Wednesday, December 09, 2009

My health care message to President Obama

Mr. President,

The question should not be whether there is a public option or not. The question should be whether we allow the private option to continue. We cannot continue to allow the private insurance market to rape this country. And there is no nice way of saying it.

Only Single Payer will solve the problem of coverage. I would support a robust public option that moves us in that direction.

Sir, you MUST issue a VETO THREAT against any bill that reaches your desk without a nationally accessible public option without a trigger. You MUST send Senator Reid and Nancy Pelosi a message that only a robust public option will get your signature.

If you don't do this, if you sign a bill without a public option, then you will lose the support you built during the 2008 campaign. Everyone I know is frustrated, and is looking you for progressive leadership. Your political future is on the line, sir. Oh, and the lives of thousands upon thousands of people.

Please make the right decision.

Chad Lupkes
Seattle

4 comments:

Dale Mastarone said...

Representative Lupkus:

Regarding your letter to President Obama in support of single-payer medical care, it certainly appears to me that you are disavowing the solemn oath you swore upon taking office. And you are urging President Obama to similarly disavow his oath sworn. And not one of the other people "in power" (Reid and Pelosi) mentioned in your blog have any constitutional authority in the least to "nationalize" health care. Plus you mention "thousands of lives" at risk if the unconstitutional legislation is not passed! Why don't you look at it this way, please, as to the millions of lives put in jeopardy if such abomination [or "Obamanation"] should get the president's signature. You absolutely cannot ever give even one example where government could do anything better than the private sector -- at less monetary cost and no individual liberty lost. In your years in public office, can you show me even one example of legislation you have had a hand in that resulted in increased government control and regulation ending up as a benefit to the citizens without the citizens seeing decreased exercise and enjoyment of God-given rights? I personally believe that your time dedicated to writing your blog would be much better spent studying the federalist and anti-federalist papers so that you might begin to understand the meaning of that Constitution you swore to uphold and defend.

Yours for liberty -- we once had a Republic -- and it's well-past time that public officials such as you understand that democracy is the most vile form of government. I sincerely hope that you become "progressive" in your views -- and make progress toward understanding what your oath sworn really means -- especially if you ended it with "... so help me God."

Dale Mastarone

Chad Lupkes said...

Hello Dale,

What a fascinating comment. I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry.

First off, I am not an elected official. I won't rule out the possibility someday in the future, but at the moment I have no plans to run for anything. I am the chair of my local Democratic Party, and while there is no "oath of office", I do my best to follow our bylaws and articulate our platform. A platform that, as you can probably guess, states that we should have a single payer health insurance system in the United States.

You sound like a Libertarian who has been flooded with sound bytes from the Tea Bag crowd.

For your information, I served in the United States Navy, a government funded organization that worked rather well, and operated much less expensively than any private Navy could have.

And the Federalist Papers were written in the 1780's, and while they are certainly a foundation for the work of Congress and the operation of the Executive Branch, the interpretation of the Constitution is now in the hands of the US Supreme Court, not Fox News.

Come to think of it, I do remember one oath I swore. That I would protect this country from "all enemies both foreign and domestic". That's why I worked so hard in the election of 2004 to defeat George Bush, because I considered him an Enemy of the State.

This is my blog, Dale. I speak my mind. Thank you for speaking yours.

D. L. Bailey said...

Dale,

I also thank you for sharing your opinion.

First, let's consider the question of Constitutionality. Arguments that the present healthcare reform proposals are unconstitutional run, such as that by Judge Andrew Napolitano in the Wall Street Journal, run into serious problems right away.

First, as you'll note, even Judge Napolitano admits that Wickard v. Filburn is the law of the land and has been for more than 50 years. This is essentially fatal to most claims of unconstitutionality.

To the extent that it is not, there is the 1965 Medicare act. There have been many challenges to this act, yet none have resulted in a successful challenge to the constitutionality of the act itself. Even the most-radical of the healthcare proposals could, in substance, be accomplished by simply expanding Medicare to all citizens. Since Medicare is constitutional, there's very little reason to think it could be unconstitutional to expand the number of people covered by Medicare.

Medicare proceeds along much the same lines as Social Security. Social Security survived at least three major constitutionality challenges: Helvering vs. Davis, Steward Machine, and Carmichael vs. Southern Coal & Coke.

Within the Medicare act, there is this phrase: "Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize any Federal officer or employee to exercise any supervision or control over the practice of medicine or the manner in which medical services are provided ... or to exercise any supervision or control over the administration or operation of any such [health-care] institution, agency, or person."

So long as the "Obamacare" reforms contain this kind of language - and there's no reasn to think it won't - objections such as Mr. Napolitano's are mooted.

Finally, there is United States v. South-Eastern Underwriters Association and the McCarran-Ferguson Act, which regulates insurance. Clearly, the regulation of health insurance is constitutional. I don't like McCarran-Ferguson, but the fact of the act and the opinions I cited earlier demonstrate clearly that essentially all claims such as Mr. Napolitano's are simply invalid.

I expect and welcome challenges to the healthcare reform measures. I am always extremely concerned about liberty. But concerns like yours about the Constitutionality of measures like these have been heard many times, considered and rejected in substance.

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