Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) believes the Constitution justifies Obamacare’s mandate that people must buy health insurance. According to him, the Constitution’s reference to the “pursuit of happiness” specifically justifies that mandate. There’s just one problem, the pursuit of happiness isn’t in the Constitution.
“Well, when you start off with the Preamble of the Constitution, you talk about the pursuit of happiness,” Lewis told CNS News regarding the mandate’s justification. ”You go to the 14th Amendment–it’s equal protection under the law and we have not repealed the 14th Amendment. People have a right to have health care. It’s not a privilege but a right.” [Emphasis added]
As CNS News points out, it’s the Declaration that states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Ironic, though, is that opponents of the mandate also cite the Constitution as justification for repeal. According to them, it is unconstitutional for the government to force people to buy insurance. And recently, a federal judge in Virginia agreed.
Finally, though, Lewis’s statement begs the question: what happens of many people’s “pursuit of happiness” doesn’t include buying health insurance, or what if being forced to buy health insurance infringes on people’s “pursuit of happiness?”