The Spectacle Blog

Newsweek’s Biggest Lie About the Constitution

By on 9.2.09 | 3:00PM

There is plenty of nonsense in this Newsweek dissection of the "top 5 lies" in the health care debate, but this one takes the cake: "But when fear and loathing hijack the brain, anything becomes believable-even that health-care reform is unconstitutional. To disprove that, check the commerce clause: Article I, Section 8."

Umm, what in Article I, Section 8 gives the federal government anything like the powers contained in Obamacare? Certainly the interstate commerce clause doesn't, since most medical transactions are actually intrastate. And even to the extent that health care does affect interstate commerce, does it do so more than slavery or the sale of alcoholic beverages -- both of which had to be banned by constitutional amendment rather than through the interstate commerce clause?

Of course, I understand that the doctrine of enumerated powers doesn't mean much to the people who make our laws or the people who write about politics. It hasn't meant much to them for some time. But give me a break.

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