person in this country for all health care expenses. There are a lot of people that are left out, and you can't deduct your health care expenses.

Four simple things, all constitutional. I've had many Democrats, Mr. Speaker, tell me they would love to introduce this bill. I will be the first cosponsor, and we could pass that, I believe, in this House. That would put some market forces in the system and would literally lower the cost of health care.

Mr. Speaker, I am a medical doctor. In my medical practice as a family practitioner I have seen how government intrusion in the health care system has markedly run up the cost of health care. A couple of quick examples. I don't want to hog the time, Mr. Garrett, but let me just give this story right quick like.

I was in a solo practice down in rural southwest Georgia, and I had a small automated lab with quality controls to make sure that the results were correct for my patients. Most doctors, if not almost all doctors, want to have good lab results. Many doctors across the country had these small automated labs with quality control. Congress passed a bill called CLIA, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act. It was signed into law. It shut down my lab and every single doctor's lab in this country.

Prior to CLIA, if a patient came in with a sore throat, running a fever, I would do a CBC, a complete blood count, to see if they had a bacterial infection and thus needed antibiotics, or a viral infection that is not helped by antibiotics. They don't need to spend their money or even be exposed to antibiotics. I charged $12 for that test. It took 5 minutes to do it. CLIA shut my lab down. I had to send patients across the way to the hospital. It took 2 to 3 hours, cost $75 for one test.

Mr. Speaker, what do you think that did to the cost of health care across this country? What do you think that did to the cost of insurance across the country? It ran it up for everybody.

Congress a few years ago passed HIPAA. That has

cost the health care industry billions, with a B, billions of dollars, and has not paid for the first aspirin to treat the headaches that it has created. It was totally unneeded.

It is government regulation in the health care system, Mr. Speaker, that has run the cost up so that it is just outrageous. The Federal Government has no business regulating what I do with my patients. It has no constitutional authority to do so.

We have to go back to the drawing boards and work on a constitutional basis and present in a step-by-step approach and a constitutional approach ways of getting the Federal Government out of regulating the health care system. Let the marketplace regulate it. Because I know without a question that the marketplace, unencumbered by taxes and regulations, is the best control of quality, quantity, and cost of all goods and services, including my services as a medical doctor.

But, again, I challenge one Democrat in this House or in the Senate to show me where it is constitutional for us to pass PelosiCare, ReidCare, ObamaCare, and I will vote for bill. They can't do it because it is unconstitutional. Thank you, Mr. Garrett.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. If the gentleman would yield for 30 seconds. And I thank you for doing so, because we have some other speakers, and I have taken a long time. I apologize to the other speakers for taking so long.

But you are right. What does it mean to the American citizen about this bill? Not only that it is unconstitutional, which it is. But if you have private insurance, the cost is going to go up.

We have been told by our President: If you like your health insurance, you can keep it. But it is going to be more expensive if this is passed than it is today, and it is going to go up a lot faster, higher. Your doctor and you can't make decisions. Some government bureaucrat in Washington is going to be making those decisions for you.

Medicare people are going to have the Medicare money cut, the pot that is available for Medicare to be cut markedly so there is going to be more rationing of care. There already is some, but it is going to be worse. I as a doctor am already regulated and told who I can put in the hospital and how long they can stay there. That is going to get a whole lot worse. So it is going to affect the quality of care.

The American people need to understand: The cost of your health insurance is going up. The quality of care that your doctor can give you is going down. Markedly going down. And you are going to be mandated to be--basically, it is a process of transferring everybody into a single-payer health care system. Socialized medicine. That is what our President said. That is their objective. And so it is going to be disastrous for everybody.


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