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Email: "Constitutionality Of The Health Care Bill"

September 11, 2009 11:05 am ET

The following email has been widely forwarded.  Media Matters Action Network has written a response to the text below.  Please feel free to copy and paste it and send to your friends.

Constitutionality Of The Health Care Bill

[note - all mistakes below are original to text of email]

Response

Hey, thanks for sending that email my way. 

It's nuts how many rumors are swirling around out there about the health bills.  It's hard to know which ones are true and which ones are just crazy internet rumors.

If this one were true, I'd be pretty upset - so I decided to see if I could find out for myself.

It seems the email originated as a blog post by Michael Connolly, who claims to be a "Constitutional Law Instructor." That's very misleading.  Mr. Connolly doesn't actually work at a university or law school, but gives lessons online at www.ed2go.com whose motto is: "Learn it on Tuesday, Use it on Wednesday!" I don't know about you, but that sounds pretty shady to me.

That's like me claiming to be a pro football coach because I have a fantasy football team.

Check out his page: http://www.ed2go.com/cgi-bin/oic3/newcrsdes.cgi?name=firstclass&aw=yyy&course=cl1

As for the content of his blog post, it seems as if the fake professor is using fake information.

The email claimed health reform would lead to rationing of health services, especially for seniors.  That's not true.  I came across a well-researched article in Newsweek that calls this a "lie" simply intended to scare people into opposing reform.  You can read it yourself: http://www.newsweek.com/id/212131/page/2

The email also says the bills would provide free health care for illegal immigrants. Again, this is a blatant lie. The bill itself even states "No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens." You can see for yourself on page 143 http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/AAHCA-BillText-071409.pdf

The email also says reform would result in a "government takeover" of health care. That's not true either. I found a website called FactCheck.org that looks at this assertion & flat out debunks it.  The government would not make medical decisions or force American patients to do anything they didn't want to - it would just give people to option to purchase a reasonably priced health insurance plan.  That's it.

The website wrote that "Obama has long said he would allow individuals or small businesses to buy insurance through a public plan - like the one now available to members of Congress. But nobody would be forced to drop his or her current insurance, and private plans would exist as they do now." You can read more at http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/government-run-health-care/

As for "Professor" Connolly's claim that health care reform is unconstitutional, that's also wrong.  This interpretation of the 10th amendment is an extremist view held by people who believe almost everything is unconstitutional. They think the same thing about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the federal highway system, rules regulating airplane safety and anti-discrimination laws.

In reality, the Constitution gives congress the power to "lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises" and to "provide for....the general welfare of the United States." It also allows Congress "to regulate commerce... among the several states." Health care is a huge part of our nation's economy, and definitely falls under the interstate commerce clause of the constitution. 

If you want to find more information on this, I found some great websites:

http://thinkprogress.org/2009/08/19/bachmann-unconstitutional/

http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=rally_round_the_true_constitution

I think by now you can see that pretty much every part of this email is a lie.  So hopefully that helps put your mind at ease.

Have a good week.



 


Posted in - Health Care - Viral Email