Romney instituted a socialistic health care program in the state of Massachusetts while he was the Governor there and many politically minded people believe that if he is the GOP candidate, he will not be able to defend his statements concerning why he did so. Other are concerned that he will not repeal Obama’s health care program which will be imposed upon the citizens of all 50 States starting in 2014. There are several similarities in Obama’s Health Care Program and Romney Care.
In order to combat the criticisms of his applying Romney Care into law, Mitt uses the rationalization that the citizens of Massachusetts wanted universal health care for the state. This is a specious argument and displays his wrong thinking. An elected official is duty bound to protect his constituents from making wrong decisions, he is morally bound to stand for the Constitution not only of the United States, but in the case of States’ elected officials, the Constitution of that State. Mitt shirked his moral and honorable responsibility by signing that bill into law.
Romney would have better footing in this campaign if he had vetoed that bill, and sent it back to the legislature to leave it to them to force the citizens of Massachusetts to pay for medical care. And many citizens of Massachusetts did not want this forced upon them. Many people moved to New Hampshire, in protest, to avoid the taxes to pay for this failed program as well as the fees associated with not having health care insurance.
Using the 10th Amendment of the United States Constitution to justify this action is also a rationalization. The Founders never intended for the 9th or the 10th to be used to put into place an anti-American, anti-capitalistic, pro-collectivist law by which some citizens are mandated to pay for other citizens, nor was it intended to force people to buy something they felt they didn’t need. Many younger people don’t buy health insurance because they are healthy and have not incurred any medical expenses.
This argument reverts to Original Intent, not only of the United States Constitution, but to the State of Massachusetts Constitution which was adopted in 1780.
In order to understand what Original Intent means, we must first know what a Constitution is.
According to The American Handbook of Constitutional Law by Henry Campbell Black, LL. D. in the 4th edition published in 1927 by the West Publishing Company, a Constitution is a governing document instituted by the people as a whole instead of by a legislature of their representatives. He states that it cannot be abrogated, repealed or modified by any power except that which established it, the people. https://www.originalintent.org/edu/constitutions.php He continues by pointing out that Constitutions are not established to restrain the people, but to restrain the government.
Black continues, “The provisions of a constitution refer to the fundamental principles of government and the establishment and guaranty of liberties, instead of being designed merely to regulate the conduct of individuals among themselves. [Constitutions announce principles, while statutes apply them. Sproules v. State, 97 Tex Cr. R. 561, 262 S. W. 757.” Ibid.
Summarizing, a Constitution is written for the people, put into effect by the people and it is to protect the people’s Natural Rights. It is a document limiting the control the government has over the people who voted to install the Constitution as their governing document.
Since both the US Constitution and the Constitution of Massachusetts have an amendment process, the definition of Original Intent must be utilized to guide that process.
Language is one of our keys to understanding what people write. However, words change meaning over time and in order to understand what is meant by a document written over 200 years ago, we must turn to the dictionary meaning of the words from that time period. Finding what the Founders actually wanted for this country is hinged on this premise.
The body of the Constitution outlines the limitations on the Federal Government, the duties of the government and the division of the government. The Rights of the People are outlined in the Constitution, primarily in the Bill of Rights, the first Ten Amendments to the Federal Constitution. The combination of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are our Founding Documents and they delineate the restrictions placed upon the Federal Government. In the 9th and 10th Amendments, the enumeration of the rights of the people not spelled out in the first eight Amendments is reserved for the people and for the States. However, taking from one person the fruits of his labor is not something the Founders intended, even if the people vote for that proposition. The “Pursuit of Happiness” clause of the Declaration was, among other implications, intended to ensure that people would have the right to do what they desired to increase their property, including physical property, monetary property, intellectual property and the results of those quests and to not have the Government of the Federal or State government legislate to confiscate those yields even if citizens vote for it. One person does not have the right to take the rights of another unless that right is given over freely. The majority voting to take from the minority is not the same thing. Giving of one’s rights to another person is an individual’s action.
The “Pursuit of Happiness” clause is part of Original Intent. When we refer to this concept, what is meant is the government may not change provisions of the original document with respect to liberties. In other words, it may not be amended to take away the rights of the people. We have seen several Amendments that do just this, for example, the 16th, which addresses Income Tax.
The first words from the Preamble of the Constitution of Massachusetts are as follows: “The end of the institution, maintenance, and administration of government is to secure the existence of the body-politic, to protect it, and to furnish the individuals who compose it with the power of enjoying, in safety and tranquillity, their natural rights and the blessings of life…” (The original spelling is utilized here.) https://www.nhinet.org/ccs/docs/ma-1780.htm As you can see, though the language is different from the United States Constitution, the implication is the same: Men are entitled to the fruits of their labor.
“Laws must relate to the nature and the principle of the government that is established or that one wants to establish, whether those laws form it as do political laws, or maintain it, as do civil laws.” Charles de Montesquieu
These issues will rear their ugly head over and over as Romney continues to campaign for the nomination of the Republican Party Candidate.
And, Obama will use the fact that his health care reform bill is based on Romney Care.
Will Romney be able to defend his position on his signing the health care bill when he was Governor of Massachusetts when he faces Obama?
The voting bloc will pay attention.