The Corner

Jackson-Lee: Repealing Obamacare ‘Unconstitutional,’ Means ‘Killing Americans’

This is an example of poor news judgment on my part. I watched Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D., Texas) say on the floor of the House yesterday that the repeal of Obamacare would deprive Americans of their 5th and 14th Amendment rights, but I thought it was so inane that it wasn’t worth mention — members say a thousand stupid things a day on the floor, and I have homepage updates to make.


You will recall that this is a measure that 1) is currently being challenged on constitutional grounds in the federal courts in suits joined by a majority of these United States; 2) was passed less than a year ago; and 3) major portions of which have yet to go into effect.

But I must have missed when Jackson-Lee added within moments that repeal would also mean “killing Americans,” which ranks right up there with the late, late Alan Grayson’s “die quickly” as an example of both a negligent hatefulness toward the other side, and a thoroughly dangerous and twisted logic. 

The republic endured for two and a half centuries without this latest corporatist regulatory-redistributive health-care regime — there were no widespread cries that the nonexistence of Obamacare created a constitutional crisis, or made the government complicit in the killing of whole swaths of the American citizenry. But now, with the ink barely dry on the Affordable Care Act, it has become an entitlement in the worst possible sense — untouchable in good conscience; the nth rail of American politics.

And with that attitude, there will always be an nth+1 rail. For how can there ever be reasonable limits on government — let alone a balanced budget — if the mere establishment by law of some benefit makes that benefit always and forever sacrosanct?

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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