Dear Senator Hagan,
It is with great disappointment that I contact you about your support of the Senate’s version of health care reform. Not only will the legislation that you and 59 other misguided souls passed today not address the ills facing our health care system, the measure is plagued by the four “Cs” – constitutionality, cost, corruption, and consent.
I realize that questioning the constitutionality of Congress taking up health care reform in the first place will fall on deaf ears, but humor me for a minute. All congressional powers are enumerated in Article 1 Section 8 of that document. Health care is not one of them specified in that section, therefore it is a power retained by the people or the states through the Amendment 10.
Now, I know you are next going to bring up jurisdiction under the general welfare clause in that same section, but suffice it to say it is illogical to construe that the framers of the Constitution intended to give Congress unlimited powers through that clause, and then in the same section, go on to enumerate specific powers of Congress.
There is also the question of the meaning of the interstate commerce clause. Power-grabbing members of Congress use this one all the time for such things as banning guns in schools and imposing a playoff system on college football. I am sure members of Congress would argue that health care reform also falls under interstate commerce. Under this convoluted thinking everything could be regulated by Congress. Y'all seem to ignore the original purpose of the clause: to prevent states from imposing protectionist measures against each other’s industries. Case in point is our inability to purchase health coverage from other states.
Of course, the legislation also brings up other Constitutional issues besides whether Congress has jurisdiction over health care. There is the issue of forcing American consumers to purchase something against their will. There is also the concern that the Medicaid money for Nebraska which bought Senator Nelson’s vote is a violation of the equal protection clause, since other states will have to foot the bill for their portion of the increased Medicaid costs that the bill will cause. Any way you slice it, the Senate health care reform bill is fraught with all sorts of constitutional issues. You should have voted against the measure simply to honor your oath to the Constitution.
The second “c” plaguing the healthcare reform bill you voted for is cost. According to the Congressional Budget Office, claims that the legislation would save Medicare $246 billion are erroneous. In a statement, the CBO indicated that members of your party were essentially “double-counting the impact of the savings the legislation would generate” because the savings “can’t both finance new programs and help pay future expenses for elderly covered under the federal program.”
In your speech after voting for the measure, you indicated that the bill will both reduce costs and expand coverage. With all due respect, these two things are mutually exclusive. The subsidies Uncle Sam will pay to the millions of uninsured Americans so they can afford coverage will be enormously expensive. States will be burdened with paying their share of expanded Medicaid costs. Furthermore, your statement is reminiscent of the politicians’ claims in 1965 when Medicare Part A was passed. They claimed that costs would be $9 billion by 1990. The actual cost was $67 billion. In 1987, Medicaid added a special hospital subsidy to its coverage which was projected to cost $100 million. By 1992, costs stood at $11 billion per year. You politicians have a hard time saying no to people. Thus, given logical deduction and historical evidence, it is easier to believe that the Senate plan will dramatically increase costs.
The third “c” afflicting the Senate health care bill you supported is corruption. Thirteen senators got special perks for their votes totaling tens of billions of dollars. The most infamous were Mary Landrieu’s “Louisiana Purchase” and Ben Nelson’s “Nebraska Compromise.” If the bill was so good why did Harry Reid have to bribe members of his own party to vote for it? How could you support a measure that was laced with so much unfairness to your North Carolina constituents? Perhaps the biggest question is: since Reid needed every liberal vote three times to end debate why didn’t you hold out for a special perk for North Carolina, especially given our state’s budgetary woes?
Lastly, the Senate lacked the consent of the American people to pass the measure. By 53 to 36 percent, a majority of Americans disapproved of the legislation. By 73 to 18 percent, a huge number of Americans don’t believe you when you say the legislation will reduce future deficits. These polls are indicative of how far out of touch members of Congress have become.
In the final analysis, the Senate health care bill does nothing to tackle the causes of rising costs in health care. It does not provide for more consumer responsibility by addressing the 3rd party payer issue. It does not address the high cost of medication by allowing Americans to purchase cheaper American-made drugs from foreign countries. It does nothing to streamline the approval process, imposed by the Food and Drug Administration on drug companies, which limits competition and contributes to higher costs. Most importantly, attempts to curb health care costs are in vain as long as Congress continues to allow the reckless inflationary policies of the Federal Reserve to exist. The Fed’s politically motivated pumping of new dollars and credit into the economy, combined with our insatiable demand for health care, bids the costs of services higher. Only until we have a sound monetary system will we realize cost reductions in medical care.
In closing, you should be ashamed of your support for Harry Reid’s healthcare boondoggle. The Senate bill for which you voted lacks constitutionality, will not contain health care costs, was passed in a corrupt fashion, and was not what a majority of the American people wanted. May the forces of nullification awaken to confront Congress' stupidity on this issue!