Congressman Ted Poe: The government control of healthcare in unconstitutional

Congressman Ted Poe presented the following speech on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Mar 20.

Mr. Speaker, the Constitution of the United States of America was written by our Founding Fathers to limit the size of government. The Constitution sets limits on what the government can do for us and what the government can do to us.

The people decide what is best for themselves and our country, not the all-seeing eye of the federal government. James Monroe said in 1788 at the Virginia convention to ratify the United States Constitution, “how prone all human institutions have been to decay, how difficult it has been for mankind in the ages and countries to preserve their dearest rights and best privileges, imperiled as they were by an irresistible fate of tyranny.”

Now the tyrannical all-seeing eye of the federal government is trying to take care of us. The government doesn’t think we know how to take care of ourselves, so it must come in and take care of us. We are to be made subjects incapable of taking care of our own health. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given any authority to control the people’s health, not one place. George Washington didn’t fight the redcoats so people could be the subjects of the new, oppressive, and untrustworthy federal bureaucracy. The colonists didn’t die in the War of Independence so a healthcare czar could rule over us.

The government takeover of healthcare is unconstitutional. And if this bill passes, the Texas attorney general and 30 other State attorneys general are prepared to sue the federal government for an exercise of unconstitutional action because this bill is unconstitutional. It forces Americans to buy health insurance against their will. And if people don’t buy the insurance, they will face fines or go to jail. And on top of that, it forces people to buy government-approved health insurance. That means the Feds tell people they have to buy the federal-approved insurance, and it tells them what insurance they must buy. That’s not allowed under any stretch of the law or imagination. That is unconstitutional.

And of course, in this bill they are hiring 16,000 new IRS healthcare police to enforce that dictate. The IRS healthcare police will verify that American citizens have acceptable healthcare insurance every month. I say American citizens because illegals are exempt from paying healthcare fines and taxes, although illegals can receive coverage in this bill.

The healthcare bill also violates the people’s right to privacy. People’s most secret, private, intimate medical records will become the property of the U.S. government. Healthcare busybody bureaucrats will burrow through private medical records and decide what medical care people are allowed to have. Healthcare bureaucrats will stick their nose into private banking accounts and their records to decide how much people have to pay for that health insurance. They will be able to seize tax refunds, bank accounts, garnished wages all in the name of forcing people to buy insurance for their own good. And of course, this is in the bill.

This power grab is not about health, and it’s certainly not about care. It’s about liberty. It’s about federal government control over people’s lives against their will. The federal government has no right to dictate to the people their healthcare needs. And in my opinion, it’s unconstitutional.

Most of the American people oppose the government plan to take over this healthcare. There were thousands of people here today making their voices known that they are opposed to this bill. It costs too much, it borrows too much, it taxes too much, it’s inefficient, and it gives government bureaucrats the control of our medical decisions.

Even Thomas Jefferson talked about government-run healthcare. He said, “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.”

Mr. Speaker, government-run healthcare is unconstitutional, and it’s unhealthy for everyone. We must remember the Constitution says and begins with “We the People,” not “We the Subjects.”

And that’s just the way it is.

Editor’s Note: Ted Poe is the Republican Congressman from District 2. The district includes Highlands, Crosby and Liberty County. He has served in Congress since 2006.