Being Right

Kate Hicks

The healthcare debate currently consuming our country has two equally determined sides. Headlines scream the alternating arguments – one side saying that the government owes the people healthcare, the other side warning of the dire consequences of quite literally putting our lives into the hands of the feds.

Given that I’m a hardcore conservative, I know you can all guess which side I stand on here. Of course I don’t support Obamacare or Kennedycare or whomever-you-want-to-name-it-for-care. Canada and Great Britain exemplify the many reasons I don’t support it. Whether it’s long lines for simple antibiotics, a union-like corps of doctors rendered unavailable on Fridays and weekends by the scant pay the government mandates or people fleeing to America to procure cancer treatments the government won’t pay for (which, by the way, we can’t do if we implement this system), the whole idea of nationalized healthcare frightens me.

As intelligent, curious people, I’m hoping you, my fellow students, have kept up on the news surrounding the controversy. I’m also hoping, therefore, that have heard the conservative arguments against healthcare, because I’m not going to reiterate them here. Instead, I will tell you the real reason we should all be opposed to national healthcare.

Most of us on this campus are Americans, yes? And I’m pretty sure we’re all smart enough to know that America exists as it is because of the Constitution, written in 1787 and implemented two years later. When considered in the light of this document, the healthcare argument has absolutely no bearing in the federal government.

The battle over national healthcare has a correct answer, but it isn’t any of the ones I have previously mentioned.

In fact, the very discussion of national health care necessitates tossing the Constitution out the proverbial window. We could easily stop the rhetoric on whether we’ll have to sacrifice care quality, if this will worsen the debt, blah blah blah, if only we would turn to the founding document.

In order to justify their policy initiatives, liberals hysterically cling to their “living document” idea. The Constitution is outdated! Its rights and protections ebb and flow with the changing times! The national government needs to deal with health care because that outdated piece of moldy paper doesn’t say anything about it!

Hmm…Raise your hand if you can see why this last argument is exactly why the national government should not deal with healthcare. If you said “because of the enumerated powers clause,” then you have read the Constitution. As an aside, it’s deplorable that I should be pleased to know that, rather than have expected everyone to have known that’s the answer.

Nevertheless, correct. The enumerated powers clause. You know, the one that says any power not explicitly named to the feds belongs to the states.

Of course we shouldn’t have federally mandated/subsidized/paid for/whatever healthcare. The Constitution doesn’t give the feds the right to pay for, plan or even think about healthcare.

The founders were brilliant, and their document is anything but outdated. The genius of the enumerated powers clause comes from the fact that the founders foresaw that the nation would face new problems in future centuries. In writing the Constitution, they sought to limit the federal government’s jurisdiction as much as possible. Therefore, they handed the reins to the states on anything not theretofore named as a federal power. So the enumerated powers clause – I can’t say that enough – renders obsolete the national dialogue (cue purring liberals at the mention of their favorite counter-terrorism tactic) on healthcare. The issue belongs to the states.

Now, should the argument revert to the state level, suddenly it becomes a much easier measure to defeat. Firstly, a number of states – you know, the red ones – would never pass state-wide health care legislation. Besides those given defeats, however, smaller groups of people often are easier to persuade.

The arguments against government-funded healthcare are numerous and extremely provable. They just shouldn’t take place on a national stage.

The president’s slippery rhetoric won’t hold up against the simple genius of the Constitution. It’s time we turn back to words of the document he swore to protect and defend.