S.424 – TO AFFIRM THE RIGHTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF THE NINTH AND TENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

South Carolina became the latest state to pass a resolution affirming their state rights over Federal Government intrusions. It included among other things, South Carolina 2nd amendment rights. Most importantly, however, was the provision disallowing the enforcement of compulsory health insurance upon the citizens of South Carolina by the Federal Government.

No law shall interfere with the right of a person to be treated by or receive services from a health care provider of that person’s choice;

No law shall restrict a person’s freedom of choice of private health care systems or private health care plans of any type;

No law shall interfere with a person’s or an entity’s right to pay directly for lawful medical services; and

No law shall impose a tax, penalty, or fine, of any type, for choosing a health care provider, to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any particular health care system or plan.

Be it further resolved that it is the policy of the State of South Carolina that the Attorney General will challenge the constitutionality of any provision enacted by the United States Congress that would violate any of the policies established by this resolution and join with other states that are like-minded to make such a challenge.

Full Text of S.424

AS ADOPTED BY THE SENATE

January 19, 2010

S. 424

Introduced by Senators Bright, S. Martin, Alexander, Campbell, Fair, Knotts, Cromer, Mulvaney, Verdin, L. Martin, Shoopman, Rose, McConnell, Thomas, Cleary, Courson, Coleman, Davis, Reese, Campsen, Grooms, Ryberg, Peeler, O’Dell, Bryant and Massey

S. Printed 1/19/10–S.    [SEC 1/20/10 12:09 PM]

Read the first time February 12, 2009.

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTIONTO AFFIRM THE RIGHTS OF SOUTH CAROLINA BASED ON THE PROVISIONS OF THE NINTH AND TENTH AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION.

Whereas, the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights established a federal government limited in scope and guarantee of personal liberty so that our citizens will be free to pursue their inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as recognized in the Declaration of Independence; and

Whereas, the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”; and

Whereas, pursuant to the Ninth Amendment, the people are guaranteed the right to privacy as a basic human right; and

Whereas, the delivery, administration, and receipt of medical care affects personal privacy and involves the most intimate and personal of choices; and

Whereas, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people”; and

Whereas, the Tenth Amendment defines the limited scope of federal power as being that specifically granted by the United States Constitution; and

Whereas, pursuant to the Tenth Amendment, by limiting the scope of federal power to only those specifically enumerated in the United States Constitution, the states retain plenary power to govern; and

Whereas, despite the clear limitations placed upon it by the United States Constitution, the federal government has steadily expanded its reach into the lives of our citizens and, in so doing, violates the very principles upon which this nation was founded; and

Whereas, the United States Supreme Court has said that states have great latitude in regulating medical care and standards, which have historically and constitutionally been primary state responsibilities and affect areas of core state responsibility, yet Congress and the President are reaching agreement over legislation that will result in the federal government absorbing the regulation of medical care, stripping the states of most responsibility, and taking away the free choice of the citizens of the states; and

Whereas, the federal government has spent trillions of dollars of borrowed money to run deficits, to bail out financial institutions, to prop-up auto makers, and to keep afloat other private enterprises that were mismanaged, took unnecessary risks, or were unresponsive to market demands, thus amassing a debt that will loom over and burden our country for generations to come; and

Whereas, the federal government habitually responds to its annual budget shortfalls by burdening the states with unfunded mandates, shifting costs for programs to the states, limiting state flexibility, and interfering with state revenue systems, undermining the constitutionally created balance between federal and state government; and

Whereas, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that Congress may not simply commandeer the legislative and regulatory processes of the states, and that states may provide their citizens with protections that exceed the protections by the federal government; and

Whereas, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that the United States Constitution allows states to grant rights to their citizens in their state constitutions, beyond rights granted in the federal Constitution; and

Whereas, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that federal law restricting certain rights may be ineffective in denying those rights protected in state Constitutions; and

Whereas, the State recognizes that as an independent sovereign, the State along with the other states of the union took part in an extensive bargaining process through the adoption of the Constitution and the various amendments thereto, and like any other party to any other agreement, the State is bound to uphold the terms and conditions of that agreement. Through this agreement, the states have collectively created the federal government, limiting the scope of its power and authority, as well as ensuring that certain fundamental rights are guaranteed. Also, through this process the federal judiciary has interpreted the Fourteenth Amendment to limit states’ governmental authority by providing that important rights and protections afforded by the United States Constitution to the people as citizens of the United States are also extended to each person as a citizen of an individual state. Pursuant to that interpretation, this State is bound to uphold the principles and protections afforded by the Fourteenth Amendment which guarantees the privileges and immunities of the United States, due process of law, and equal protection under the law; and

Whereas, the federal government is considering legislation that may, among other things, obligate residents in South Carolina and other states to purchase health insurance; and

Whereas, the federal government is considering legislation that may, among other things, mandate that this State and other states increase its spending for Medicaid; and

Whereas, the General Assembly of this State reaffirms that the people of this State, have collectively, through the exercise of their authority as citizens of a sovereign state determined the constitutional balance of power in this State; and

Whereas, the citizens of this State have exercised their sovereign authority both directly through the passage of this state’s constitution and the amendments thereto and representatively through their duly elected representatives in the General Assembly, and the General Assembly exercises the power of the people without limitation except as provided by the State Constitution; and

Whereas, one of the most fundamental powers of any state in the exercise of its sovereignty is through the power of appropriation and under our state’s constitutional balance of power, the power of appropriation is firmly placed within the province of the General Assembly; and

Whereas, the General Assembly rejects any attempt by the federal government, either through the actions of the Congress or the federal courts, to limit, alter, or otherwise affect in any manner whatsoever the General Assembly’s sovereign exercise of the power of appropriation; and

Whereas, there is concern that the federal government will also overstep its authority and violate the Tenth and the Second Amendments of the United States Constitution by enacting far-reaching restrictions or even a ban on gun purchases and ownership; and

Whereas, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”; and

Whereas, intervention by an armed South Carolina militia may prove to be the sole means for this State to protect the Liberties guaranteed it and all other states under the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution; and

Whereas, due to the potential need for intervention by an armed South Carolina militia, the protections afforded under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution are of upmost importance to the Citizens of South Carolina and the State of South Carolina; and

Whereas, it is vitally important for the future of our nation that the states stand against the relentless expansion of the federal government and restore the proper balance to our federal system. Now, therefore,

Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:

That the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, claims for the State of South Carolina sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the United States Constitution.

Be it further resolved that it is the policy of the State of South Carolina that:

No law shall interfere with the right of a person to be treated by or receive services from a health care provider of that person’s choice;

No law shall restrict a person’s freedom of choice of private health care systems or private health care plans of any type;

No law shall interfere with a person’s or an entity’s right to pay directly for lawful medical services; and

No law shall impose a tax, penalty, or fine, of any type, for choosing a health care provider, to obtain or decline health care coverage or for participation in any particular health care system or plan.

Be it further resolved that it is the policy of the State of South Carolina that the Attorney General will challenge the constitutionality of any provision enacted by the United States Congress that would violate any of the policies established by this resolution and join with other states that are like-minded to make such a challenge.

Be it further resolved that no state agency, agent, department, instrumentality, or subdivision shall cooperate or participate in any way with any mandate passed by Congress upon notification by the Attorney General that the mandate has been successfully challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction, and further provided that there is not an order to the contrary by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Be it further resolved that the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, claims for the citizens of South Carolina and the State of South Carolina freedom from all laws and mandates that violate the rights granted under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Be it further resolved that this resolution serves as notice and demand to the federal government, as South Carolina’s agent, to cease and desist immediately all mandates that are beyond the scope of the federal government’s constitutionally delegated powers.

Be it further resolved that the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina, by this resolution, affirms its support of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be forwarded to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President of the United States Senate, and each member of South Carolina’s Congressional Delegation, all at Washington, D.C., and to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate of the legislatures of the other forty-nine states.

The current proposals to reform health insurance will include massive new tax burdens placed on the American people, a tax burden to the tune of $500 billion dollars over the next 10 years.

Let’s breakdown some of the proposed tax increases..

1. 40% excise tax on health coverage in excess of $8,500/$23,000 ($149.1 billion)
2. Employer W-2 reporting of value of health (negligible revenue effect)
3. Conform definition of medical expenses ($5.0 billion)
4. Increase penalty for nonqualified health savings account distributions to 20% ($1.3 billion)
5. Limit health flexible spending arrangements in cafeteria plans to $2,500 ($14.6 billion)
6. Require information reporting on payments to corporations ($17.1 billion)
7. Additional requirements for section 501(c)(3) hospitals (negligible revenue effects)
8. Impose annual fee on manufacturers & importers of branded drugs ($22.2 billion)
9. Impose annual fee on manufacturers & importers of medical devices ($19.3 billion)
10. Impose annual fee on health insurance providers ($60.4 billion)
11. Study and report of effect on veterans health care (no revenue effect)
12. Eliminate deduction for expenses allocable to Medicare Part D subsidy ($5.4 billion)
13. Raise 7.5% AGI floor on medical expenses deduction to 10% ($15.2 billion)
14. $500,000 deduction limitation on taxable year remuneration to health insurance officials ($0.6 billion)
15. Additional 0.5% hospital insurance tax on wages > $200,000 ($250,000 joint) ($53.8 billion)
16. Modification of section 833 treatment of certain health organizations ($0.4 billion)
17. Impose 5% excise tax on cosmetic surgery ($5.8 billion) link

Many of these tax increases will simply be passed directly to the policy holder in the form of higher premiums. This debunks the  assertion that only the rich will be soaked to pay for this severely flawed reform.

These new taxes are only the beginning, as the push for more sin taxes will be the next on the agenda. In addition to the “tan tax” and “tobacco tax”, we are seeing a push for new taxes on soda, beer, wine and liquor, as well as taxes on candy and other sugary food products.  Where does it all end? How about the fat tax? Or, perhaps we need a cholesterol tax? Haven’t  we had enough of this nonsense?

The only way the Obama administration can meet it’s commitment of making this reform deficit neutral is to increase taxes to the tune of $1.25 trillion dollars over the next 10 years. The idea that we can save $700 billion dollars by eliminating waste and fraud, in addition to cutting Medicare/Medicaid, is truly laughable and clearly a scam.

The Joint Committee on Taxation has released several informative PDFs regarding these new taxes. Estimated Revenue Effects Of The Manager’s Amendment To The Revenue Provisions Contained In The “Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act”. link

We must stand up now and say no to these unreasonable taxes, especially to fund this flawed and dangerous piece of legislation.

Haven’t we all been Taxed Enough Already?

One of the most disturbing developments that has arisen out of the health care debate is how everyone appears to be on-board with the idea that insurance companies must now cover anyone with a pre-existing condition. What is being downplayed, or forgotten, is the fact that all citizens must be forced into purchasing health insurance if we require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions. These two choices are not mutually exclusive. You simply can’t have one without the other and maintain a viable insurance system.

So, what’s the problem you ask? Well, aside from the obvious financial issues, requiring every U.S. citizen to purchase health insurance, or anything else for that matter, is unconstitutional on it’s face. The argument that everyone must carry liability insurance on their vehicles doesn’t hold water. I have a choice as to whether or not I choose to purchase a vehicle.  Many choose not to own a vehicle and those people are not required to carry insurance. This is the key difference. No one will have any choice in the matter of health insurance. All citizens would be required to purchase health insurance or have the I.R.S. come after their property, or worse yet, toss them in prison.

Where are the so called “conservatives” on this issue? Well, most of the GOP are on-board with these mandates, although they don’t use those words. They simply parrot the “cover pre-existing conditions” mantra while ignoring the other side of the equation, individual mandates.

If you want to understand why independents, libertarians and conservatives are running away from the GOP, look no further than this single pivot point in the health care debate. Those who still believe in liberty, freedom and personal responsibility are outraged by the idea of individual mandates. We see these mandates for what they really are, an attempt to control every aspect of our lives. It can be argued that every action we take can affect one’s heath and armed with these arguments, those who seek control will have a huge stick with which to force the citizenry into conformity, so as to benefit the collective.

I would suggest that before anyone jumps on the “pre-existing conditions”  bandwagon, they consider the other side of the equation, which is individual mandates. Consider carefully what this actually means to your liberty and your freedom. Take a close look at all politicians who are supporting these mandates, especially those holding themselves up as conservatives.

The neocons are still on the march.

Further reading on individual mandates can be found here.

We know how hell bent, Harry Reid (d) NV is on instituting the Obama administration’s socialized health care program. Since he doesn’t like opponents as witnessed last week, where he told a Las Vegas Review Journal representative he hopes they go out of business.

I guess Reid, tired of the opposition, can circumvent having to face pissed off constituents. He apparently likes to face only those ignorant sheep that think socialism is a wonderful prospect. Here a report of Reid’s latest NV event on healthcare. Apparently, he’s opting out of the town halls to discuss socialized health care to invite-only healthcare reform rallies. That’s correct! If you are a Reid constituent and oppose his stance on it, you must leave. No opposition make for great coverage in the progressive MSM agenda.

I had a chance to attend Jim DeMint’s town hall on health care reform at the Beacon Drive-In in Spartanburg, S.C. on the Aug. 20th.

There was a great turnout, with an estimated 600-700 concerned citizens at the event. I put together a nice highlight video of the event.

There were several progressives there from the American Cancer Society who asked questions. One was simply an attack dog for the left and she had her Democratic talking points all listed out for her on a clipboard.

I volunteered once for the ACS and while they certainly do some good work, I found the meetings and members to have a very leftist slant. After digging a bit more, I realized that much of the funds being raised were not being used to help cancer victims, but being used to buy advertising promoting sin taxes and six tax laws, something I vehemently oppose. Needless to say, I decided not to contribute my time to that group.

Nonetheless, the event was very enjoyable and the crowd was decidedly against the current health care reform proposal the Democrats have cooked up, which is the first steps toward a government takeover of the system.

Jim has a much better alternative plan. You can read more about his proposals here and here.

We certainly need more Senators like Jim DeMint representing the citizens of our great country.

Maybe people just don’t want to see America’s health care system taken over by the inept Federal Government, which screws up absolutely everything they touch. That aside, before any meaningful dialog is to occur in this area, there has to be serious reform regarding America’s immigration policy. Specifically, removing the illegals and concentrating efforts on legal Americans. Currently, there are approximately 11.5 million illegals in America. If there were any kind of government sponsored, backed, or subsidized health care, look at the costs to Americans for their current care.

According to Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the cost of treating illegal aliens amounts to nearly $11 billion a year and that cost is not expected to go away if a health insurance reform bill becomes law.

What do you think will happen if such a boondoggled health care plan were to become law? More illegals would pour into the country looking for a piece of the handout. I think we know how our Federal Government feels about illegals from the words of Obama during his time this week with the leaders of Canada and Mexico,  calling for “aggressive action” on a number of fronts involving the three countries:

“But ultimately I think the American people want fairness,” he said. “And we can create a system in which you have strong border security, we have an orderly process for people to come in, but we’re also giving an opportunity for those who are already in the United States to be able to achieve a pathway to citizenship so that they don’t have to live in the shadows and their children and their grandchildren can have a full participation in — in the United States.

Mr. Obama,  like all the progressives, most of the moderates, and some of the “so-called conservative” politicians, must be viewing illegal immigration in terms of a potential voting base. They seem to dismiss the legal precedents and ramifications of ignoring laws in which most legal Americans want applied.

How about creating a jobs bill with the stimulus money to crack down on the illegals and maximize on-site raids and crushing penalties for employers. That’s one job bill I would agree with. So, how do the numbers shake out? According to Newsmax.com in their article, Obama Health Plan to Cover 12 Million Illegals

The estimates of illegal aliens in the United States without health insurance vary. The most commonly cited statistic, attributed to the Center for Immigration Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau, holds that 15 percent to 22 percent of the nation’s 46 million uninsured are illegal aliens. That would be between 6.9 million and 10.1 million people.

One of the ironies of the proposed legislation is that it would fine American citizens who opt not to purchase insurance coverage, but would exempt illegals from such fines. This is presumably due to the fact that they are not supposed to participate in the program anyway.

I keep reading where the cost to average legal tax-paying family would only be about $11.00/month. How about $0.00? I care not to spend a dime on those people who explicitly disrespect the laws of our land, except to prosecute them in give them the boot. In the same aforementioned Newsmax article, it stated:

Political analyst Dick Morris, in his recently released best-selling book “Catastrophe”, warns that giving illegal free health care will lead to a flood of new illegals who can take advantage of such a benefit not offered in their home countries.

Why wouldn’t they jump all over this? It’s just another menu item for the current smörgåsbord of benefits we provide illegals, but not actual legal Americas. James R. Edwards Jr., co-author of The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform, notes:

“The American people may soon realize how much health reform will benefit immigrants and cost the native-born. “When that happens, the volatile politics of immigration could derail universal health care.”

I personally believe that our health care in America is great, but needs reforming in terms of costs. Illegals are putting a strain on the current system and driving costs through the roof. We can start health care reform by taking away the awards given to illegals for breaking our laws. Not until then can we expect affordable health care.

I personally cannot afford health care for myself at $400.00-500.00/mo., so only my children have coverage. You won’t hear me whining that I deserve free health care though. I only desire affordable care.

So, as long as illegals are continue to receive preferential treatment, people like myself will continue to do without. A good start would be for our elected officials to uphold the Constitution of our great country and stop pandering to those who do not even have a right to be here. Before they can take serious action with reforming health care cost, they need to determine who actually should have access to it. Unfortunately, most of Congress is unwilling to do what most American desire.

Until we get rid of these traitors in our Federal Government, we will receive only lip service from them. Elect only those who care to abide by the laws of our land.