Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The Real Truth Behind HR3200 and the Drastic Expansion of the Executive Branch
My rebuttal to Michael Connelly whose now famous blog can be found here:
I appreciate your article however I have to say, this kind of stuff is not only misleading but detrimental to the success of our nation. First any true constitutional scholar, and I've seen, met and spoken with a few, from institutions that are generally respected for their thoughts on constitutional law and executive power, can blow this lawyers argument out of the water.
Historians, Professors and constitutional scholars, all teach that the reason the constitution has achieved such success in creating and maintaining this country is not due to the fact that it was perfectly written the first time. Instead the brilliance of it and other legislation that founded this country is that it is a relatively flexible document that sets up checks and methods to amend and modify it. Other nations have created constitutions more effective than ours that have ultimately failed because they approached the matter of nationhood the wrong way. Therefore my argument is that despite your opinion on the actual Bill the "sweeping changes of power" are not a doomsday device that will spell the Death of America. Now that I've dismissed some charges from some of the more baseless commentators out there, I'd like to address some specifics Mr. Connelly outlined.
Unfortunately though before I can proceed with the details of the bill itself I have to address Mr. Connelly's not so coy comment, "To begin with, much of what has been said about the bill and its
implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are
saying. " It seems interesting to me that someone of his stature would entangle himself in the partisanship battlefield of modern media. This seems an easy target however what he is claiming is nothing groundbreaking. An Independent Research Firm, Pew Research has actually published some astonishing new data on the media. The details can be found here. http://people-press.org/report/543/ To summarize the report "The public’s assessment of the accuracy of news stories is now at its lowest level in more than two decades of Pew Research surveys, and Americans’ views of media bias and independence now match previous lows. " This report condemns all media and includes the go to source for his readership, Fox News.
Abortion has been one of the hottest and most divisive issues this country has faced since perhaps slavery. Small wonder than that Mr. Connelly decides to lead off with this issue. Politically speaking using hot button issues to defeat a bill that is much more expansive than one issue is brilliant. The interesting thing is that the actual bill never mentions the word abortion, not even once. Found here http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h3200/text. Not only is the word not mentioned there isn't a section dedicated to the action. In fact according to the IRL in a letter to the NRLC this is the section dealing with abortion:
SEC. 115. ENSURING ADEQUACY OF PROVIDER NETWORKS.
(a) In General- A qualified health benefits plan that uses a provider network for items and services shall meet such standards respecting provider networks as the Commissioner may establish to assure the adequacy of such networks in ensuring enrollee access to such items and services and transparency in the cost-sharing differentials between in-network coverage and out-of-network coverage.
(b) Provider Network Defined- In this division, the term ‘provider network’ means the providers with respect to which covered benefits, treatments, and services are available under a health benefits plan.
Moving away from the debate about what the bill covers and doesn't cover, a think tank has published a report that proves that the reforms suggested in this bill "would have the ultimate effect of reducing the number of abortions in America." http://www.thirdway.org/products/241
To conclude I would just like to point out what most constitutional lawyers have conveyed of our former president who is regarded by many as a president who took drastically stretched the constitution and coveted more power for the executive branch, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/blog/2006/06/06/BL2006060600667.html. I bring this up to demonstrate that this is not the first president accused of expanding the executive branch, and in fact as any professor, and even conservative columnists will tell you most presidents have expanded their presidential power. http://blog.cleveland.com/pdextra/2008/05/truman_and_the_expansion_of_pr.html
For those of you still unsure why we need reform, The Economist has you covered.
This article shows how the rest of the world views our Health Care Reform efforts.