Section 1 of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution states: Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
From Wiki: "Involuntary servitude is a United States legal and constitutional term for a person laboring against that person's will to benefit another, under some form of coercion. While laboring to benefit another occurs in the condition of slavery, involuntary servitude does not necessarily connote the complete lack of freedom experienced in chattel slavery; involuntary servitude may also refer to other forms of unfree labor. Involuntary servitude is not dependent upon compensation or its amount."
So my question is simple: If Obamacare requires that Americans work to make the money required to pay for their personal government healthcare bill - in other words, it is not a "normal" tax that is a percentage of earned income, but rather a mandatory bill for government services rendered, irrespective of income or wealth above a certain threshold - doesn't this mandatory government demand for set payment force a condition of involuntary servitude upon individual Americans?
It seems Obamacare fits this description exactly.
And it also seems that the 13th Amendment bans it directly.
If this is true, it seems to me that bringing attention to this point it would be a very powerful way to object to this Bill.
Of course by this reasoning - any bill to are required to pay by law - taxes auto insurance, etc - is slavery.
.Here's a thought - why don't the people at the top pay a fair share of taxes for living in this great land?
No, they aren't. Because you can choose not to drive, for example, and then you are not required by law to purchase auto insurance.
But you must buy health insurance - or go to jail.
Lie (again). The penalty is $750 - which some say is too good a deal since it buys you future access tot he medical system.
No jail time, sugar.
Wipe the spit off your chin, Doug. Brazenly sexist insults are the sign of a floundering and flustered mind - try to get a grip on yourself. That goes for making racist insults against people of color, and bigoted insults against gays, too - so don't think you can always just spew temper tantrums when you really just want to go somewhere and cry.
Have a glass of milk.
Here is another thought why not just have a straight tax across the board, regardless of your income.
I wouldn't be surprise if the healthcare bill, some aspects thereof, violates every one of the amendments...
OK, so here's the argument using the 13th amendment.
"Because It would be Involuntary servitude for me to be forced to use my property (money) in a way that I don't give direct consent to, it would be a violation of my 13th amendment right if the government forced me to pay for UHC."
This is a valid argument, but why stop at just UHC? Technically, under this argument, the 13th and the 16th amendment are at complete odds (which I agree with, and demand the 16th Amendment to be repealed). Also, just about every federal Tax would be an infringement of my rights (which, being libertarian, I agree with).
But a MUCH more valid argument can be made using the bill of rights and the Constitution (the grand-daddies of them all), and then reinforcing the argument with the Declaration of Independence and the arguments that led to the DoI - John Locke.
Here is this argument:
"Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution clearly and expressly states the powers granted to Congress. Section 9 lists the powers taken away from each and every state. The 10th amendment - the 'cornerstone of the constitution' accd'ing to Madison and Jefferson - clearly states that any power NOT granted to Congress and any power NOT taken away from the states, is at worst a power granted to the states to legislate on, and at best a power reserved to the individual people (i.e. the market place). Because Health Care is NOT granted to the Congress, it is reserved to the States, or at best the people through the market"
This argument is in every way bullet proof (unless you use the 'General Welfare argument' - But this argument necessarily renders the entire Constitution meaningless, and thus is a moot argument that only holds water with power-hungry politicians.), and does not in anyway pollute the meaning of the 13th amendment, and also does not even require any amendments beyond the Bill of Rights.
Then, we add to the argument that Health care can NOT be a government granted right. Thus it is not even a state's issue. This means that it HAS to be dealt with on the market-level (unless we amend the constitution). The reason why it can NOT be a gov't granted right is because the Declaration of Independence, and John Locke's argument, is that every person has the right to Life, Liberty, and their Property. Thus, You have the liberty to choose how to live your life and make your own decisions regarding your property (money).
These arguments are bullet proof - I am still awaiting numerous people's response to these arguments that actually destroys these arguments (it's been about 6 months for a few people!).
Thanks for the thoughtful reply. However, you must remember that the UHC is actually positioned as a tax bill - this whole thing is an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code. So that's how it escapes 10th amendment limitations of federal power (by hiding behind the "accepted" income tax). And as for the 16th, it's actually perfectly legal if it is only applied to the incomes of certain federal employees, under certain conditions. The illegality is that it is presumed to apply to everyone all the time, and no mechanism is allowed to refute that presumption.
But the big difference between the 13th (UHC) and the 16th (income tax when legally applied) are the ideas of "payment" versus "excise." In other words, the UHC is simply a bill, by the government, for payment of healthcare insurance, from everyone making over a certain amount, whether or not you use the healthcare. Whereas the income tax, when properly applied, only "excises" a percentage of income, and if no income is made, no excise is taken.
The legal and philosophical difference is profound. With the UHC, you have to work to pay, no matter what, or be fined and go to jail. That is clearly the literal definition of the indentured servitude described in the 13th, and is acknowledged as a form of slavery.
However, properly applied, the income tax is justified as a "cost of doing business," with the idea that you don't necessarily have to do business. Of course, applying this concept to everyone's wages not only stretches this theory, but (IMO) destroys it. But until a legal mechanism is found to force a court to hear an argument against improper presumption, there isn't much anyone can do. Nevertheless, the idea of taxing the "sale" of something is perhaps the only "fair" type of tax that exists - given that it is applied properly. In fact, it is actually, the only type of tax the Constitution acknowledges as legal.
In 1792 the founding fathers issued a mandate at the federal level that all male citizens over the age of 18 were required to buy guns and ammunition and to remain stocked with ammunition at all times. Clearly mandates at the federal level were acceptable to the founding fathers (you could read this as technically violating the second amendment, the right of the people to keep and bear arms (or not to) shall not be infringed).
It certainly seems like it does and that's not the only violation of the health care bill either.
What I find amazing is no one is debating this! Not congress or the press. Even Bret Baier in his interview with the President didn't bring up the constitutionality question about the bill and I know it was a question that was submitted.
It seems people are resigned to the fact the the government can do whatever it wants, and with that attitude, they can!
Slavery is the cornerstone of socialism. Does it strike anyone else as ironic that Obama is so adamant about this?
I do not follow politics as a rule because honestly I get so confused with all the garble and double speak.
It seems to me that what you are saying makes perfect sense but the trouble is we as American citizens can make all the sense in the world if nobody is listening it will not matter.
It has been so long since anyone in big government paid attention to "We the People" that "We the People" have lost hope that our opinions matter.
I do not support Obamacare as I also do not support any of the other crap that our government imposes on us. We have not been the land of the free in a very long time, but without the $$ to support my opinion it is one that will never be heard in any place that will make a difference.
Makes total sense.
I'm sure the Supreme Court (you know, those people who actually know how to interpret the Constitution) will agree.
Really? You didn't feel that way when they blocked the ban on corporate spending limits on campaigns!
But yes, you're right the supreme court will decide and I heard 22 states are planning to challenge the bill so it may go that far. Here's the problem as I understand it, first before there can be a challenge someone has to be harmed, so the law has to be passed and some period of time must go by before that happens. By time the case gets heard, the entire infrastructure of federal agencies and monies and accounts are in place. It becomes harder to repeal it and the issue may just become moot. And so our continuating journey down socialism street takes us closer to the destination!
Your memory has once again failed you. I completely supported the Supreme Court's decision to allow corporate funding of campaign ads. (ask Ralph Deeds, his memory seems more reliable than yours)
Try sticking to the facts, (and actual quotes).
These forums are full of self-appointed constitutional experts. Thankfully, the hot air has no real effect on the outcome of anything important.
The post was put forth as a question based on research. The only one who has appointed himself a "constitutional expert" is - once again - you, Ron. You are the only one who knows enough to trash anyone elses opinion about law. Oh, excuse me, you and the Supreme Court (you know, those people who actually know how to interpret the Constitution).
And look how efficient you are - you don't even have to give any reasons. You merely have to point out that, once again, someone besides YOU (and the Supreme Court) have dared to think about the law. And of course, once you point that out, you win, because, well, you're RON.
The Founders screwed up, didn't they, Ron? They were supposed to name the country the United States of Ron. And the preamble to the Declaration should have said, "when in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to cringe and crawl before Ron, and seek Ron's command in all things..."
You're last name isn't by chance Hubbard, is it?
You tell him Madame X he has been dogging a number of Hubbers here that really deserve much better than he gives. It has been a wile since he attacked me but he just never learns.
Nice temper tantrum.
The founding fathers actually did a great job, but even they would have learned something over the ensuing 230 years and adapted. Unfortunately, many conservatives are so hell-bent on eradicating evolution as a concept that they shriek like scared children when the human race aspires to principles of compassion and justice.
I agree, the supreme court may even rule that violating the constitution can be interpreted as breaking an oath.
The court may even interpret the breaking of oaths as Treason.
Criminal charges may follow.
Pelosi in cuffs? She would like it!
LOL that's ridiculous. Bush was never put in cuffs. There is no justice in this government.
...well, becuase we the people have allowed it to go on to this point, we shouldn't put anyone in cuffs...but we should oust them all and start fresh, this time holding our standards of the constitution high and not letting them fall through laziness of our perception of our liberties and freedoms...
Bush is not dead yet. You never know what would happen if the proverbial cat was let out of the bag.
Whistleblowers trying to cut a deal could topple the entire house.
Since in reality it is built of cards.
"...the Supreme Court (you know, those people who actually know how to interpret the Constitution).."
Ugh... are you serious? Just because I'm not appointed to some arbitrary court by some guy that was elected because he was given billions of dollars by other people does NOT mean that I can't understand the Constitution.
Read Article 1 Section 8, then read A1 S9, and then read the 9th and 10th amendment. It is clear and easy enough to understand: if the power is not granted to Congress, the states are the ones given the power to decide on the issue - UHC is NOT granted to Congress, and thus it is a state issue (at best).
If you really think that 'being able to read' does not grant you authority to 'understand words written on a sheet of paper' I really don't see how you can justify calling yourself a human being.
It's just a way to set the majority of the population up for extermination...
You want to know why this bill is being pushed so hard on Americans? Follow the money, guys. Big Insurance and Big Pharma stand to make a killing if this bill passes.
Lord knows they've spent enough of their billions swaying our congress into thinking their way!
America needs jobs, not healthcare. Washington gets it, they just don't give a damn.
Exactly! Over 30 million new paying customers by Law. You know they are drooling over the added profits.
Actually the opposite is true. From opensecrets.org -
"The Center for Responsive Politics found that Republican senators who opposed the bill collected an average of 41 percent more from medical professionals, an average of 41 percent more from pharmaceutical and health product companies and an average of 28 percent more from health and accident insurers than their Democratic counterparts."
Follow the money - opensecrets.org tracks what our elected officials and the lobbyists holding their leash have to report by law and don't particularly want you to know. While the industry IS happy about the new customers,, they are terrified of government oversight and regulation.
Opensecrets can say whatever it wants - if this bill were passed, Pharmaceutical industries will make a killing, and so will insurance companies.
If the government is paying for what the people need, then people continue to not ask their doctors how much things cost. Thus doctors will be more free to prescribe medication.
If the government forces all insurance companies to pay for people with pre-existing conditions (the cornerstone argument for proponents of UHC), then prices HAVE to go up! How else will they be able to pay for the people? And if people don't have the option of shopping between companies, because EVERY company has to provide the same services, there will be a cartel formed that can raise prices with little to no consequence of competition.
Just thinking through the logic of how things will be paid shows that prices will have to go up, and that, through monopsony, the insurance company will gain profits!
In the first place - opensecrets.org is a database of numbers which politicians, PACs and lobyists have to report.. The database allows you to research the information in a variety of ways. Facts are different from opinions. You are long on opinions.
HCR will impose caps on the insurance companies - who will be required to spend 80 or 85% of premiums on health care and there will be a review of proposed price increases. No sudden rate hikes. The doctors will be no more or less free to prescribe than they were before HCR because they will still be dealing with the SAME insurance companies thay are now - the same way they are now. Government is NOT going to take over health care - they are facilitating payment to the insurance companies and demanding the companies follow the rules.
Paul Krugman (Nobel Lauriate - economics) discusses the 3 legs of HCR in this blog March 17 @ 11:30 AM -
Again with the horror that is universal healthcare.
Why was your constitution written in the first place? To deny healthcare to the poor. I don't think so.
Trying to manipulate a passage written to prevent slavery as a way of denying basic healthcare to the poor is perfect irony - and morally questionable.
Go ahead and use your constitution as an arguement. Maybe you will be successful and enslave millions in a lifetime of ill health. Oh, I forgot, mission accomplished on that front. Lack of healthcare to all is common in the Third World. The land of the free? The land of opportunity? As long as you have the cash.
Is there just an outside chance that the rest of the world may be on the right track and America the wrong one? Of course not.
Universal Health Care IS outlawed by the Constitution - although, I wouldn't state that the 13th amendment is the strongest of arguments.
The Much stronger, and logical, argument is that the 10th amendment - the 'cornerstone of the Constitution', accd'ing to James Madison and Thomas Jefferson - prevents Congress from legislating on any power not expressly granted to it in Article 1 Section 8, and leaves to the people any power not granted to Congress in S.8 but prevented to the states in A.1S.9, amongst others.
The simple fact is that health care is, at best, a State's issue.
And before you say anything like 'blah, who cares about the Constitution' - MY Constitution didn't have an expiration date.
U.S. health care results rank down with third world countries.
Any "killing" for ins. companies would be temporary because one long-term goal of obama and the rest of these arrogant SOBs is to "kill" the ins. companies. Imagine a home-owner's ins. company required by law to cover a home owner who signed up while his house was on fire. How long would that company stay in business? Oh, but until there was a fire (or if he found it easily put out) he could drop that ins. and pay a fine - not to the ins. company but to the government, which is standing by to put its own controls in effect after the ins. companies have gone belly-up.
The argument that President Obama is trying to kill off the insurance companies is posted by SabOh on the same day and forum that Michael Willis suggests it's all a conspiracy with the medical insurance companies to drive up their profits with 30 million new customers.
It's hard to keep the wild accusations straight. I responded to Michael earlier - but for moonface... did you notice there is NO public option in HCR? That the insurance companies will be allowed a 15 - 20% expenses & profit margin? No one has mase a rational arguent that the goal or accidental result of HCR will drive the insurance companies out of business. Unless you have a reputable source..
"did you notice there is NO public option?"
Not yet....but we know they want one, and if they cause one to be 'necessary' further down the line, well...
I just want to be clear that I think you are absolutely right in your argument about the Constitutional limitations of government via Article 1 Sections 8 & 9 the 10th Amendment. As well, I think your argument should not only bar UHC, but also the Income Tax generally and force a Supreme Court ruling against the legitimacy of the 16th.
But as the government has twisted itself into knots to enable the use of the 16th for their confiscatory purposes, literally hanging it's existence on a slender thread of mostly unacknowledged justification, I don't see them allowing your argument to reach past the 16th to get to the UHC bill.
In fact, I believe that it is precisely because your argument would bar the UHC that they HAD to hide it behind a tax jurisdiction, or it would be stopped cold. That's why I think the 13th is the real threat to it, because there is a clear difference between excise taxation and flat-out involuntary servitude that the income tax dodges (barely) - but UHC cannot.
Ask her. We had a delightful chat in the comments section of her last hub or you can E-mail her from her profile.
I can't e-mail her from her profile when her profile doesn't exist anymore.
But gee thanks Doug. I'm sure you were your usual chivalrous self.
But yes it violates the Amendment.
Obama and the rest of this Administration have violated so many Amendments it ain't even funny.
I don't see how a health care bill can violate a slavery amendment. Seems a little ridiculous to me to even make that connection. Just my thoughts.
Yep, but it should come as no surprise. Obama violates everything this country stands for. He's a walking violation.
1 : break, disregard
2 : to do harm to the person
3 : to fail to show proper respect for
Sounds about right to me.
Talk about stupid, letting an openly-radical usurper be the leader of the free world was about the stupidest thing America could've done.
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