The following was adopted 12 September 2009, during the Second Southern National Congress meeting at Delta, Alabama.
Remonstrance and Petition for a Redress of Grievances
Government Health Care
We, the Delegates of the Southern States, in Congress assembled, make the following Findings and Affirmations:
Health care in America remains the best in the world, and we Americans have been blessed by compassionate, dedicated, and highly skilled medical professionals and practitioners. However, in recent decades, the quality, availability, and especially affordability of medical care have declined, imposing unnecessary expense and suffering on the poor, the elderly, and those living on fixed incomes.
We staunchly believe and assert this decline has not been caused by patients, doctors, and institutions of care entering into free, informed, and responsible choices, as some would suggest. Rather it has been caused by the vast intrusions of government into the country’s health care systems. American medicine has become a massively regulated, subsidized, and centralized industry, resulting in structural distortions, misallocation of scarce resources, and bureaucratic impediments to the delivery of quality care. Therefore, in remonstrating against government-managed health care, we protest not only the proposals to broaden such government intrusions in the future, but also the government’s current policies which have contributed so materially to the crisis.
Government exploits the crisis of high medical cost which it created as a pretext to buy votes and assure incumbency. Its current initiative to nationalize the entire system of United States medical care continues the Regime’s process toward Statist control. This process began in the 1960’s with Medicare, and similar schemes, with the evident purpose of converting the United States into a European-style, democratic-socialist welfare state.
The problem of escalating costs for medical treatment is aggravated by the onerous burden of taxation, by which government robs the average working person of 40 to 60% of their income directly and indirectly, leaving little surplus for such essentials as medical care.
The third party payer system for medical insurance was driven by government intervention in the labor market beginning in WWII with wage controls, perpetuated by the unequal treatment favoring employer-purchased insurance over privately purchased coverage. This scheme has taken the patient/consumer out of the free market for health care and fundamentally altered the physician-patient relationship. It has inserted the insurance company and the legislature into private medical decisions about the best course of care for individual patients.
Through the enactment and operation of employment-based and government-administered medical insurance programs, Americans have been conditioned to believe that medical care is a right and that someone else should be responsible for providing it to them. Having relinquished that responsibility, they now find themselves largely disconnected from the increasing cost of their care.
The Federal government has continually usurped States’ rights by undermining the 10th Amendment to the United States Constitution. It has enslaved our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren to a life of ruthless taxation to reduce the staggering debt amassed by Federal profligacy. The “official” Federal national debt is 80% of GDP, not including a soon-to-be bankrupt Social Security Trust Fund and Medicare System. Other unsecured liabilities run into the many trillions of dollars.
Yet this same government has the temerity to propose a one-trillion-dollar, cradle-to-grave “universal health care” program. Adding an additional 46 million clients who may not pay for their “universal health care,” but who will most certainly use what is provided at the expense of others, will overwhelm the current health care infrastructure and inevitably result in health care rationing.
Universal health care will add volumes of new government regulations resulting in socialized medicine, undermining individual freedom, and further contributing to making health care unaffordable for the average person.
The Federal government, often with the assistance of State governments, has allowed and encouraged price-fixing, restraint-of-trade barriers, and other monopolistic behaviors by domestic and international corporations, resulting in artificially high costs for patients and exorbitant profits for health insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
The lack of tort reform adds unnecessary medical costs as high as one billion dollars a year with no appreciable benefits to patients, only to plaintiff attorneys. The Regime has made no serious attempts to address this problem, which leads to expensive and often unnecessary tests and procedures as doctors are forced to practice defensive medicine to avoid frivolous malpractice lawsuits.
Southerners support medical practice based on the ancient Hippocratic principle of administering the best possible care for each individual patient, with the decisions about that care made by the patient, his family, and his doctor; and exercising the most responsible stewardship of the resources available to each patient, from whatever source.
The Constitution of the United States nowhere permits the Federal government to fund or to provide medical care to the general population, directly or indirectly. Consequently, Southerners are compelled to denounce “universal health care reform” as the single most profound change in the relationship between the state and the individual citizen since the founding of the Republic. We further censure the Federal government for its massive debt acquisition which has put not only the health but also the liberty and property of future Southern generations in jeopardy.
Southerners are among the most generous and charitable people in the world, and that trait should be nurtured and encouraged in our culture. We recognize that care for the truly less fortunate among us is our responsibility, consistent with our own consciences and our religions obligations. However, every Southern State must hold fast to the words of David Crockett, the great Tennessean, "We have the right as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to appropriate a dollar of the public money."
THEREFORE, We the Delegates to the Second Southern National Congress, petition the Governments of the Fourteen Southern States to:
- Recognize the inherent right of “We the people” within our sovereign States to nullify Federal encroachments upon our reserved rights and Federal violations of the expressed will of the People within our sovereign States.
- Abandon the idea of “universal health care”.
- Cease mandating health care benefits or protocols to the States.
- Guarantee and protect the privacy of individual medical records.
- Enact laws allowing Medical Savings Accounts, the most moral, economically sound, and liberty-oriented health care reform thus far proposed, so that individuals may regain power over their own medical decisions.
- Enact tort reform to discourage frivolous lawsuits, while preserving the right of the individual to sue for malpractice.
- Repeal laws criminalizing the purchase of medicines from foreign countries.
- Recognize individual patients as the key decision-makers in the health care system.
- Eliminate employer mandates and incentives requiring its workforce to purchase health insurance through the employer.
- Guarantee citizens the unencumbered freedom to select and purchase their own insurance, medical cost-sharing program; or, at their own risk, to purchase none at all.
- Allow the insurance industry to offer a wide array of medical insurance arrangements with the least possible governmental interference, enabling citizens to choose the coverage that best suits their needs, with no requirement to pay for benefits they neither need nor desire.
- Require price transparency in the true costs of health insurance plans and the true cost of the medical goods and services they cover.
- Establish interstate agreements providing continuity in benefits and portability, making it possible for people to compare and purchase health insurance across State lines, and institute policies which encourage the development, release and dissemination of generic drugs as well as allow for the international purchase of medicines.
- Guarantee individuals the opportunity to change health coverage and protection from cancellation of an insurance policy if the individual becomes sick.
Adopted September 12, 2009 by the Second Southern National Congress at Delta, Alabama and ordered to be transmitted to the Congressional Delegations, Governors, and State Legislatures of the States of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia; to the President of the United States, and to the Supreme Court of the United States.