Sen. Jim DeMint: Romneycare is an Unjust Law

March 5, 2012 - 5:38 PM
Sen. Jim DeMint

Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Jim DeMint (R.-S.C.) told CNSNews.com that both Obamacare and Romneycare are unjust laws because they wrongfully mandate that individuals must purchase a product prescribed by the government.

CNSNews.com asked DeMint in an Online With Terry Jeffrey interview, if he believed that the “type of health-care prescription and mandate” enacted in Massachusetts under Gov. Mitt Romney was “a violation of the natural right of liberty.”

Yeah, I think it is,” said DeMint.

So, that no state should do it?” CNSNews.com asked DeMint.

I don’t think a state should do it, but if the state wants to try, it’s up to their people,” said DeMint. “I think it violates a constitutional principle that’s much bigger than one state, to mandate—because it’s not just a matter of saying, hey, you’ve got to have insurance, it’s a matter of saying you’ve got to have this kind of insurance and this insurance has got to cover contraceptives and abortion and so they start telling us everything.”

“So, if it’s an unjust law federally, it’s also an unjust law for someone in Boston?” CNSNews.com asked.

I think it is. I think it is,” said DeMint. "But my bigger concern—”

So, Romneycare is an unjust law?” CNSNews.com asked.

People are going to give you different interpretations,” said DeMint. “For me, a mandate is an unjust law.”

DeMint went on to say that he hopes the Supreme Court will rule “against the ability of anyone saying that you have to buy something.”

“The Constitution does not give the federal government the right to tell Massachusetts what kind of health care plans they can have,” said DeMint. “But it does give us rights as individuals that are protected. And I really think when you get into saying you have to buy this product or that, that you’re crossing that line. And the Supreme Court will decide that this year. And hopefully they’ll decide against the ability of anyone saying that you have to buy something.”

In his new book—Now or Never: Saving America from Economic Collapse—that DeMint discussed in the interview with CNSNews.com, he warned that Obamacare is propelling America toward socialized medicine and that government should not require Americans to buy health insurance.

“America is currently on a course toward socialized medicine, where the entire health-care system will be controlled by the federal government,” DeMint wrote in Now or Never. “Unless Obamacare is repealed, more than two-thirds of Americans will be on a government health plan within five years.”

“Americans should not be required to buy insurance—but they should be required to pay their own health-care bills,” DeMint wrote.

Under the Massachusetts health-care plan signed by Mitt Romney when he was governor, individuals are required to purchase a government approved health-care plan or pay a penalty, and individuals earning up to 300 percent of the poverty level are given government subsidies to buy the mandated health-insurance plan.

Before asking Sen. DeMint about the Massachusetts health-care program, CNSnews had asked him about a statement many U.S. Catholic bishops made about what they believe is the unjust nature of the Health and Human Services regulation issued under President Obama’s health-care program that will require all health-care plans sold in the United States to cover sterilizations and all FDA-approved contraceptives, including those that cause abortions. Because the Catholic Church teaches that sterilization, contraception and abortion are wrong, and because President Obama’s health-care law mandates that everyone must buy health insurance, the regulation, if implemented, would force Catholics to act against the teachings of their faith.

In letters read during Mass from church pulpits in January, many of the nation’s Catholic bishops said of the sterlization-contraception-abortifacient regulation: “We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law.”

“You agree this is an unjust law?” CNSNews.com asked DeMint of the regulation.

“It is an unjust law and Americans need to take a stand, businesses and states need to push back and some are. They’re filing suit,” said DeMint.

To view the entirety of CNSNews.com interview with Sen. Jim DeMint click here.

Here is a transcript of what Sen. Jim DeMint said about the Massachusetts health-care law:

CNSNews.com Editor in Chief Terry Jeffrey: Let me ask you about an issue in the presidential campaign. Up in Massachusetts, Gov. Mitt Romney signed a health care bill that in many ways exactly mirrored Obamacare. It ordered all individuals to purchase health insurance, it subsidizes health insurance for people up to 300 percent of the poverty level, and it in fact forces people to pay for things like in vitro fertilization that they believe are wrong. If you were in Massachusetts, would you say that that ought to be repealed?

Sen. Jim Demint (R.-S.C.): If I was in Massachusetts, but I’m not.

Jeffrey: And that it’s an unjust law?

Demint: Massachusetts can do what they want with their law. The good thing about states doing it is if I’m in Massachusetts and I don’t like it I can move to South Carolina.

Jeffrey: Well, you don’t think that type of health-care prescription and mandate is a violation of the natural right of liberty to—

Demint: Yeah, I think it is.

Jeffrey: So, that no state should do it?

Demint: I don’t think a state should do it, but if the state wants to try, it’s up to their people. I think it violates a constitutional principle that’s much bigger than one state, to mandate—because it’s not just a matter of saying, hey, you’ve got to have insurance, it’s a matter of saying you’ve got to have this kind of insurance and this insurance has got to cover contraceptives and abortion and so they start telling us everything.

Jeffrey: So, if it’s an unjust law federally, it’s also an unjust law for someone in Boston?

Demint: I think it is. I think it is. But my bigger concern—

Jeffrey: So, Romneycare is an unjust law?

Demint: People are going to give you different interpretations. For me, a mandate is an unjust law. And particularly how it’s implemented—

Jeffrey: Do you think that Governor Romney can sustain a debate against President Obama given that he enacted in Massachusetts what you believe is an unjust law in exactly the same area of public policy that President Obama—

Demint: I have no idea. But I do know that if more states had taken on the health care issue, regardless of how they ended up, we wouldn’t have ended up with Obamacare.  And it needs to be done at the state level. Some states would do it poorly and it would be expensive and that would drive people towards states that do it right. It’s just like right-to-work states. Businesses are flocking to us because states can make that decision. So, states can make different decisions and I think there should be a lot of latitude. The Constitution does not give the federal government the right to tell Massachusetts what kind of health care plans they can have. But it does give us rights as individuals that are protected. And I really think when you get into saying you have to buy this product or that, that you’re crossing that line. And the Supreme Court will decide that this year.  And hopefully they’ll decide against the ability of anyone saying that you have to buy something.