Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Health Care

Delegation Run Amok

Betsy McCaughey points to some of the lowlights in the House health care bill.  I was particularly struck by this bit:

Sec. 224 (p. 118) provides that 18 months after the bill becomes law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services will decide what a "qualified plan" covers and how much you'll be legally required to pay for it.

In the days before the idea of a living constitution was taken to constitutionalize whatever liberals wanted (one can always say that in light of historical changes, x must now be constitutional), there was an understanding that Congress may not delegate so much legislative power. That's why the Court, quite rightly, ruled the NIRA unconstitutional. (Thanks to the supposedly reactionary Court, the New Deal known to history is less arbitrary than it would have been had they not stepped in). If one reads the transcript of the case, one finds that the rules the New Deal created were so idiotic that they were literally laughed out of court.  I hope our modern bureaucrats will be more reasonable, but doubt they will be.

Letting Congress delegate the authority to decide what is a "qualified plan" allows Congressmen to avoid responsibility. That's precisely why they're not supposed to be able to delegate such powers to quasi-executive, administrative agencies.

Categories > Health Care

Discussions - 1 Comment

The only way for government health care to work is to bypass the democratic process. If If decisions about the funding were left to the people, they would make the "pay in" too low and the "pay out" too high and bankrupt the government. This begs the question of government health care, but that question is settled, now.

Government in charge of life and death may make Social Security reform easier. People live too long for the present system to work. That people live too long is a major fault of the private medical system we have today. Medicine has been too successful in keeping people healthy and live further in old age. I understand that average life expectancy is 82 years old, now, which makes for a long retirement, especially of the post war baby boom generation. Leaving life and death a private matter when government has to pay for a lengthy retirement is far too expensive. Someone has to make the hard decisions and who better than government bureaucrats.

Personally, I sure hope the Supreme Court sees the constitutionality of this matter the same way you do, Richard.

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