Open Thread: Another Dem Offers Dubious Constitutional Justification for ObamaCare

Yesterday it was Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee. Today, it's Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga. Asked by a reporter from NB sister site CNSNews.com which constititional provision authorizes Congress to require Americans purchase health insurance, Lewis first quoted the Declaration of Independence, then the Fourteenth Amendment, then just claimed that health care is a "right, not a privledge." Check out the video below the jump.

Allahpundit has some analysis of Lewis's equal protection claims:

I don’t know what he means by claiming that this is an equal protection issue, unless he’s saying that it’s somehow unconstitutional for private insurers to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions. Not only does that theory lack a state-action component needed to bring the Constitution into it, but I assume it would be found constitutional under the Equal Protection Clause even if state action were present. Remember, not all forms of discrimination are unconstitutional: It’s perfectly okay to tax the rich more than the poor, for instance. Typically, as long as the state has a good reason for discriminating, i.e. as long as you’re not discriminating based on someone’s essential identity (race, religion, gender), it’s legal. Insurers do, of course, have a good reason to deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions — having to cover them would be prohibitively expensive — but if Lewis is so confident that that argument wouldn’t stand up in court, why on earth did we need to pass a health-care bill last year? Why wasn’t there some big progressive push instead for a class action equal-protection lawsuit by millions of uncovered people with preexisting conditions?

NB Staff
NB Staff