Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's Only the Constitution, Mr. Obama

It’s Only the Constitution, Mr. Obama
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
February 12, 2012

Barack Obama STILL doesn’t get it. Please send a copy of the United States Constitution to the White House because it is obvious he hasn’t read it recently, if at all. How on earth did Obama get through Harvard Law School?

Obama was flagrantly wrong when attempting to force Catholic institutions such as schools, hospitals and charities to provide contraception as part of the mandated Obamacare. Obama lost track of something called the First Amendment, wherein it says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

Obama demanded that the aforementioned Catholic institutions abandon Church doctrine and principles or face financial penalties for not caving to government interference with how a religion operates in these United States.

Having faced the justified ire of thousands of Catholics, pro-life adherents and many more from other faiths who support religious liberty, Obama changed course. But in doing so, he still has yet to learn his constitutional lessons.

Obama announced that instead of mandating Catholic institutions provide contraception, he would force insurance companies to provide contraceptives directly to the employees of those organizations for free.

Is the federal government now mandating an entire industry that it must give away a product? And, does anyone actually believe the insurance companies are just going to bow to Obama’s demands out of pure altruism? Don’t count on it. Instead, count on the insurance companies passing along the cost of the contraceptives they “give” away to us, the taxpayers.

Obama still just doesn’t get it. The federal government does not have the authority to force an industry to simply give away to some, for what others must pay. The Constitution does not give the Executive Branch such authority. The insurance industry, for all its pitfalls and foibles, still has the right to makes its own decisions and turn a profit. It’s part of the system of capitalism by which the economic principles of the United States are based.

Couple the contraception controversy with the overall constitutionally questionable Obamacare as a whole and we have a president who really must have been absent the semester the Constitution was taught. Here Obama is commanding the American people to purchase a product it may or may not want – medical insurance.

Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the United States Constitution, commonly known as the commerce clause, gives Congress the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with Indian Tribes.” Nowhere does the commerce clause grant the Executive Branch ANY power, instead giving it to the Legislative Branch. And nowhere does the commerce clause give the Legislative Branch the authority to mandate how individual citizens spend their money or force them to purchase a specific product – in this case, medical insurance.

Should a person not wish to make such a purchase, he or she should have the freedom to not make that purchase knowing that the onus of responsibility for medical expenses falls exclusively on these people who have chosen to remain uninsured.

And make no mistake; this issue is also not about restricting the rights of women to procure contraceptives either. That is merely a canard by the left to scare people into supporting unconstitutional edicts by an administration seeking to control individuals’ rights regarding medical care. Women are perfectly able to purchase contraceptives on their own and we the people should not be paying for them with our tax dollars.

This issue is as much about contraception as Roe v. Wade (1973) is about abortion. Both are unconstitutional and both trample on freedoms. Obamacare tramples on the freedom of religion and violates the commerce clause. Roe v. Wade violates the 10th Amendment of the Federal Constitution when the rights within that decision should have remained with the several states.

To Obama, I say get ye to a copy of the Constitution of the United States.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and educator living in Westfield, IN.

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