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Otter Is Right to Oppose Health Care Bill

  • Otter Is Right to Oppose Health Care Bill

  • 10 January 2010 by 0 Comments

Otter Is Right to Oppose Health Care Bill
By Richard Larsen
Published – Idaho State Journal, Published 01/10/10

Common sense may be in short supply in Washington these days, but it isn’t in Boise. Idaho Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter sent a scathing letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid denouncing their attempt to take over America’s health care system.

Echoing the sentiments of most Americans, Otter began, “I am alarmed by the recent actions of Congress, with both the House and Senate rushing to pass ‘health care reform’ over the past two months. The deal making, arm twisting and the ends-justifying-the means attitude that we saw throughout the process and recent votes on HR 3590 (as amended) and HR 3962 reflected a fundamental disconnect with the real challenges and priorities of ordinary Americans.”

Questioning the constitutionality of congress’ proposed health-care reform, Otter queried, “Where does the U.S. Constitution grant Congress the power to pass legislation mandating compulsory health care coverage or creating a nationalized health care system? Even the wildest interpretations of the ‘general welfare clause’ in Article I, section 8 of the U.S. Constitution cannot justify what congressional leadership and the Administration propose within the bills. It is disappointing that some members of Congress have seemingly forgotten that the U.S. Constitution limits the authority of the legislative branch to the enumerated powers of Article I, and that absent such power it cannot enact laws no matter how ‘just’ or ‘well-intentioned.’”

Otter’s question of constitutionality is legitimized further by Pelosi’s exchange with a reporter a few weeks ago where she was asked where the Constitution authorized congress to do what they are attempting. Pelosi responded emphatically, “Are you serious?” Not once, but three times. Yes, Madam Speaker, we are serious. Her spokesman later told the press that Pelosi didn’t consider that a legitimate question. It appears self-evident, that constitutionality is of no concern to Pelosi. She and her fellow radicals in Washington are intent on doing whatever they desire, regardless of whether it’s legal or constitutional.

Reid displays equal contempt for law as he has been liberally circumventing or rewriting Senate rules to ensure passage of the Senate version of health-care reform.

Otter then lashed out over the financial elements of the legislation. He wrote, “States -including Idaho -continue to point out the financial burdens associated with the most recent proposals. The astronomical costs projected with either bill will greatly impact our children and grandchildren as taxpayers shoulder the tremendous debt associated with these potential ‘solutions.’ Moreover, many states and local governments will experience increased costs not covered by either bill, which could constitute a crushing unfunded mandate and violation of federal law.”

“Perhaps even more troubling are the undemocratic and inequitable compromises reached in the U.S . Senate to push HR 3590 through the process. It is appalling to learn that both Nebraska and Louisiana have received deals, now referred to as the ‘Nebraska Compromise’ and new ‘Louisiana Purchase’ in return for their senators’ support. I find it dubious that taxpayers in Idaho and other states will have to cover 100 percent of costs associated with newly eligible Medicaid enrollees in Nebraska or provide an additional $300 million in Medicaid aid to Louisiana.”

Questioning the congressional leaders’ motives, Otter continued, “I understand many families are struggling to meet their basic needs today, including health care. However, that is no excuse to sacrifice fiscal responsibility, sound judgment and constitutionality for political expediency.”

Then the teeth are bared as he concludes his letter, “I question the wisdom as well as the constitutionality and legality of these bills and will explore all my options, including legal action, to protect Idaho and the U.S. Constitution should Congress adopt and the President sign compromise health care legislation. Given the bills now before the conference committee all that truly will be ‘compromised’ is our American system of government in exchange for a multi-generational legacy of debt.”

Otter is not alone in threatening legal action over “Obamacare.” At least 13 states are exploring legal action against the health-care proposal. Considering the unconstitutionality of the proposals and the dubious manner they were drawn up, we might wonder why all 50 states are not fighting it.

Thank you, Governor Otter, for standing up for the rule of law and constitutional principles! Thank you for being willing to fight this unprecedented assault on individual liberty, and a “multi-generational legacy of debt.”

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board. He can be reached at

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More than anything, I want my readers to think. We're told what to think by the education establishment, which is then parroted by politicians from the left, and then reinforced by the mainstream media. Steeped in classical liberalism, my ideological roots are based in the Constitution and our founding documents. Armed with facts, data, and correct principles, today's conservatives can see through the liberal haze and bring clarity to any political discussion.

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