Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Obamacare, as critics have dubbed the president’s plan to socialize health care, will be flooded with lawsuits if it ever becomes law, according to an organization that works to protect rights and liberties of Americans.
In an alert issued this week, Liberty Counsel, run by President Mathew Staver, promised his organization “is prepared to challenge the constitutionality of the bill since Congress has no authority to require every person to obtain insurance coverage and has no authority to fine employers who do not provide the coverage standards that are required in the bill.”
“In addition,” he warned, “the bill still requires citizens to pay a fine if they don’t maintain insurance for themselves and their families.”
The promise came just before the U.S. Senate approved its version of the health-care reform plan. The House has adopted a version that must be reconciled with the Senate’s before moving to the president’s desk. Among major sticking points are a government-run “option,” as well as abortion funding, which has drawn strong opposition from the public.
But like demanding that everyone drive a blue car or watch a specific television network, the concept of mandatory health insurance set by the government just doesn’t appear in the U.S. Constitution, Staver argues.
He told WND that if the plan gets to the point of being signed into law by Obama, “We will sue.”
He said Liberty University will be a plaintiff along with other groups or individuals.
“The thrust is that Congress lacks the power to force health care coverage on individuals,” he said. “It lacks the power to fine employers that do not have or provide health care coverage according to the mandates of the bill.”
He said Liberty University, like many businesses, has a brief waiting period for new employees before its health insurance coverage applies. Because of that, the educational institution would face a fine of $600 per employee under the new law.
Also, the health care plan pending in Congress “exempts certain religions but not others,” Staver noted.
Congress, he said, cannot simply regulate anything it wants.
Instead, Congress’ authority has limits, such as taxing and spending and commerce.
“They’re going to have a hard time proving that this affects interstate commerce, individuals who don’t want insurance coverage,” Staver said.
The problem, however, is bigger than just the health-care plan.
“It is scary. This Congress will do just whatever it wants to do, notwithstanding the law or the will of the American people,” he said.
For that reason, he said, the imposition of such health-care provisions must be challenged.
“It’s a political power grab that rewrites American history,” he said.
The organization’s alert said the health-care plan in the Senate also funds abortion, and it doesn’t even allow opponents, based on religious beliefs, to opt out.
Liberty Counsel quoted President Ronald Reagan on the trouble with opposing social health care.
Reagan once stated, “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism, or socialism, on a people has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.”
The alert asked constituents to pray that God will intervene, then call and write members of Congress.
Staver said he expects a multitude of lawsuits to flood the Obama plan should it become law. Other groups also have already started discussing the possibility and analyzing the pending legislation for its constitutionality or lack thereof.
In fact, the lawsuits already have begun. Larry Klayman, a legal firebrand whose work fighting corruption left both Bill Clinton and Dick Cheney on the defensive, has sued Obama for his secret meetings with Planned Parenthood and other lobbyists on his plans to nationalize health care.
The action from the founder of FreedomWatchUSA focuses on the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which requires disclosure of records of meetings between the executive branch and outside industry lobbyists. It also requires access to meetings.
Klayman raised the same issues during the early years of the Clinton administration, contributing to the demise of the health care proposal championed by Hillary Clinton.
The lawsuit charges that in Obama’s “haste to socialize medicine in the United States, and increase
government control generally,” he has “violated his commitment
“It is widely known that President Obama and his surrogates have been holding behind closed door meetings with health care industry lobbyists, cutting deals to win passage of his health care legislation,” Klayman said.
Klayman contends the president’s conduct falls within the scope of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which “requires the president to come clean on why he has caved in to the pharmaceutical industry, preventing the importation of prescription drugs that would lower prices for consumers, why he has become the lackey of Planned Parenthood in championing government financed abortions, and why the AMA (American Medical Association) and AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) are now his great friends.”
Klayman’s new case targets “the particulars behind the secret deals the White House has been cutting with private health care concerns, such as the AMA, Pharma, Planned Parenthood, AARP, and other lobbyists seeking to feed at the trough of the government.”
“Freedom Watch will not rest until the American people know all the facts about this historic and ill advised health care legislation, which most Americans – be they conservative, middle of the road or liberal – think we cannot afford and do not want as it is written,” he said.
Staver’s position already has been supported by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., who also cited the simple unconstitutionality of the health care plan in his opposition.
In a recent commentary, he wrote, “We swore to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and to bear true faith and allegiance to it. The Constitution prescribes a very limited role for the federal government. There is not a word in our oath, or in the Constitution, about most of what we do.”
He continued, “There’s not a word in the Constitution about the government deciding what medical tests private health insurers should pay for. Nothing about the government deciding how much executives on Wall Street should earn, or what kind of light bulbs and cars we should buy. There’s nothing about the thousands of parochial earmarks that fund local bridges to nowhere, golf courses, bike paths, sewer plants, and tea pot museums.
“There’s nothing about these or many other things in the Constitution because they have nothing to do with the proper role of a federal government in a free society. But these are exactly the kinds of things our government spends its time and money on, and we don’t even question anymore why that is,” he said.
“In the health care debate, this means deciding exactly what role the government should play to help people and the private sector find solutions, instead of creating a monstrous new bureaucracy that puts the government in charge of every decision. But this debate is about much more than health care. It is a battle for the heart and soul of America. It is a struggle between freedom and socialism, between free markets and a centrally planned economy, and between ‘We the People’ and an entrenched class of elite politicians,” he said.
Staver also announced Liberty Counsel is a part of a Freedom Federation group of organizations – representing more than 30 million people – opposing any health care bill that funds abortion in any way.
Among other groups joining are the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference of the Hispanic National Association of Evangelicals, Catholic Online, Family Research Council, The Call to Conscience and others.
“Abortion is not health care,” said Samuel Rodriguez of the Hispanic Leadership Conference.
“Killing is not – and never will be – health care,” added Keith Fournier of Catholic Online.