Most people who criticize the (Federal) healthcare overhaul do so with the main focus (understandably) being on the most in-your-face aspect of the bill.. namely, the personal mandate.  This is likely owing to the blatantly fascistic nature of requiring someone to purchase a private product from another person.  It could also be because of the clearly “paternalistic” nature of passing a law to make someone do something “for their own good,” as if a stern lecture or a spanking would be waiting for those who disobeyed.  Because of the magnitude of the overstep in this one aspect of the law, lots of other less obvious violations have been missed and ignored.  I would like to take a look at them in this article.  Upon research, I discovered several (major) different ways that Obamacare is not only unjust, but it violates the original intent of the Constitution.  I have categorized the examples by which part of the Constitution they violate.

The General Welfare Clause

“The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States”

Clearly, by my reading of federalist 41, the General Welfare clause was simply intended to be a qualifier on the taxing powers of the Federal govt., saying in effect that everything the Federal govt did had to be attached to another enumerated authority granted within the Constitution.  The spending had to be beneficial to all within the Union; therefore, you could not give a benefit to one individual, class or state, that wasn’t given to all.  Or in other words, you cannot take from one, or some, to give to another or others!  Violations by Obamacare of this clause in the Constitution include, but are certainly not limited to:

– The outright bribe(s) given in the “Louisiana purchase,” and the “corn husker kickback.” By giving preferential treatment to 2 states over the others in order to bribe members of the Senate to vote against the interests of the rest of the country. This bill is not in the general welfare, but the specific welfare of the states that have been given preferential treatment.  The Nebraska deal was stripped out in the final bill but even more graft was added in, so all of this violates the General Welfare clause.

– There is no power in the Constitution that gives the Feds the authority to tax one individual…. and then simply turn around and hand it to another.  This is a power that is larger than any domestic power that was intended to be granted to the Federal govt.  Therefore it cannot be incidental to any of them as in the “necessary and proper clause,” and it does not fall within the Interstate Commerce clause because it is not intended to prevent trade barriers between the states.  This power has simply been usurped for the purpose of allowing Congressmen to buy votes.

First Amendment

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

– By exempting certain religions under the “Religious Conscience exemption,” Obamacare essentially establishes a state religion.  In effect, it says to members of other religions that they have to convert or they will be taxed.  Not only does this violate the 1st Amendment, but the 14th as well; because it establishes an immunity that is not shared by other citizens of the U.S. The specific religions that will be exempted have not yet been picked, but they will eventually be identified, and the fact that they are preferred under the law will, in essence,  be equivalent to a tax upon all other religions.  That is of course no different than the blatant violation that happens when Amish are exempted from the Social Security Ponzi scheme, while the rest of us have to go on being fleeced. That does not make it any less of a violation.

Fifth Amendment

“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

– By interfering with, and making illegal preexisting conditions, the Federal govt is violating this amendment by removing control over one’s own property.  They, in effect, say that the consensual trade of money for a third-party payer insurance policy is now illegal if that policy uses any screening to ensure the initial health of the uninsured; and disallows those who are at higher risk due to lifestyle choices or chronic conditions to have to pay more.  Thereby making it impossible for that property (the insurance company) to be effectively used.  This is done with no due process.

– The Federal govt has no authority in the Constitution to require a minimum wage or to require that certain perks be part of any private financial intercourse. Therefore, they may not require employers to “pay for private insurance (for their employees) or pay a fine.” This is depriving the employer of his property without compensation.  Not to mention, increasing the minimum wage to a level that is sure to create more unemployment.

– By requiring gold resellers to report transactions above a certain amount they are violating the right to non self-incrimination. ( How did this one get into the healthcare bill….)?

– And the worst for this amendment, is that when the rationing starts (which is implicit in the legislation, although it will take some time for it to happen), this bill will potentially deprive people of life without due cause.  How is this not front and center on the news every day!?

Ninth Amendment

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

– Of course I could not get through this bill with the obvious.  The feds have no authority to require you to do anything which is not connected to a power granted by the states in the Constitution.  Therefore, if the feds require you to buy a health insurance policy, they are breaking this amendment!  Any power of which they would cite this power as incidental to… would make the rest of the Constitution essentially redundant, and that would violate several rules of construction.

Tenth Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

– By mandating that states set up exchanges and healthcare systems within each state, the feds are delving into an individual welfare power that has been (and was intended in the Constitution to be) a State concern.  This sort of program was never intended to be turfed to the Feds.  It was their meddling in the free economy that created the problem of rising healthcare costs in the first place, and more meddling is not going to fix the problem.

Clearly, there are several other federal programs that similarly violate these clauses of the Constitution, however those violations of the Constitution do not validate more usurpations, they merely illustrate how illegitimate our government has become.  Such things as Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, the Federal Dept of Education, the Drug Enforcement Agency, etc…  are completely beyond the scope of our Constitution.  This all brings to mind… ” so if these were not the role of the feds, then who?”  Frequently people will point to private charities and churches as the answer, but the state govts are fully empowered to fill this roll as well (and did before the Federal Welfare state came to exist).  We need to get a leash on this mad dog of a Federal govt.,  and quick.  The nullification of Obamacare is the very least that needs to happen right now.

The 10th Amendment

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”



Featured Articles

On the Constitution, history, the founders, and analysis of current events.

featured articles


Tenther Blog and News

Nullification news, quick takes, history, interviews, podcasts and much more.

tenther blog


State of the Nullification Movement

232 pages. History, constitutionality, and application today.

get the report


Path to Liberty

Our flagship podcast. Michael Boldin on the constitution, history, and strategy for liberty today

path to liberty


Maharrey Minute

The title says it all. Mike Maharrey with a 1 minute take on issues under a 10th Amendment lens. maharrey minute

Tenther Essentials

2-4 minute videos on key Constitutional issues - history, and application today


Join TAC, Support Liberty!

Nothing helps us get the job done more than the financial support of our members, from just $2/month!



The 10th Amendment

History, meaning, and purpose - the "Foundation of the Constitution."

10th Amendment



Get an overview of the principles, background, and application in history - and today.