Dear Georgia Legislature

While you are twiddling thumbs with nothing better to do (kidding), how about passing a resolution like this:

Resolved that the State of Georgia requests two-thirds of her sister states to compel the Congress of the United States to convene a constitutional convention to consider the following amendment: the Congress shall compel no person to enter into a commercial transaction, shall compel no state to compel a person to enter into a commercial transaction through the giving or withholding of federal tax receipts, and the Congress shall have no control, power, or regulatory ability over insurance products. Further, the Congress shall be prohibited from creating a health insurance program in competition with the private sector or the several states.

90 comments

  1. ByteMe says:

    So Erick is telling us he was able to get health insurance and the rest of us can screw off. Thanks, Erick!

    • Clint Austin says:

      I think what Erick is saying is that Congress should not and does not have the power to force a person to buy what they don’t want to buy.

      Beyond that, I think Erick believes that you are ultimately responsible for taking care of you and your own, and that you are definitely not entitled to his earnings, my earnings, or anyone else’s earnings if you can’t take care of yourself.

      Amazing how everybody in the political spectrum was all worked up about the government “takings” problem in the eminent domain debate, and here we are on the day that the House might vote for one of the biggest “takings” in modern history, and leftists rejoice at counting all the dollars and earnings they will take from the “rich” to be spread around to their political base.

      • LoyaltyIsMyHonor says:

        I wish the government would “take” some of the run down developments near my subdivision.

      • Mozart says:

        Hm. So, its okay if the state of Georgia is allowed to have this power of forcing you to buy something (e.g., auto insurance), but not Congress?

          • Clint Austin says:

            Not at all and anything more than a moment’s thought outside of a partisan bias makes it clear:

            The only type of auto insurance you are mandated to buy is coverage to replace the other guy’s auto if you have a wreck. You are not obligated to cover your own car.

            The government has no right, at any level, to force me to buy something for my own well-being. Otherwise, freedom means nothing.

        • polisavvy says:

          Isn’t a driving force for the requirement to have auto insurance to protect the public at large (i.e., uninsured motorists insurance to protect others property and accident coverage to protect others’ medical care)? I see requiring that. If I chose not to buy health insurance, how does that affect the safety of the public at large? If I don’t have it and I suffer some horrible illness, then guess who’s problem IT SHOULD BE — MINE, not the public at large. I feel like people should take care of themselves. Do we enjoy spending $1500 a month for insurance, hell no? But, we make sacrifices in order to do so. I don’t expect someone else to pick of the tab of me and my family.

          • ByteMe says:

            And yet you do pick up the tab for people who do not have health insurance. The numbers on this do not lie.

        • gopgal says:

          Your comparison does not hold water.

          Auto insurance protects other people’s assets, e.g., your ability to pay for damage caused by you to someone else’s car.. The government does not make you purchase physical damage insurance for damage done to your own car. If you borrowed money to buy a car, the lender probably requires you to purchase physical damage coverage, the government does not.

        • Gary Cooper says:

          No, you have to buy auto insurance to operate a motor vehicle on a public road. You can buy a car, let it sit in your driveway and you are not obligated to buy auto insurance until you take said car out of your private property and onto the public road. You don’t have to buy auto insurance. You can simply opt not to have a car or operate your car on the public roads. It is that simple.

          However, with health care, you are forced to buy it or face a penalty by the IRS who is set to govern that aspect of this bill.

          • polisavvy says:

            Thank you, Gary Cooper. I have been trying to get this point across that forcing someone to buy a good is unconstitutional, in my opinion. Insurance is a good PERIOD, plain and simple.

          • trainsplz says:

            I don’t understand how receiving a tax penalty for not purchasing insurance is any different, philosophically, than receiving a tax credit for buying a new home. Yet look at which of those two, say, Isakson supports.

            If you don’t like taxes to modify the free market, and/or the behavior of consumers, you want it the old-fashioned way, I get it. That makes sense. Whether you’d get a net gain from implementing those changes, I dunno.

            But this line in the sand about a health care penalty tax being some huge philosophical chasm just seems made-up to me. They’re gonna raise your taxes unless you buy health insurance, because people without insurance are costing the taxpayers a lot of money. They’re not even gonna raise ’em by the amount that health insurance would cost.

            The appropriate way to implement insurance industry regulations, etc., seems like the complicated part, to me.

        • Driving is a privilege, not a right. If you don’t choose to own a car, then you do not have to purchase auto insurance. If you breathe (live), then you will be required to have health insurance. Life is a right, not a privilege.

        • GOPGeorgia says:

          It’s the 10th amendment. It’s a power reserved to the states. I also agree with the other comments, such as you don’t have to own a car.

    • polisavvy says:

      I keep going back to the Constitutional aspect of this whole thing. I thought that our Constitution dealt more with moral issues, human issues, and rights (i.e., speech, gun ownership, voting, etc.). I have yet to see in our Constitution were goods are mentioned (i.e., home ownership, auto ownership, INSURANCE). No one should be forced to purchase a good PERIOD. Insurance needed reform (tort, malpractice insurance rates, etc). and there is no question about that; however, this is more than just reform.

    • polisavvy says:

      So, no one else thinks that forcing someone to purchase a good is unconstitutional? Wow. I thought all you people who scream about the Constitution would be jumping all over this one.

      • Mozart says:

        Name the part of the Constitution (or amendment) that doing so is a violation of it, and why, and you’ll get more discussion. Simply tossing the term out (“unconstitutional”) without telling us how it violates it doesn’t explain it enough.

        • btpull says:

          Either way – Constitutional or not – get ready to hear: “We are paying for people’s Health care and they should be required to do…”

          I am sure a sugar tax is next. A push to require kids to purchase lunches and breakfasts at school for nutritional controls I am sure is on the way. Requiring employers to provide time for employees to go the gym cannot be too far of, etc.

          • ByteMe says:

            I want to go the other way (damn lib’ral in me): I want the states to require insurance companies to rebate money for policy-holders after 3 years if they maintain certain healthy lifestyles, like low BMI, no smoking, etc. Reward the behavior that will benefit the insurance companies most.

            I’m also a big believer that high deductible policies combined with HSAs are the wave of the future if individuals could get some kind of favorable tax bias that businesses get.

        • Gary Cooper says:

          How about the 10th amendment where the powers NOT delegated to the federal government are left to the states and the people. The individual states can force this mandate on it’s citizens, but the federal government cannot – not without an amendment to the constitution.

          If this bill were to pass and brought before the Roberts led court, it is 50-50 that they would overturn this provision.

          • polisavvy says:

            Once again, thank you. While it does not say specifically in the Constitution that a good can be forced upon someone, it does grant the states the right to stop the federal government from forcing itself on the state’s citizens. There are some who are so blinded by this whole health insurance debacle, that they cannot seem to realize that nothing like this can constitutionally be forced upon us.

        • peachstealth says:

          The 10th amendment says
          The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

          So unless there is something elsewhere in the constitution that says the federal government has the power to force you to buy something, they can’t do it.
          As I see it the state government may have that power, it depends on the state constitution, but the federal government does not.

  2. Jeff says:

    You do realize that a Constitutional Convention would have the power to rewrite the whole dang thing, don’t you?

    You do realize that the delegates would be selected by either the legislatures or the People, and 51% of the People voted FOR Barack Obama less than two years ago, with probably at least that much of a proportion of the Legislatures supporting him.

    The only thing more insane than calling for a Constitutional Convention in the current political climate is calling for secession.

    Way to go, Erick!

    • Doug Deal says:

      Jeff, it requires 3/4 approval of the states to approve any changes to the constitution. Nothing too whacky is going to come out of one.

      Why is it that people are ok with that yearly Constitutional Convention that starts every First Monday in October (start of the SCOTUS session) that rewrites the document to increase Federal power but are afraid of one called by the states that would likely devrease Federal power?

      Irrational fears are just that, irrational.

    • Nathan says:

      I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but could a resolution be passed by 3/4ths of the state legislatures to limit the scope of a constitutional convention to only deal with specific issues?

      We’ve gotten wacky things without a constitutional convention….look at the 16th, 17th, and 18th amendments (although that one was subsequently repealed with the 21st amendment).

      • Doug Deal says:

        The call for a convention only requires 2/3. There has nver been one, so what can happen is a matter of conjecture. I think most believe that the states cannot limit the call for a convention but some take the opposite stance.

        If I were to have my way, we would add the following amendments to the Constitution.

        XXVII – No two family members may serve concurrently as elected members of the Federal government. Futher, no family member may succeed another to the same post of office, such as Senator or House member from the same state unless 3 House elections have intervened. For the purposes of this amendment, family member would be defined as any natural born or adopted family as close or closer than a first cousin.

        XXVIII No personal shall be elected or appointed to Congress who has won election to 12 consectutive years in office without sitting out at least one intervening 2 year term of Congress.

        XXVIV Any law passed by Congress and signed by the President may by vetoed within 60 days by the agreement of 2/3 of the Governors of the several states.

        XXX The power of the Federal Government to regulate Interstate Commerce is hereby repelaed.

      • Gary Cooper says:

        You cannot limit the scope of a constitutional convention. However, any amendment would still require 3/4 of the states to ratify before it can become law. Just as if Congress passed the amendment(s) themselves.

        A new constitutional convention could work because the states would only call on this if they were in agreement about one specific issue – in this case the current health care bill – and would draft amendments for that particular issue and then vote to ratify it. It would take a strong wave of craziness for 3/4 of the states to ratify an insane amendment proposed by one of the states.

      • Game Fan says:

        Er, that “+10” was for Jeff’s comment. Now if people are really interested in USING the Constitution on occasion, how about defending it once in a while? Otherwise, how about going and playing somewhere else?

  3. hugoblacksupreme says:

    Oh, I forget. What South American country is it that changes its constitution every year depending on who is in office?

    That is the new model?

  4. polisavvy says:

    Did I just hear on TV that there is also something to do with student loans contained in this bill? Something to do with private student loans? If so, please tell me what the heck that has to do with health care?

    • btpull says:

      Yes -there is a revamping of the student loan program in the reconciliation portion. The Federal Government currently provides private sector banks a subsidy to originate student loans. The provision would require the Federal Government to be the sole originator of student loans. The Democrats are using these savings to help pay for the Health Care measure.

      The Health Care measure breaks down into 4 pieces:

      1) Cost of Expanding coverage: $940B
      2) Direct taxes, fees, and penalties to pay for the coverage: $146B
      3) Savings from reforming Health Care (mostly Medicare): $507B
      4) Other fees and taxes: $426B

    • ByteMe says:

      It was a provision to take student loans out of the hands of banks and put it back into the government’s hands (where it used to be). The savings from doing so would be about $65 billion (yes, it turns out to be cheaper to let the government do it). Why is it in the health care bill? Because of that magic “$1 trillion” number they didn’t want to breach for political reasons.

      It was something the Democrats have wanted to do for a while to save the government money, they felt that this was just a politically necessary time to do it. It has nothing to do with health care itself, but everything to do with the numbers.

      • btpull says:

        Of course the subsidy was lowering the overall cost of borrowing for the students. I do not know the history of it, but I suspect that was its purpose.

        • ByteMe says:

          I wonder if maybe the subsidy was supposed to be there at the start, but like grain subsidies, it’s nearly impossible to get businesses to give up their “corporate welfare” after they start getting it. Don’t know….

      • polisavvy says:

        I understand that the government used to give out the student loans; however, the federal government’s loans do not cover the total cost of education. Private loans are needed to augment what you don’t receive from the government. If this happens, are they going to increase the amount of money students can receive? If not, what happens to those students needing more money? Just curious. My son will be going to law school in a year or so. We certainly don’t have the money to help him out, so what will he do if there is no means in which to get a private loan? Not go to law school? Thanks for your information on this, Byte.

        • btpull says:

          I have read about it increasing Pell Grants. I’d assume the amount of the available funds for student loans would be subject the annual federal budget and/or the ability of Sallie Mae to borrow.

          You should still be able to take a loan against your house or a general loan if you have enough personal credit. The interest rate will probable be higher since it won’t be apart of the Federal Student loan program with the repayment guarantee to the lender.

          • polisavvy says:

            Thanks btpull. He is really concerned about this since he doesn’t own any real estate and has very little money of his own. He said last night that he guesses law school will just have to wait. Too bad for him. He’s already incurred about $50,000 for his undergraduate degree through federal and private financing (the largest chunk from a private loan). I ask you this though, how many 23 year olds actually have enough personal credit? When he applied for a car loan, he discovered that student loans don’t count towards your credit worthiness if paid on time — it only counts against you if they are not.

        • ByteMe says:

          The pool of loan money available should still be the same, it’s just the origination changes back to the government where it used to be.

          I work with a trade school and their students get Pell money along with unsecured loans for tuition, so I can’t imagine why grant money and unsecured loans wouldn’t be available for law school. A lawyer can make really good money in the first five years, so as long as he sees it through to the end and then some, getting a loan should still be a strong probability.

          • polisavvy says:

            Byte, I’m not worried about their not being Pell money and unsecured loans available. I am worried about the money that will be maxed on both. As you know, law school costs a good bit more than undergrad so more money will be needed to be able to pay your tuition. He plans to live at home to save that money. He’s just worried about being able to augment what the federal government will make available to him. We can help defray the costs of the books (which are terribly high). So, I guess what I’m asking is have you come across any dollar amounts in the language. I know you read it and that’s why I trust and respect your responses. I am terribly concerned for him. He’s an honor graduate from a D1 school so his performance track record is there — it’s just, will he be able to get enough funds to go without the private loans being available. Didn’t I hear that there will only be one private lender left after all is said and done. Thanks for any insight you can give me on this. I guess if all else fails we could sell the adjoining acre to our property.

            • ByteMe says:

              I can’t tell you about numbers on the loans available, because that comes and goes with the “discretionary spending” part of the budget.

              My nephew starts law school in the fall and planning to do it all on loans, since the money for school ran out during his undergrad years.

              However the thing about the “one private lender left” should have been eliminated in the reconciliation bill. It was a North Dakota lender who was actually doing a good job at low-cost originations, but the Senator who put that provision in didn’t want to make it a point of contention, so requested that it be removed as part of a “manager’s amendment” to the reconciliation bill just passed by the House. Not sure if that did happen, but it’s what was reported was going to happen.

              • polisavvy says:

                Okay, thanks Byte. Once again, my “go to” guy comes across! Thanks!! How’s your bracket looking now?

                • ByteMe says:

                  All I have to do is have all the rest of my selections win… 🙂

                  For my bracket, it’s going to come down to Duke vs. Kentucky, I think. If UK wins, I go down in flames; if UK loses, I have a shot. And it looks like you’re in the opposite boat. So the first weekend in April will be a long wait…..

                  • polisavvy says:

                    Wow! That’s great! I was doing well until yesterday, then POOF!! I do still have 3 of the final 4, and KY winning. I guess all is not lost yet; however, I’ve never had only 9 of the Sweet 16 still alive. This has truly been a crazy thing to witness, hasn’t it?

                    • ByteMe says:

                      I don’t think I’ve had a good bracket since Florida won back-to-back.

                      I’m down to max 10 of 16, 6 of 8 and 3 of final four. It’s all guesswork if you haven’t watched a single game all year.

                    • polisavvy says:

                      Well, it certainly sounds like you are doing well, Byte. How is everyone stacking up on the PP brackets? Just curious. You’ve got to be near the top, if not the top.

                    • ByteMe says:

                      If you login to your bracket, there’s the My Groups and Brackets button at the top and you’ll find the group standings under that. There’s also a cool scenario generator that will let you see how you will do relative to everyone else in the group if certain games turn out a certain way.

  5. Progressive Dem says:

    “Resolved that the State of Georgia …”
    Death panels
    Government takeover of health care
    Bureacrats will be deciding your care

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling.

      • Mozart says:

        If they pass the $1 per cigarette pack tax increase, they should install cigarette vending machines in all of the hospitals to generate more purchases and more business down the road for the hospitals.

        • AubieTurtle says:

          It does bring up an interesting question of if cigarettes kill off a person soon enough that the shorter life span ends up costing less in health care than the complications from smoking.

          • ByteMe says:

            Many cigarette-related deaths are time-consuming. Lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema all take time to kill you and are expensive to treat.

            Of course, so is death from diabetes-related health issues.

      • Game Fan says:

        Well I guess they can’t call it a sin tax, although once this collectivist thought process takes hold there’s a definite “hate the sick” mentality, especially among the liberals as evidenced by some of the comments. Ironic, no? Now among CONSERVATIVES we’re too busy taking care of ourselves and paying taxes, rather than wringing our hands about how long it takes for a cigarette smoker to die.

        • AubieTurtle says:

          Sorry but if you’re talking about me, I’ve never smoked and take very good care of my body. I haven’t been hospitalized even once in my adult life. So I’ve been busy working and paying insurance premiums for services I’ve never received.

          I think it is an interesting question about smoking but don’t know the answer either way. Apparently asking questions and searching for answers is something CONSERVATIVES are against.

          (I don’t really think conservatives are against intellectual discovery. Like any group, there are all kinds of people who identify themselves as conservative but I wanted to show how goofy Game Fan was being.)

          • Game Fan says:

            Private health insurance would be the best source for determining the risks and rewards of smoking, and charging the most appropriate rates for smokers and non-smokers. So if you think you’re paying too much relative to smokers, then either the insurance cos. have come to a different conclusion than the politicians, or because of government mandates, you’re stuck with the smokers.

        • reaganrev4 says:

          Cigarette taxes dont work, it’s as simple as that. Look at any state that has implemented them, i.e Arkansas (lost $10 million in revenue do to it if I am not mistaken) which is a perfect example of how raising taxes doesn’t create revenue like all dems seem to think. And what about my grandma who lived for 96 years and smoked for about 69 of them? Isnt that kind of backwards? We prolly should have just taxed her for exersizing her freedom to do whatever the hell she wants…which this country used to be about. You will all now argue that smokers are a burden to tax payers and their health insurance. Well people like her werent a burden untill last night because she was an adult who made tough decisions in her own life and made sacrifices to be able to pay for her own health insurance. She didn’t expect anyone to pay for her healthcare and if you asked her, she was prouder (? is that a word?) than ever that she could sleep at night knowing she wasnt reliant on anyone else to get through the day…even at 96

          • reaganrev4 says:

            when i said “taxing her for doing whatever the hell she wants…thats what this country used to be about” i meant the country used to be about having the freedom to do with your life and with your body what you want. Not taxing you for doing whatever the hell you want, that is what the current administration is in the process of doing

    • B Balz says:

      – Opponents of health care reform announced a 10 a.m. rally at the state Capitol in an attempt to stir the House to pass HR 1086, which would amend the state Constitution to offer protection to those who choose not to participate in the new health care system. The notice was sent out by Jason Shepherd, a Republican House candidate from Marietta

      Get a real job, Jason.

  6. the Congress shall compel no person to enter into a commercial transaction

    Uhh… I hate to point out the laughable hypocrisy, but I think the state legislature would have to drop mandatory car insurance before calling out the Feds on this.

    and the Congress shall have no control, power, or regulatory ability over insurance products

    And before telling the Feds THIS, the state legislature would have to eliminate John Oxendine.

    Oh wait! I forgot which blog I was posting on… 🙂

          • AubieTurtle says:

            Well, in a way, all states other than the original thirteen and a handful of others that were independent entities once upon a time are the creation of the federal government. That doesn’t change anything about their role in governing but if one wants to be pedantic, most states are creations of the federal government.

            • There is also the slight problem that states do not require everyone to buy auto insurance, just people with automobiles. People have a choice whether or not to buy a car and therefore a choice on whether or not to have auto insurance.

              • B Balz says:

                Sure Jason, just use that public transportation thing in Cobb County will NOT get one from their home in Austell to the courthouse in Mayretta. And if you in a power chair, well then you are double-screwed.

                Be a Stateman first, a lawyer second, lad.

  7. B Balz says:

    I have spent five years going to WDC to advocate on behalf of a constituency that cannot easily access public transportation there.

    This year, our ‘ask’ for the entire disease group is less than the cost of ONE F-35 fighter jet. One JET, folks. That is simply WRONG.

    I am sick and tired of hearing a bunch of crap from folks about how we cannot afford this, that and the other. We, the richest nation on Earth are not spending correctly.

    We need to understand that while a really, really strong defense is critical in this bad old world, balance is more critical.

    The US economy is terribly skewed on defense, and the State Department’s foreign payouts to Israel, and unfriendly Arab states.

    I know this is a GA blog, so there I am done.

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