ByÂ Nicholas Ballasy
(CNSNews.com) -Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said on Tuesday that the government should requireÂ individuals toÂ buy health insurance andÂ cited the Preamble to the Constitution, theÂ Declaration of Independenceâ€™s â€œpursuit of happinessâ€ languageÂ and theÂ 14th Amendment as the sources of Congressâ€™ authority to enact such a mandate.
â€œI think people should be required to get health insurance. We require people to get insurance for their automobile state by state but the federal government has an obligation to encourage by law, moral persuasion, to get people to get health insurance,â€Â Lewis told CNSNews.com on Tuesday afterÂ a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearingÂ in opposition to Republican efforts toÂ repeal the health-care law enacted last year.
One of the primary complaints Republicans have had about the health-care law is that it forces individuals to buy health insurance, which entails a powerÂ thatÂ many Republicans argue theÂ Constitution does not give to Congress. Currently, 27 states are suing the federal government, arguing that the health-care law is in fact unconstitutional.
CNSNews.com also asked Lewis whatÂ part of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to require individuals toÂ buy health insurance.
â€œWell, when you start off with the Preamble of the Constitution, you talk about the pursuit of happiness,” said Lewis.Â “You go to the 14th Amendment–itâ€™s equal protection under the law and we have not repealed the 14th Amendment. People have a right to have health care. Itâ€™s not a privilege but a right.”
The Preamble of the Constitution states, â€œWe the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.â€
The Declaration of Independence says, â€œWe 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.â€
To read more, visit: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/rep-john-lewis-pursuit-happiness-and-14t
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