Fact Check

Michael Connelly on the Constitutionality of Health Care Reform

Attorney's essay challenges the constitutionality of health care reform legislation?

Published Jan 5, 2010

Claim:   Attorney's essay challenges the constitutionality of health care reform legislation.


Example:   [Connelly, August 2009]

The Truth About the Health Care Bills

Well, I have done it! I have read the entire text of proposed House Bill 3200: The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009. I studied it with particular emphasis from my area of expertise, constitutional law. I was frankly concerned that parts of the proposed law that were being discussed might be unconstitutional. What I found was far worse than what I had heard or expected.

To begin with, much of what has been said about the law and its implications is in fact true, despite what the Democrats and the media are saying. The law does provide for rationing of health care, particularly where senior citizens and other classes of citizens are involved, free health care for illegal immigrants, free abortion services, and probably forced participation in abortions by members of the medical profession.

The Bill will also eventually force private insurance companies out of business and put everyone into a government run system. All decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats and most of them will not be health care professionals. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled.

However, as scary as all of that it, it just scratches the surface. In fact, I have concluded that this legislation really has no intention of providing affordable health care choices. Instead it is a convenient cover for the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred, or even been contemplated. If this law or a similar one is adopted, major portions of the Constitution of the United States will effectively have been destroyed.

[Rest of article here.]

Michael Connelly
Retired attorney,
Constitutional Law Instructor
Carrollton, Texas


Origins:   Michael R. Connelly is a former U.S. Army officer and Louisiana attorney. On 12 August 2009 he posted on his blog the above-referenced essay, entitled "The Truth About the Health Care Bills," opining that portions of HB 3200

(The Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009), a health care reform bill then under consideration by Congress, were unconstitutional.

Most of that essay is now outdated, however. The bill that Mr. Connelly addressed, America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009 (H.R. 3200), was never passed by Congress. A completely different bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590), became the basis for what is now known as "Obamacare," so many of the points raised by Mr. Connelly referenced aspects of health care reform legislation that were never enacted by Congress

Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court contradicted most of Mr. Connelly's arguments, issuing a ruling in June 2012 that
the U.S. Supreme Court, upheld the constitutionality of "Obamacare" health care reform legislation.

Last updated:   2 October 2013


    Amar, Akhil Reed.   "Good Policy or Bad, It's Clearly Constitutional."

    Los Angeles Times.   20 January 2010   (p. A21).

    Hatch, Orrin G., et al.   "Why the Health-Care Bills Are Unconstitutional."

    The Wall Street Journal.   2 January 2010.

    Hatch, Orrin G., and Mark Shurtleff.   "The Democrats' Legislation Ignores the Constitution."

    Los Angeles Times.   20 January 2010   (p. A21).

    Sack, Kevin.   "Health Care Law Ruled Unconstitutional."

    The New York Times.   13 December 2010.

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.

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