Is a government-dominated health-care system unconstitutional? A strong case can be made for that proposition, based on the same "right to privacy" that underlies such landmark Supreme Court decisions as Roe v. Wade.
The details of this year's health-care reform bill are still being hammered out. But the end result is sure to be byzantine in complexity. Washington will have immense say over how, when and through whom Americans are treated. Moreover, despite the administration's public pronouncements about painless cuts in wasteful spending, only the most credulous believe that some form of government-directed health-care rationing can be avoided as a means of controlling costs.
The Supreme Court created the right to privacy in the 1960s and used it to strike down a series of state and federal regulations of personal (mostly sexual) conduct. This line of cases began with Griswold v. Connecticut in 1965 (involving marital birth control), and includes the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.Inspector General scandal: Separately, the FBI has opened up an obstruction of justice investigation in the Sacramento scandal that led to the highly suspicious firing of government watchdog Gerald Walpin. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass observes that that's merely the Chicago way (now renamed the Potomac Way) of doing business:
It's amusing to watch the Washington political establishment feign shock, now that President Barack Obama's reform administration has used a clay foot to vigorously kick one inspector general and boot another out the door.
One inspector general foolishly investigated a friend of the president. Another inspector general audited those juicy bonuses given to AIG executives as part of $700 billion federal bailout of the financial industry...
The use of political muscle may be prohibited in the mythic transcendental fairyland where much of the Obama spin originates, sprouting green and lush, like the never-ending fields of primo Hopium.
But our president is from Chicago. Obama's Media Merlin David Axelrod and chief of staff Rahm Emanuel come right from Chicago Democratic machine boss Mayor Richard Daley. They don't believe in fairies.