With a decision from the Supreme Court coming up on the constitutionality of Obamacare - and the possibility that parts, or all of the law will be overturned - former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been going increasingly off the rails. For instance, look at her claim to a virtual telepathic connection with the Justices, a power which would seem more believable in the Matrix trilogy than in real life.
However, Pelosi has now made (if possible) an even more difficult to swallow claim about Obamacare - namely, that it has risen to the level of a "Right," a status which she also confers on Social Security and Medicare. CNS News reports:
Pelosi made her statement that Obamacare is a “right” in response to a reporter who asked her about a CBS News/New York Times poll that showed 41 percent of Americans want the Supreme Court to overturn the law in its entirety while another 27 percent want the Supreme Court to throw out the individual mandate and keep the rest of the law.
“Why do you think that is and what does that say in terms of the chance that the Supreme Court will strike it down?” the reporter asked Pelosi.
“Well, I'm very proud of the Affordable Care Act,” Pelosi responded. “I think that the understanding of it has been jeopardized by misrepresentations that have been put out there relentlessly largely by the industries that have--I shouldn't say not benefited because everybody benefits from this health care bill--but who claim to have suffered from the bill.
“Here's the thing: the American Affordable Care Act stands there with Social Security, Medicare, health care for all Americans as a right, not a privilege," said Pelosi. “It was opposed vigorously by two forces: one, the health insurance industry, and secondly by anti-government ideologues who do not believe that there should be a government role in clean air, clean water, as well as health care in our country.
Where do we start with this statement? First of all, even if you accept that Social Security and Medicare are "rights," the fact remains that they've been around for between 40 and 80 years, whereas Obamacare was passed literally two years ago. It's a bit soon to be claiming that Obamacare is an entrenched piece of legislation that Americans rely on.
Secondly, Pelosi is contradicting the President's own description of what rights are protected under the Constitution. Are we the only ones who remember that Obama complained in a radio interview that the constitution is only a charter of "negative liberties?" Here's the clip, in case you forgot:
Got that? According to Obama, the Constitution "doesn't say what the Federal government or the state government must do on your behalf." So where does Pelosi get her idea that a trio of political entitlements, which only exist as an obligation to the Federal government to do something on citizens' behalf, have suddenly become "rights?" And while we're on the subject, just what makes something a "right" anyway?
No answer to these questions, which is probably for the best. Picking apart Nancy Pelosi's vision of the constitution is not a job we would want to do.