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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

In Defense of the Constitution

March 21, 2010
Press Release

Remarks by Representative Tom McClintock on the government takeover of healthcare.  The legislation, HR 3590, was approved by Congress on March 21, 2010.  Representative McClintock voted no on the bill.

        "Under the provisions of this bill, Americans will be required by federal law to purchase health insurance policies that include every mandate imposed by the new federal health czar and will face federal fines and even imprisonment if they refuse.  And they will pay for them through a combination of higher taxes, higher premiums or lower wages.

        “The proposition that Congress has the power to order Americans to purchase insurance – or any other product – is contrary to the fundamental concept of individual liberty and antithetical to the takings clause of the Fifth Amendment.  If this precedent were to be upheld, the federal government will have assumed authority over every aspect of individual choice in the care of ourselves and our families and can logically be extended to what foods we choose or to what physical activities we engage in.  Nor is this brave new doctrine limited to health care.  Once the precedent is established that government may usurp individual decisions in the marketplace, what limitation remains on its power to order any other of our decisions as consumers?

        “Fortunately, the Constitution still protects our freedom from such usurpations.  It will fall to the Supreme Court to hold this act accountable to the Constitution and it will fall to “We the People” to hold those responsible for it accountable at the polls.”