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An Open Letter to Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC)

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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!

Your constituent,
Kenn Jacobine

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About Kenn Jacobine

  • JackieJenson

    Thank you, Senator Hagan, you did the right thing for me and millions of other middle class Americans. I know there is a lot of pressure from special interest groups and the uninformed to do the wrong thing. You voted your conscience for the American people. You are a hero!!!

  • Bon Gioni

    I think Senator Hagan did the right thing in voting for health care reform. She did not cave in to insurance company lobbyists as the Republicans did. It only proves she is working for the people and not for the fat cats.

  • TerriG

    I would also like to thank Senator Hagan. I am paying half my income for health care and if nothing is done, I will soon be among the uninsured. This bill is a Godsend to me. Keep up the good work.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Folks,

    Again, the biggest reason why healthcare costs so much is because of the government’s involvement and the historic inflationary monetary policy of the Federal Reserve. This bill will only make the matter worse. I sincerely wish you all the best, but this bill isn’t going to help you.

  • In the Know

    Once the government is involved it will bring costs down because the government will be able to negotiate lower prices and start using methods such as evidence based medicine and pay by outcome instead of pay by procedure. Medicare and tri-care have a much lower cost than private insurance, so I am not worried about government intervention. Once government subsidies kick in, you can bet they will do all they can to make the system cost effective. I just wish they would include a public option.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/christine-lakatos/ Christine

    Right on, Kenn. Great points on the four C’s! May I add another? Control…government that is.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    I have maintained for a long time that those folks that want all kinds of unconstitutional federal services should be the ones who pay for it. So, you get your public option, and your medicaid, and medicare and it is paid for with dollars. On my income tax form I get to opt-out of services I don’t want and therefore do not have to pay for them. One more thing – we use different currencies as well, because the amount of dollars that would be printed to pay for all these federal services would be huge thus debasing the dollar and causing prices in dollars to rise thus more printing and more debasement etc, etc, etc…

    You see we would be buying the same goods and services in America but I would be paying much lower prices because my currency wouldn’t be printed out the wazoo. Eventually, most Americans, if they didn’t come over before this point, would opt-out of federal services and using the dollar because they would have every economic incentive to do so.

    Right now, I get dumped on twice. I have to pay for these irrational government services and Uncle Sam destroys my purchasing power at the same time.

    Given the repeated ignoring of government failures throughout history maybe the American people need a more blatant comparison between the free market and government controled endeavors.

    Leftie,

    Please go to The World’s Smallest Political Quiz to educate yourself on the differences between rightwingers and libertarians.

  • JJ

    She does n’t work for us… 900 billion and they just gave freddie and fannie about 280 billion … she caved to the insurance companies … this is a wind fall for them … folks who do you think will pay for this?? … and Terri you need to find a job with better insurance or that pays better rather then trying to getting the gov’t to pay for everything. Have you considered working for one of those vile mega corporations?

  • Terry

    Kenn,

    Thank you for an great article. It was informed and well presented so that even the least of us should be able to understand.

    Unfortunately, Senator Hagan went to Washington and in her own words “hugged Harry Reid and told him that she had just been singing his praises”. She belongs to the political machine that is the DNC. She has yet to represent the people of North Carolina. My only wish is that we could recall her before she does any more damage.

    Again thank you for the thoughtful article.
    Terry

  • Baronius

    Kenn, by the standards of modern jurisprudence, are there any Constitutional problems in this legislation?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Baronius,

    Modern jurisprudence is irrelevant. Contrary to contemporary opinion the Constitution is not a living, ever-changing with the times document. The Founders gave power hungry Congresses the ability to do whatever they wanted if only they would amend the document first. Of course, this is too much work and 95 percent or more of the time would end in failure, so they just do what they want anyway and they make up convoluted justifications for their actions.

    You know I don’t dispute that healthcare needs fixing, but I also don’t believe in the end justifies the means. If something is illegal for Congress to do and it does it then I see no reason to obey that law. The Civil Rights Movement based its existence on this premise.

    I also believe that even if the Constitution was on Congress’ side history has shown that the federal government is very ineffective at providing services to the citizenry anyway. Usually, the opposite of its intentions happen, causing more action which makes things even worse.

  • Baronius

    Kenn, you misunderstand my purpose. I’m not saying that the Constitution is living. I’m asking if, according to screwy modern understanding of the founding document, the health care proposal conflicts with it. It’s all well and good that we understand how far we’ve strayed from original understanding of the Constitution, but that won’t get five nay votes in the Supreme Court. What will get five votes to overturn?

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Nothing will get 5 nay votes with the Supremes. And this is telling since six of the justices have been appointed by presidents from the so-called party of small government – Republicans. That is why I mentioned nullification at the end of my article. In my view, the only thing left is for the states to protest the coming billions of dollars of unfunded mandates that DC is going to place on them. Congress is oblivious to the fact that it can print as much money as it needs to waste while the states do not have the same luxury. Perhaps this will bring about the breaking point.

  • Richard

    I admit that we are not all informed as we should be,however it seems to me that as a nation we are against this wont sombody listen to us up there? Please.

  • Baronius

    Kenn, I don’t think we’ve talked about it much on BC, but I’ve seen a lot of online discussion about repealing the 17th Amendment (the direct election of senators). What’s your opinion? I’d prefer it if senators served at the pleasure of the state legislature.

  • Don

    It appears Kay Hagan is just another
    self serving Democrat Senator, who
    could less about the people who voted
    to put her in office.

  • Kenn Jacobine

    Baronius,

    Sorry for the delay in responding – just got back to Qatar. I have been thinking about doing an article on repealing the 17th. Appointment of senators on its face seems corrupt, nepotistic, and downright unrepublican. But, unfunded mandates on the states would go away overnight. The states as individual sovereign entities would be recognized and this would benefit federalism. Senators would view themselves as servants of the states and not federal officials that are above all of us.

    I bet if Kay Hagan was appointed by the North Carolina legislature (regardless of whether it was Repub. or Dem) she would have voted against Reid’s healthcare because of increased costs on states and bribes given to Landreau and Nelson. We wouldn’t be looking at this huge monstrosity being thrust upon us.