The PatriotPost.USDigest Â· Friday, November 20, 2009
Where is the constitutional authority for a federal mandate that individuals must buy health insurance? Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says that one's easy: "The very first enumerated power gives the power to provide for the common defense and the general welfare. So it's right on, right on the front end." For those who don't follow Sen. Merkley's brilliant explication, he refers to the Constitution's Preamble, which, among several other things, says that the Constitution was written to "promote the general Welfare," though the Preamble doesn't list enumerated powers.
Furthermore, James Madison, primary author of the Constitution, vehemently disagreed, writing, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
Thomas Jefferson likewise stated that if Congress could "do anything they please to provide for the general welfare ... [i]t would reduce the whole instrument [the Constitution] to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please." For the simpletons in Congress, Jefferson concluded, "Certainly no such universal power was meant to be given them." Regardless of what Senator Jeff Merkley says.