The Big Think

August 17, 2009

Healthcare and the Constitution

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 3:14 pm

Is the proposed National Healthcare system constitutional? Some say it’s not. It’s an interesting argument based on the Enumerated Powers clause and something I have admittedly not thought a lot about. I’m sure there are very smart legal experts on both sides at very high levels who believe that a federally mandated healthcare system is/isn’t constitutional. I wonder how that argument would shake out? Can’t remember the last time a planned program that was so large went to the SCOTUS. We may see it happen.

My guess is that it isn’t only because the writers were in the business of throwing off monarchical shackles. The word FREE or LIBERTY occurs many, many times in the constitution. Where FEDERAL or GOVERNMENT occurs, however, it’s usually preceded or followed closely by some sort of limiting word (SHALL NOT, LIMITED TO, CONSTRAINED, etc). They even went so far as to say “unless we specifically wrote a federal power into this document, that power goes to the states”. Seems a pretty strong argument against a mandatory, federally controlled national healthcare system. The framers’ intent is clearly one of severely limited central rule. We’ve just slowly gotten used to an imbalance of state and federal powers in favor of Washington D.C.

If you want to amend the Constitution to allow a significant change in the balance of state vs. federal powers, there is a way to do it. Short of that, though, the framers intent w/r/t federal overreaching was pretty clear.

Flying

Filed under: Technology — jasony @ 3:00 pm

Cool! 24hours of air traffic in one quick movie.

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