Monday, March 22, 2010
Signed by all Republican State Senators
Dear Attorney General Blumenthal:
As the elected official charged with representing the interest of the people of Connecticut, it is now time for you to take action to preserve the Constitution and protect our state’s citizens and businesses. The illegal mandates passed by Congress in the form of the so-called Health Care Reform law must be challenged.
Under our Constitution, those rights not explicitly provided to the federal government are reserved to the states. The Constitution does not empower the federal government to usurp the issue of making health care decisions for either the state or its citizens. The selection of healthcare providers and medical treatments, as well as the decision NOT to have certain treatments or coverage is the decision of the individual, protected by the Due Process rights of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. It is not now, nor has it ever been, in the purview of Congress to supersede those individual rights.
In addition, it has long been settled that the federal government has ceded to the states the responsibility of setting local healthcare standards of care, as well as regulatory authority over the medical and insurance industries. This inherent recognition of states' rights as pertaining to health care should remain, absent some Constitutional amendment granting oversight to Congress.
Finally, the attempted use of the Commerce Clause to justify this latest power grab by the federal government is unwarranted and improper. If the Commerce Clause, which springs from the authority to oversee economic activity between the states, was truly a proper source for an entire radical redesign of the health insurance industry, then it would not have been illegal to sell health insurance policies across state lines. In a free society, it has never been the duty of Congress to force the people of the United States to purchase a certain commercial product simply as a consequence of being alive. It is inherently illegal to mandate that free citizens must buy health care coverage or face sanctions.
We urge you to join the growing number of attorney generals who have already begun legal proceedings to stop this illegal action by Congress. Regardless of your personal beliefs or philosophies, you are bound by duty to protect and defend the people of this state, the small employers who will be penalized or put out of business by the mandates, the large insurance companies that call our state home and employ tens of thousands of our residents in an industry that will eventually be eliminated by government intrusion into our free markets, and the private citizens who will ultimately have to pay the $ 1.3 trillion price tag.
We would be happy to discuss this issue with you further at your convenience and we will assist your office in any way possible.
Senator John McKinney, Senate Minority Leader
Senator Len Fasano, Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore
Senator Andrew Roraback
Senator Tony Guglielmo
Senator John Kissel
Senator Sam Caligiuri
Senator Dan Debicella
Senator Rob Kane
Senator Toni Boucher
Senator Kevin Witkos
Senator Scott Frantz
Senator Michael McLachlan
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
On November 3rd, 1992 Connecticut voters approved an amendment to the state Constitution creating a constitutional spending cap. However, the amendment requires the legislature to define three key terms: increase in personal income tax, increase in inflation, and general budget expenditure. Without defining these terms, the Constitutional spending cap is ineffective and the legislature is only bound to a statutory spending cap that can be and has been ignored. A statutory spending cap does not have the binding power or effectiveness of a fully implemented constitutional amendment. Statutory language can be changed by a simple majority vote of the General Assembly, and often is.
I testified before the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee in support of SB-3, An Act Redefining Terms Concerning the Spending Cap. If passed into law, the bill will define terms necessary to implement Connecticut’s Constitutional spending cap.
For eighteen years, the legislature has been idle on this issue as they continued to spend without any accountability. The irresponsible government spending this cap was designed to prevent has spiraled out of control and played a major role in putting us where we are today. Year after year we propose language that will implement the cap and year after year the majority party refuses to take action. It is long past time for the legislature to finally take action and listen to the voice of the people.
The people of Connecticut have spoken. They made it clear eighteen years ago they wanted the legislature bound by a constitutional spending cap, but their vote has been ignored. I am unfortunately not very optimistic that the majority will take action on SB-3 and fully implement Connecticut’s constitutional spending cap, but I will continue to fight toward that end. The voters exercised their vote on this matter in 1992 and they should not be ignored any longer.