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Obama vs. the 10th Amendment

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Not surprisingly, a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released last Friday revealed that 56 percent of Americans think the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to their rights and freedoms.

Particularly apropos here is the feds' health care violation of the 10th Amendment, which is part of our Bill of Rights and was ratified Dec. 15, 1791. The amendment says, "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."

Thomas Jefferson explained the pre-eminence of this amendment in 1791: "I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground: That 'all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States or to the people.' To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, no longer susceptible of any definition."

Sean Hannity FREE

The point is that based on the 10th Amendment, when it comes to legislating and controlling our health care, the federal government doesn't have a constitutional leg to stand on. And even its past violations of the 10th Amendment by implementing government health care services have proved to break more national legs than they have to mend them. The proof is in the pudding. How many times does it have to be pointed out to Washington? Medicare is going bankrupt. Medicaid is going bankrupt. Case closed.

The government is inept to run America's health care system. And now it wants to expand its programs (its health care business) to oversee what equates to one-sixth of the gross national product? What rational board anywhere in the world would rightly appoint a CEO who had a string of miserable business failures and major corporate bankruptcies in his dossier?

I agree with Dr. Scott W. Atlas, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor at Stanford University Medical Center, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, who put it best in their article a few months back, titled "Alternatives to government health takeover." They said this: "We think it's critical that power shifts to the American consumer and away from government, employers and insurers, as evidence shows medical care prices come down when patients pay directly. Government should offer tax relief, such as refundable tax credits, to encourage private health insurance purchasing -- especially for low-income families. Similar ideas, like those in the Patients' Choice Act ... are important for Americans to consider. We would do well also to consider creative ideas such as changing federal payments to state-based medicaid plans to individual vouchers or expanding health savings accounts, as has been done in South Carolina."

Returning the onus of solving health care issues to families, local communities and states would not only return a balance of power to our federal government but also help with America's economic recovery and build up communities at the same time.

The abuse of federal political power to intervene in areas such as Americans' private health care could exist only in a nation that no longer holds its leaders accountable to its constitution and that has governmental leadership that regards itself as above its people and its constitution. Sadly, I was listening to an interview the other day in which President Barack Obama described the U.S. Constitution as "an imperfect document ... a document that reflects some deep flaws ... (and) an enormous blind spot." He also said, "The Framers had that same blind spot."

In so doing, the president established a rationale and justification for disregarding the Constitution. Even worse, he placed himself above the Constitution and those "blind Framers," who just couldn't see the big picture as he does today. After all, he's the constitutional scholar, and the Framers were just, well, the creators of the document!

Our 44th president would do well to learn from America's third president, Thomas Jefferson, himself a source greater than any living constitutional lawyer. Imagine Jefferson sitting there at the health care summit, a ripe sage at roughly 80 years of age. After listening to all the clamoring of both Republicans and Democrats, he politely but sternly utters these words, which he also wrote to Supreme Court Justice William Johnson in 1823: "The States supposed that by their tenth amendment, they had secured themselves against constructive powers. They (did not learn from the past), nor (were they) aware of the slipperiness of the eels of the law. I ask for no straining of words against the General Government, nor yet against the States. I believe the States can best govern our home concerns, and the General Government our foreign ones. I wish, therefore, to see maintained that wholesome distribution of powers established by the constitution for the limitation of both; and never to see all offices transferred to Washington, where, further withdrawn from the eyes of the people, they may more secretly be bought and sold as at market."

It couldn't be any clearer or wiser than that.

I encourage you to go to and learn more about your 10th Amendment rights, and then fight for those rights by holding all your representatives accountable to them.

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