No Life, No Liberty

by Dr. Gregory J. Brannon

Abortion: the word itself stirs strong emotions in most people. Why is that? Is it be because it is the ending of a ‘mistake’ applied to an innocent life? The truth must be uncovered; ignorance is not bliss. I hope to dig deeper into this issue in a thoughtful and loving way, providing factual information proving all life is precious. Romans 12:9 says, “Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” My love for the unborn is a sincere love, which I am privileged to be a part of nearly every day of my life. As a practicing OB/GYN for the past twenty-six years, I have been blessed to witness God’s miracle of conception and birth. I stand in awe of His amazing love and grace. I cling to the mercy He gives me each day.

The definition of abortion, according to Merriam-Webster is, “A medical procedure used to end a pregnancy and cause death to a fetus.” How have we culturally ignored the phrase “death to a fetus”? What is it which, has allowed this procedure to become so acceptable, causing the death of a ‘person’ is not considered anything more than eliminating an inconvenience? Historically, when the definition of words or interpretation of their meaning is changed to meet current views and/or prejudices, the original intent is diminished. There are moral absolutes. Altering their interpretation to fit the ‘current’ cultural mindset, ultimately leads to the destruction of the society.

Today, we are seeing the meaning of “person” change once again in our society. We have accepted abortion and the ‘cleaning’ of innocent life in the womb. But are we willing to go a step further and accept post-abortions? As far fetched as post birth abortions may sound to many of us, according to the Australian Journal of Medical Ethics, “If the death of a newborn is not wrongful to her on the grounds she cannot have formed any aim that she is prevented from accomplishing, then it should also be permissible to practice an after-birth abortion on a healthy newborn too, given that she has not formed any aim yet. There are two reasons which, taken together, justify this claim: The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus, that is, neither can be considered a ‘person’ in a morally relevant sense. It is not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense.”

In the founding of the Great American Republic ‘experiment’ of self-governance, a conscious decision was made to declare that “all men are created equal”. Did it really mean that all men are created ‘equal’? Did it really mean each of us are born with inalienable rights of human life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Sadly, the original authors of the constitution did not believe all men were created equal. Our founding fathers changed the meaning word: they changed human life, to property. We are still dealing with those ramifications because of that compromise.

During the mid-1930s, the German government passed a law, which considered Jewish people to be “sub-humans”. Therefore, they lost their ‘personhood’ within society at large. We all know what occurred next, the Holocaust. In German, the word “ubermensch” means “under man or sub-human”. This term was applied by the Nazi government to persons they deemed inferior such as the Jewish, Romanians, and Slavs. Untermensch became the law of the land. The Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935 were introduced into law in Germany. The people they felt were subhuman, were no longer afforded the rights of the citizens. The law was a direct result of the government replacing our Creator in the hearts and minds of the German citizenry.

The word ‘fetus’ actually means, “Viviparous” or “from life”. In Roman law, the term could be used to describe a child up to the age of adulthood. By changing the meaning of this word from being a person, to not being a person, detracts from what the word was initially meant to describe. When we change the meaning of a word to fit our needs, the results can and most times does, destruction to the most innocent among us.

The Declaration of Independence does not only declare to England that the thirteen original States should be free, but that all men are free. Although our government is secular, our Founders based this country on Judeo-Christian beliefs. The core belief being all men are created equal. Our government’s only role is to protect the rights of the individual so that each one of us has the opportunity to reach his or her highest potential.

Do we still hold dear to these foundational principal today? Are we truly a Christian country? Let the words of Fredrick Douglas reflect his belief: “Between the Christianity of this land, and the Christianity of Christ, I recognize the widest possible differences; so wide, that to receive the one as good, pure, and holy, is of necessity to reject the other as bad, corrupt and wicked…I love the pure, peaceable, and impartial Christianity of Christ; I, therefore, hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of this land. Indeed, I can see no reason, but the most deceitful one, for calling the religion of this land Christianity.” Apply Douglas’ words in the context of a baby in the womb speaking.

Pure Christianity is a relationship between you and your Savior Jesus Christ. Christ does not force you to receive Him. Our government is not a theocracy. The government’s only legitimate role is to protect our inalienable rights. The first of which, and utmost is God’s nature and God’s natural law to life. Based on this principal, the only, only legitimate law of government is established in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Here lies the key to a legitimate role of government: “To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” The consent is from you and me.

This is not a social issue, this is a moral, absolute issue. Changing the meaning of words does not negate the fact that the DNA of life occurs at the moment of conception. The fingerprint of all human life is cemented at that moment. Therefore, we must not waiver or compromise Wavering on these absolutes, as I have shown, has led to the horror of slavery and the tragedy of the Holocaust.

In 1850, The Fugitive Slave Law was passed, which stated any Caucasian could claim any black human being as a fugitive slave and take them back for bounty. Joshua Glover, a slave from Missouri, escaped to Wisconsin and said he wasn’t leaving. The Wisconsin legislature and the Wisconsin Supreme Court said he was a human being, therefore free. The United States Supreme Court unanimously said he, the property, must be returned to “his owner”. In other words, in the decision of the Supreme Court, the Federal Government is superior to the states. The State of Wisconsin said ‘no’, claiming states’ rights were superior. This led to the famous case of Ableman Booth in 1859. In this case, which was unanimously decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court decided it was superior to the State Court. This is a clear example of ‘usurpation’ of power by the Federal government over State sovereignty. There are no amendments giving the Supreme Court power to legislate and make law from the bench. The Supreme Court is bound to its duties as stated in the Constitution. A law is not a law if it’s unconstitutional and if it’s not based on God’s natural law. A human being -infant or slave is never private property. Therefore, all men (and women) regardless of age, color of skin or creed are created free.

Supreme Court Justice Brennen was known for a phrase during his time on the bench. It was called the “Strong Rule of 5”. He believed if he could persuade four other justices on the Supreme Court to agree with him, he could legislate from the bench. It is important to understand the role of the Supreme Court as described in Article III. The individual is sovereign. The individual formed a state. The state is superior to the Federal government. The federal government is the agent of the state, limited to perform eighteen certain functions described in Article I Section 8. The progressives of both parties have used the power of the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench. This is judicial tyranny. This has happened because our Representatives in Congress, both in the House and Senate, the Presidents and most importantly, the state legislatures, have abdicated their roles to their Constitutional oath as described in Article VI.

Prior to the decision of Roe v. Wade, was the Griswold case in Connecticut in 1966. This case, which went to the Supreme Court, discussed the issue of birth control. Where in the Constitution is there any mention of birth control-it isn’t. In Roe v. Wade the court looked at that case and reviewed the First, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to find what’s called ‘penumbra’, and interpreted this to mean a person’s privacy can lead them to take an innocent life. The vote was seven to two. Surprisingly to many, five of the justices who voted for legalization of abortion were Republicans. Paraphrasing Justice Byron White’s dissent, he stated the Supreme Court should have never heard this case, as it has no Constitutional standing. This flies in the face of the notion we must vote for any Republican president, then hope and pray we have five people on the Supreme Court who will reverse this decision. Our founders did not give us a Constitution binding us to men’s wishes. They did just the opposite. What we are now witnessing in the Supreme Court and with other progressives is the rule of men. As John Adams said, “We are not a nation of men, we are a nation of laws”. It is either the rule of man or the rule of law, and our Founding Fathers built a nation based on God’s natural law.

In 1866 Congress passed a law called the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which recognized all men as being created by God. All men have the right to life, liberty, and property. Then in 1868, these became the words of the Fourteenth Amendment. To paraphrase Justice Miller in 1873: if you ever use the Fourteenth Amendment for any other reason, to manipulate for other causes then we detract and degrade what it was intended for: to recognize that all human beings are made in God’s image.

Let’s examine the science of DNA. After conception, there is cardiac activity at day 18, with a closed circuit system pumping heart by day 21.We know there is neural activity on the spinal cord approximately day twenty. We know every organ is developed by week nine and simply grows from that point forward. Again our life fingerprint begins at conception. Let’s err on the side of innocence. There was a sanctity of life bill in 1996 by Congressman Stockman from Texas that had no support. In 2007, Congressman Paul had a sanctity of life bill which had no support. In 2013 Congressman Broun from Georgia had a sanctity of life bill which had no support. So we can confidently say the Federal government is not going to protect the unborn. Nevertheless, State legislatures must hold the federal government accountable to Article I Section 8. Period. This is not a social issue. This is a moral issue that has a constitutional answer. The Fifth Amendment states no life will be taken without due process. How about the baby in the womb? Who is speaking for them?

Peter Singer is a bioethics professor at Princeton, an atheist who believes in abortion, admits that life begins at conception but continues, ‘who cares’ if it isn’t beneficial to society? That’s Plato’s definition of society, not ours. By changing the meaning of persons, fetuses, humans, we have followed a path to this destruction. Today’s science is clear. I have never had a woman come into my OB/GYN and say, “Let me see my fetus” during an ultra sound visit. They always say, “Can we me see my baby?” Or as my wife used to say when she was pregnant, “Can we visit our baby?”

Patrick Henry, George Mason and others warned us about corrupt men giving implied powers to the Constitution. The ratification notes are key to this. The sovereign the states did not grant the federal government to have unanimous power. James Iredell of North Carolina wrote in March 1788, “If Congress, under pretense of exercising the power delegated to them, should, in fact, by the exercise of any other power, usurp upon the rights of the different Legislatures, or any private citizens, the people will be exactly in the same situation as if there had been an express provision against such power…It would be an act of tyranny.” James Wilson suggested that that the Necessary and Proper Clause, “‘gives no more or other powers’ than those enumerated in Article I Section 8.” George Nicholas stated in the Virginia Ratifying Convention that, “The clause which was affectedly called the sweeping clause contained no new grant of power…if it had been added at the end of every one of the enumerated powers, instead of being inserted at the end of all, it would have been obvious to anyone that it was no augmentation of power…As it would grant no new power if inserted at the end of each clause, it could not when subjoined to the whole.”

Archibald McClain of North Carolina said, “If Congress should make a law beyond the powers and the spirit of the Constitution, should we not say to Congress, ‘You have no authority to make this law. There are limits beyond which you cannot go. You cannot exceed the power prescribed by the Constitution. You are amenable to us for your conduct. This act is unconstitutional. We will disregard it, and punish you for the attempt.’” The clear answer is in Article VI, clause 2 of the Constitution states that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and pursuance thereof. These great men still speak truth from beyond the tomb.

Today we have some national pro-life groups and politicians who use the love of life to manipulate the electorate for power and money. Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (NC-R) is a recent example of one politician that waivered on the pro-life issue. Although she was originally a sponsor for the bill, she ultimately withdrew her sponsorship (a very unusual move) and did not support the bill restricting abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy. The National Right to Life is an example of a pro-life group, which seems to place importance of power and money above the expense of innocent lives. According to their website, their mission statement is as follows: “The mission of National Right to Life is to protect and defend the most fundamental right of humankind, the right to life of every innocent human being from the beginning of life to natural passing. It would seem then they would endorse candidates that adhere to the same mission. Sadly, the National Right to Life has a history of publicly endorsing candidates that do make exceptions more than for the life of the mother. The 2014 senate race in NC is one such example. reported, “National Right to Life has endorsed Tillis…And yet, as the News & Observer reports, Tillis cannot be relied on to defend all human life. Under Tillis’s column on the abortion issue, it states: “Should be illegal except to save the life of the mother, and in cases of rape and incest.” The National Right to Life supports candidates that do not support all innocent life. Rape and incest are horrific events, but if there is a child conceived, the child is still innocent life.

One woman who has chosen to share her story is Jennifer Christie. Mrs. Jennifer Christy was raped while on a business trip. Soon after the rape, Jennifer found out that she was pregnant. Jennifer, along with her husband believed the life growing inside her was innocent and given to her by God. Their faith helped them walk through this difficult journey. She wrote of her experience in In an incredible example of God’s unconditional love, the Christie’s have chosen to have the baby and love and raise him. It was one of my greatest blessings to be their OB/GYN and walk beside them during this pregnancy. To God be the glory!

If an innocent baby in the womb is not worthy of personhood, what about-the disabled, the sick, the elderly. Can they also be grouped together as not qualify for human rights? The eugenics movement forced sterilization in our country, through the 1970s in some states. In the Buck v Bell (1927) decision, written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., the Court ruled a state statute permitting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the intellectually disabled, “for the protection and health of the state” did not violate the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The decision was largely seen as an endorsement of negative eugenics—the attempt to improve the human race by eliminating “defectives” from the gene pool. The goal was to prevent “three more generations of imbeciles”. Additionally, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was a huge proponent of the eugenics movement, who said, “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” More than half of the abortions performed in America are on people of color, is her vision being fulfilled?

The answer is simple. State legislatures need to hold the federal government accountable to their functions: no more, no less. As a society we need to go back to our beliefs in the Declaration of Independence that says, “…all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness” We cannot be wavering like many did over slavery. We must be unwavering on moral principle. History is demanding an answer. The innocent, since 1973 are calling us. It’s time to look at the guidepost of history. Look at slavery, the holocaust, post birth abortions and compulsory sterilization. When we turn away from the true definition of a Created being, we weaken the meaning of life. Congress can pass the Sanctity of Life Bill and then the States and Congress initiate the amendment process (Article V) to make the law Constitutional; similar to the abolition of slavery.

Innocent life whether inside the womb or outside is guaranteed the right to life. The right to life is both morally and constitutionally protected. We must stand firm in this principle and never waiver.

“True liberty is our answer…may they reject all systems, and try liberty; for liberty is an acknowledgment of faith in God and His works”

–Frederic Bastiat 


The Health of America

The Health of America

by Dr. Gregory J. Brannon

“We are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” This declaration is the cornerstone on which our Republic was built. God bestows individual rights, not the government. This fact will be our guide through the evaluation of the health care bill passed by Congress in 2010. Without life, there can be no liberty or pursuit of happiness. Thus, understanding the various perspectives of life and the value placed upon it is crucial to understanding how philosophical differences arise as it relates to health care. When reviewing these perspectives, we will examine whether the individual or the collective is considered to be paramount. The two choices are diametrically opposed, individual choice versus a collective determination.

The Value of Life
Our historical tour begins with a look at two men with very different worldviews, Hippocrates and Plato. Hippocrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician who is considered to be the Father of Western Medicine.[1] His belief was underpinned by the “laws of god”. This means that it was not incumbent upon man to determine the outcome of life, but that of a higher being. The Hippocratic Oath dates back to the time of his teachings and has been taken as a pledge to practice medicine ethically for over 2300 years. In part, it states, “I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it nor will I make a suggestion to this effect. Similarly, I will not give to a woman an abortive remedy. In purity and holiness, I will guard my life and my art.” [2] This statement reflects a view that individuals were to be the center of the treatment plan and that life was valued and should be preserved.

Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher who, along with Aristotle and Socrates, is thought by many to have helped to lay the foundation for Western Civilization.[3] Plato, in his Socratic dialogue, The Republic, describes society as divided into three strata: 1) guardians (philosopher-king), 2) auxiliaries, and 3) producers. The guardians were the rulers, the auxiliaries were the enforcers, and the producer produced for the city-state or collective. The view in this dialogue illustrates that the individual was replaceable, a cog in the wheel. To further illustrate this, Plato states, “If a man was not able to live in an ordinary way, the physician had no business to cure him: for such a cure would have been no use to himself or the state.”[4] Also in the Republic, “A woman is to bear children for the city from the age of twenty o the age of forty.”, but if the woman over 40 years of age were to become pregnant, “they should be very careful not to let a single fetus see the light of day, but if one is conceived and forces its way to the light, they must deal with it in the knowledge that no nurture is available for it. That’s certainly sensible.”[5] Hippocrates and Plato offer two distinct views on life, both which are present in society today.

Of these two views, one must ask themselves, which shows life as precious? Alexis de Tocqueville, a French philosopher, and historian is best known for writing Democracy in America, which introduces the concept of a “soft tyranny”.[6] Even when the government is a benevolent government, taking care of everyone’s needs will lead to a society of complicated bureaucracy that oppresses innovation and individualism. America is comprised of fluid socioeconomic strata. Our society was born in rugged individualism, which encapsulates individual responsibility. This was expressed in past generations in the form of self-sufficiency, charity, and generosity. With how neighbor took care of neighbor in times of distress. With God’s law at the center of one’s worldview, charity follows suit. The Golden rule, honoring God and treating your neighbor as yourself, is an expression of this. Without this worldview as a foundation, elitists and social engineers will not draw the same conclusion.

The Value of Liberty

Benjamin Franklin stated, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” [7 A wave of thinking that supports the collective good and does so under the banner of social justice and equality uses accountability as a weapon against the constructs of individual freedom. It does so by suggesting repeatedly that you are not responsible for the “ills,” which befall you. You are a victim and the “benevolent” government, as warned by Tocqueville, “would love to right the wrong and absolve you of your responsibility to suffer the consequences of poor choices, thereby creating an entitlement which will care for us from the womb to the tomb.” Let us never forget, in America, the government gets its limited powers from “We the people”. The government does not produce anything. It takes from the fruits of the laborer at the consent of the laborer for the sole purpose of exercising the expressed functions in our Constitution.

When we as Americans look to our government to manage the affairs of our health, we are in effect, absolving ourselves of the freedoms that true liberty entails. Rather than being empowered, we are empowering the government instead. Thus, as we look at the issue of health care in America, there are several questions we must try to address:

• Is health care in America broken? If so, how?
• Why are health care costs what they are?
• What is in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
• What has been our prior experience with government involvement in health care?
• Is the PPACA, or any other healthcare bill, Constitutional?

Is health care in America broken?

In 1961 Ronald Reagan stated, “Now in our country under our free enterprise system, we have seen medicine reach the greatest heights that it has in any country in the world. Today the relationship between patient and doctor in this country is something to be envied any place.”[8] Since 1961, when Reagan made this statement, in opposition to socialized medicine, healthcare has only improved. Today health care costs 17.3% of GDP.9 Who is to say that 17.3% is too high a cost? Some bureaucrat? Who should be the one to put a price on a life?

Dr. Donald Berwick, head of the Medicare and Medicaid agency stated in an essay published in Health Affairs in 2008, “Any health-care funding plan that is just, equitable, civilized and humane, must redistribute wealth from the richer to the poorer and the less to the less fortunate.” He went on to say, “Excellent healthcare is by definition redistribution.”[10] I call that Socialism.

Let’s look at the health care systems of other western countries. The model most often discussed by advocates of socialized medicine is Canada. The Truth About Obamacare, written by Sally C. Pipes, Sally points out many disturbing facts relating to Canada’s socialized medicine. In 2009, Canada’s healthcare system had 694,161 patients who were waiting for surgery and necessary treatment. The average wait time for these patients was 16.1 weeks to see a specialist. 25- 30% of Canadian medical equipment is more than 10 years old, while in America, medical equipment averages less than 5 years of age.[11] The most important aspect of any healthcare system in the treatment of disease. A study published in Lancet Oncology in 2008 pointed out, America had a better survival rate of five years after diagnosis for 13 out of 18 of the most prevalent cancers when compared to those same health systems in Europe and Canada that are heralded as being so exceptional.[12] The life expectancy in America, when you eliminate car accidents and homicide, is the highest in the world. This is significant given that we are one of the few countries in the world that follow the exact protocol of what a live birth is according to the World Health Organization (WHO). For example, some countries artificially increase their life expectancy rates when they do not count premature births (France and Belgium) or births until the baby has reached a certain weight or length (Switzerland).[13]

Why are health care costs what they are?

Interestingly enough, the current costs of health care can be traced back to government intervention, where the government did not allow free market forces to manage costs. The FDR administration imposed wage and price controls in the early 1940’s in a failed effort to help the costs of World War II. Because of this, companies competing for good labor used benefits as an enticement when hiring employees since they were not longer allowed to increase wages. October 26th, 1943 an IRS tax ruling confirmed health benefits paid by employers were tax exempt. That ruling formalized the third-party payer system.[14] Then, in 1965, we got Medicare and Medicaid, a government-run third-party payer. What did all of this do? It increased prices. The economics of this scenario illustrate anytime a third party gets between the producer and the recipient of the goods and/or services, prices go up. The market forces of best cost-benefit for services rendered are no longer allowed to play out between the provider and the consumer and rapid price escalation ensues. Why would the consumer care about the cost when he or she no longer was accountable for the bill? In an attempt to offset these rapidly increasing costs, the third-party payer resorts to decreasing access to services and/or providers of series. Certainly, this does not resonate with the declaration of “pursuit of happiness.” Now the government that caused the problem in the first place, wants to fix it.

What’s in the health care bill that recently passed?

To start, we have the following[15]:
• 159 new agencies and boards
• Taxes
• Medicaid tax increase of 1.45% to 2.35
• Unearned Income tax increase of 3.8%
• Tax to insurance company-$14.3 billion/year o Taxes to pharma-2.8 billion/year
• Medical divices-2.9% tax
• A $529 billion cut in Medicare
• Costs are $2.3 trillion
• CATO Institute states that if it were scored the same as the Clinton health care plan was scored in 1994, it would be $7 trillion.
But what actually helps with health care? Perhaps the following:
o 10,500 IRS agents at a cost of $16.5 billion
o Regulations on gold and silver coins
o 1099s on every small business transaction over $600
o Government control of student loans
o Regulations on fields of medicine-50% of graduates to go into family practice or general surgery

This does not count the special deals to get the bill passed such as the Nebraska kickback, the Louisiana purchase, etc. To emphasize the redistribution of wealth aspect, families making more than $348,000 a year will have an additional $52,000 a year in taxes and reduced benefits.[16] Those earning $18,000 to $55,000 a year will have a net increase of $2,000 a year.[17] Yes, this really helps health care. It helps so much that 222 organizations as of today, mainly unions, have asked for and received exemptions.[18] Many of these are the same organizations that were so adamantly in favor of this legislation.

As mandates on individuals, employers, and insurance companies, there are many. Can you keep your own insurance if you want? No. If there are any changes to your current plan, it is revoked. In reality, what these mandates do is to remove people from private insurance and add them to government insurance (i.e. Medicaid). The Heritage Foundation estimated that 17.2 million people will be affected by this.[19]

What has been our prior experience with government involvement in health care?

The government has tried to predict costs in the past but has failed miserably. The 1965 cost predictions, as of 2009, were off 917% for Medicare and 1700% for Medicaid.[20] What if our government predictors are off on their predictions for the current health care bill by 10 fold? The resulting error could range from $20 to $40 trillion. This is before all of our other unfunded liabilities which are already over $111 trillion dollars.[21] The world’s current money supply is the equivalent of about $60 trillion.[22] Are you beginning to see the futility of our entitlement programs? What will the value of our currency be in order to print enough to fund our debts?

Is the health care bill Constitutional?

Article 1 Section 8 lists eighteen enumerated functions for the limited government. We must look at the Constitution in its historical time to see what the Founding Fathers meant when they drafted the Constitution. Article 1 Section 8 Clause 1 states:

“The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;”

This does not mean “welfare state”. How does one know? We simply look to the words of the men who drafted them. We were never a socialized state. Here are a few quotes from our Founders:

“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.”[23] -James Madison, 1792 letter to Edmund Pendleton

“Our tenant ever was, and, indeed, it is almost landmark which divides the federalist from republicans that congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but were to those specifically enumerated; and that as if it were never meant they should raise money for purposes which the enumeration did not place under their action. Consequently, that the specification of powers is a limitation of the purposes for which they may raise money.”[24] -Thomas Jefferson, 1817 letter to Albert Gallatin

“(T)he government of the United States is a definite government, confined to specified objects. It is not like the state governments, whose powers are more general. Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government.”25
-James Madison, 1794 speech in the House of Representatives

The Founders put an exclamation point on this with the 10th Amendment to the Constitution which states:

“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.”

“General welfare” means you can raise taxes to fund the eighteen functions only. If it did not mean this, then why were we not a socialized country from the beginning? All three branches of government must be held accountable to the standard of the Constitution. “If in the opinion of the people, the distribution of modification of the Constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation…the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.”[26] -George Washington

Our elected officials and judiciary branch have taken an oath to defend the Constitution. It’s time we hold them accountable not just to their words, but to their actions as well. We the people must never forget we have consented to be governed by our elected officials, but only through the limited enumerated powers, we bestowed upon them via the Constitution.

The Value of Pursuing Happiness

What can be done to improve the best health care system in the world?
The answer to this question is simple, free markets. Free markets are the very embodiment of the “pursuit of happiness”.
Article 1 Section 8 Clause 3, the “Commerce Clause” states that Congress shall have the power…

“To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”

In the 18th century, the definition to regulate meant to make regular free trade across state lines (i.e. to have no tariffs between states). This is one of the enumerated functions. For instance, with about 267 health insurance carriers nationwide, it makes sense that more open competition would reduce costs and increase quality.[27] By stifling consumer choice, the government denies access to potentially lower cost, better quality insurers, and allows complacent, entrenched insurers to maintain a stranglehold on the individual. This restricts the pursuit of happiness rather than promoting it.

We do not need a regulatory bureaucracy at any government level or third party payer to dictate the providers’ costs. Rather, it should be the people whom health care providers serve via the free market. Social engineers do not trust the individual, but our Founders did.

“To take form one because it is thought that his own industry and that of his father’s has acquired too much in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association-the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”[28]
-Thomas Jefferson, 1816 Letter to Joseph Milligan Conclusion

The health care bill has nothing to do with the improvement of health care, but with the centralized control of the individual’s life. It forms a structural bureaucracy to control the people from the womb to end of life. This is evidenced by the fact that those who put these laws in place are exempt from many aspects of the very laws they have passed.

“The House of Representatives…can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and on their friends as well as the great mass of society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interest, and sympathy of sentience, of which few governments have furnished examples, but without every government degenerates into tyranny.”[29] -James Madison, Federalist No. 57, 1788

I implore us in the battlefield of ideas to fight for liberty and freedom and the responsibility which comes from victory. History has shown the free exchange of ideas has always led to more freedom and prosperity, while large centralized bureaucracies have always led to fewer freedoms, less quality, fewer choices, and more control of the individual. Let history be our guide with respect to our decisions to retain or release control of our health management.

With a bill that is so large and so ill-conceived, it is quite easy to find fault. However, one cannot argue the primary purpose of this health care bill has been achieved. That is, to take control of the individual’s life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. We asked at the beginning who is paramount, the collective or the individual. It is obvious from a thorough evaluation of this behemoth of centralized government healthcare control, this has nothing to do with health care. Rather this uses healthcare to advance the welfare of the collective at the expanse of the individual.

Ultimately, it comes down to principles and not policy. These policies, while misguided, are even more misaligned with the Founding principles of our country. Where the rights of the individual are paramount and the government is restricted from encroaching upon the liberties of the people, even when doing so under the most altruistic of intents.