The Obama administration’s effort to sell its healthcare initiative to the general public will backfire and contribute to Republicans regaining control of Congress, longtime political analyst and Newsmax contributor Dick Morris tells Newsmax.TV.
Morris, author of the upcoming book “2010: Take Back America: A Battle Plan”
, believes Americans will be hit hard by sticker shock from rapidly increasing health insurance premiums over the next seven to eight months as a result of the universal coverage provisions. He says premium increases will fan the flames of discontent with Obama and the Democrats, and benefit Republicans in November.
Editor's Note: See the Newsmax.TV interview with Dick Morris below.
Should the GOP regain control of Congress it could use the appropriations process to stop Obamacare dead in its tracks, Morris tells Newsmax.TV.
“We have a tremendous weapon ̶ defunding,” Morris says. “If we win a simple majority in Congress in the elections in Nov. 2010, we could simply zero appropriate for all aspects of his bill, and he can’t enforce it with no money. And his veto power would be impotent against that.
“He could veto the budget where we zero fund it and we wouldn’t have a federal budget, but ultimately he can’t make Congress spend money. You can’t push a string.”
The political commentator devotes an entire section of his new book to what he sees as the legislation’s unconstitutionality.
Morris tells Newsmax.TV in a wide-ranging exclusive interview that the lawsuits that have been brought by 13 states against the healthcare reform plan have significant merit. States such as Florida have challenged the law as unconstitutional, arguing it violates the 10th amendment that reserves all powers to the states not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution.
When it comes to the individual mandate, he says the government can tell ordinary citizens they need to pay “$10,000 and we’ll give you health insurance,” but it cannot demand an individual buy health insurance from a third party.
“They can require driving insurance because it’s a precondition of a privilege, which is operating a motor vehicle, but just simply for being alive, you can’t be required to get health insurance,” Morris said. “Liberals justify it from the interstate commerce clause, but number one is that health insurance can’t be sold interstate, so how could it be interstate commerce and secondly, the people aren’t buying the policies, so not only isn’t it interstate, but it’s also not commerce.”
The healthcare reform law’s mandate that states cover those making up to 133 percent above the federal poverty line under Medicaid themselves as a “total violation of the concept of the 10th amendment,.” Morris says.
“States have powers, states have rights that can’t simply be legislated away by unfunded mandates from Washington,” he said.
Morris points to the fact southern states such as Texas have far smaller budgets than northern states such as New York to illustrate the budgetary impact of including those making significantly in excess of the poverty level in Medicaid. He says Texas has a far smaller budget compared with New York because it only accepts those making 27 percent above the federal poverty level in its Medicaid program compared with the latter’s 150 percent.
“This is why New York has a 9 percent income tax and Texas doesn’t have any,” Morris said. “By requiring 133 percent to cover everybody, you are really forcing taxes up in the Sunbelt states, which will eliminate the competitive edge, and I think that may be one of Obama’s objectives.”
When asked by Newsmax.TV about Fox News’ senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano’s analysis that Obamacare legal challenges could take many years, especially for individual mandate provision that doesn’t take effect until 2014, Morris said he thinks individual mandates likely will not be subject to a ruling until 2015 after it comes into force.
However, he sees a more immediate opportunity to challenge the state Medicaid requirements because they are already in place.
Morris also tells Newsmax.TV in the interview:
- Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s continuing support for Obama’s $832 billion stimulus package and his having said he would have voted for the legislation had he been in the Senate during a recent debate with former Fla. House Speaker Marco Rubio is enough reason to reject his Senate bid because the legislation starts imposing unfunded mandates on the states starting next year.
- Obama’s Israel strategy aims to topple the Netanyahu government and bring former Israeli Prime Minister Tzippi Livni back to power by making Israelis feel Benjamin Netanyahu is unwelcome in Washington. Livni is widely believed to be more willing to compromise with the Palestinians on a peace deal than Netanyahu.
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