Grassley: Senate Health Plan Depletes Medicare, Raises Premiums, Thwarts Constitution

by Jim Meyers
Wednesday, October 14, 2009

…Grassley explained why he opposed the Finance Committee bill.

“First of all, it takes $404 billion out of Medicare, and you want to remember that Medicare is in bad shape anyway. So why would you take that money and put it into a new government entitlement program?

“Secondly, this is the first time in the 225-year history of our country that we have forced you as a constituent to buy a product. You’ve been free to buy or not to buy, but now for the first time you’re going to have to buy health insurance. And if you don’t buy it, the IRS is going to tax the family $1,500.”

As to whether this provision is constitutional, Grassley said: “I’m not a lawyer but I’ve listened to some lawyers speak on this. I don’t think we’ve ever had this issue before of having to buy something, and a lot of constitutional lawyers are saying it is unconstitutional, or at least a violation of the Tenth Amendment.”

That amendment provides that powers not granted to the federal government nor prohibited to the states “are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

Grassley continued: “Maybe states can do this, but can the federal government do it? So I have my doubts.

“But here’s the untold story — 85 percent of people in this country have health insurance already. So what does the Congressional Budget Office as well as the industry say? That premiums are going to go up for that 85 percent of the people because of our not doing anything to keep them from going up…

The rest is at

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