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Best of 2009: DeMint: Apply the Constitution to Health Care When It’s Convenient

All day, we’re re-running our favorite blog posts of the last year. This post was originally published on Sept. 12, 2009. In a phone interview with TWI

Jul 31, 2020
All day, we’re re-running our favorite blog posts of the last year. This post was originally published on Sept. 12, 2009.
In a phone interview with TWI following his speech to the Tea Party crowdthis afternoon in Washington, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) laid out his philosophy for applying the Constitution to health care. In a nutshell: invoke the Constitution when it’s expedient to do so, ignore it when it’s not.
Asked whether states should use the 10th Amendmentto prevent health care reform from taking effect, he replied that an assertion of states’ rights was “probably the only way we’re going to stop this reckless spending.” He continued, “There’s no constitutional authority for the government to actually do [the reform proposed by Democrats], but whether the courts take it up is a different matter.”
The rules change, however, when it comes to Medicare.
DeMint expressed doubts as to the legality of Medicare under the Constitution, but said, “Regardless of constitutionality, it is a promise that we have to keep. … I think Medicare and Social Security have to be protected.”
When asked if there was any chance that health reform legislation drafted by the Democratic Congress could win his support and that of his fellow conservatives, he replied, “No, because they’re not willing to talk about anything but bigger government.” The role of Republicans in the debate, he said, is to kill the current iteration of reform and start over.
“If we stop [Obama] here, we can get to real reform,” he said. “If he gets this through, he’ll go to cap-and-tax and all sorts of other things.”
He opened his speech to the Tea Party protesters by saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Waterloo.” It’s not the first timethat he’s referred to the health reform debate as the battle that will lead to the Obama administration’s demise. This time, however, he also pulled Republicans into the mix.
“I think you’re going to see some Republicans primaried who have been big spenders,” he said in the phone interview.
Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke

Dexter Cooke is an economist, marketing strategist, and orthopedic surgeon with over 20 years of experience crafting compelling narratives that resonate worldwide. He holds a Journalism degree from Columbia University, an Economics background from Yale University, and a medical degree with a postdoctoral fellowship in orthopedic medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina. Dexter’s insights into media, economics, and marketing shine through his prolific contributions to respected publications and advisory roles for influential organizations. As an orthopedic surgeon specializing in minimally invasive knee replacement surgery and laparoscopic procedures, Dexter prioritizes patient care above all. Outside his professional pursuits, Dexter enjoys collecting vintage watches, studying ancient civilizations, learning about astronomy, and participating in charity runs.
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