Executive orders are unconstitutional and it’s a shame the American people put up with them. We need tort reform and a private option in healthcare for people who don’t want to be forced into the system by government.
Channel: Fox News
Megyn Kelly: Just moments away from a major event at the White House. President Obama is about to sign the executive order that reaffirms restrictions on federal funding for abortion, behind closed doors and away from the cameras this time. That order was part of a last-minute deal struck with Congressman Bart Stupak and other pro-life Democrats. The president used it to bring them over to his side and help pass the Health Care Overhaul Bill. But my next guest says that deal is flat-out illegal and unconstitutional. He is Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas and he joins me live now from Capitol Hill.
Alright, Congressman, thank you so much for being here. Why do you say this executive order is unconstitutional?
Ron Paul: Because the constitution says that only Congress passes laws. The executive branch is not allowed to pass laws, nor should the judicial system pass laws. So it is clearly unconstitutional to issue these executive orders. They’ve been done for a long time, both parties have done it, but the Congress is careless. They allow and encourage and do these deals, like they have this time, to get the President to circumvent the Congress. If something’s unpopular and he can’t get it passed, well, let’s just sign an executive order. So I think that is blatantly wrong. I think this defies everything the founders intended. I think it’s a shame that Congress does it, and I think it’s a shame that the American people put up with it.
Megyn Kelly: Do you think that – there’s been a lot of debate over this. Do you think that executive order that he will sign in 15 minutes is worth the paper it’s printed on?
Ron Paul: Well, I think that executive orders are very powerful and they’re wrong, and they do have the effect of law. Now the reason I don’t think this one will is I don’t think the Hyde Amendment has ever been effective. It’s symbolic. It says that people, organizations, hospitals can’t spend their money doing abortions. But in the past, when we give money to pregnancy centers and family planning centers, they say you can’t use this for abortion. So they take that money and use it for birth control pills, then they take the money from the birth control pills to use it for abortion.
All funds are fungible so this particular executive order doesn’t have much effect, and that’s why the liberals went along with it because the Hyde Amendment doesn’t have that much effect. The only way you can solve this problem is striking all the funds from these pregnancy centers. We shouldn’t be involved in family planning at the United States government level or at the Congress. So, no, that’s the reason, but I disagree with some who say, “Well, these executive orders don’t have any authority.” They do. Presidents can go to war over executive orders. So I would say they do, they have a lot of power.
Megyn Kelly: Yeah. Stupak’s press release said, “Hey, the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order.” But let me shift gears with you for a minute if I can, Congressman Paul, because you mentioned how the federal government shouldn’t be involved in family planning, but the federal government is about to, as a result of this bill, be involved in that and a whole lot more. I mean, its tentacles just got a whole lot more numerous and a lot of Americans are worried about it. They’re worried about what’s going to happen now. How much will the federal government be between me and my doctor, be between me and my accountant, me and my mortgage broker, and so on and so forth. What are your thoughts on it? Are we seeing a shift right now in how involved the government is in our lives?
Ron Paul: It’s going to be a lot more. It’s already been a mess, and that’s why people have been unhappy, because the bureaucrats and the government insurance companies have gotten themselves in between the doctor and the patient. So this is going to be a lot worse and it’s going to cost a lot more money, and not only do you have the government and the insurance companies and drug companies, you have the lawyers in the middle, too! The tort law, if that isn’t corrected, you will always have this incentive by doctors to overtest. And when there’s third-party payment, that’s one inducement for over-ordering, but then if you have the threat of an attorney suing you, it’s very easy for the doctor to say, “Oh look, I’m going order more tests. I’m going be safe because I don’t want to have to answer these questions to the attorneys.” So it’s the worst set of circumstances.
Megyn Kelly: How has that ever dialed back? Because some on your side of the aisle are talking about repeal and replace, and so on. Once the federal government is in our business when it comes to healthcare, is there any getting it out?
Ron Paul: No, and I think the only thing you could do and hope for is that we legalize an option, an option out, a private option, instead of just the government option. We do have a private option on education. Public education is going downhill because the federal government runs it, and all they do is run up the costs and they’ve done this in medicine, but now with this mandate that you must buy the insurance, there’s no opting out. In education, you can at least teach your kids at home and you can have private schooling, but under these circumstances there will be no chance to opt out of the system. So it means that we’ve had this encroachment of bureaucratic government all these years, but now this is closing the door to any other option, and we don’t even have a chance for a small group of people to say, “I’ve had enough. I don’t want to have anything to do with the government.” I’d like to legalize freedom for the individuals who say, “I will go it on my own, I don’t want anybody to take care of me. I will be responsible for myself.” But this bill has essentially closed the door on that option.
Megyn Kelly: Well, it’s a principle you’ve stood for for a long time, Congressman Ron Paul. Thanks so much for coming on and discussing it with us.
Ron Paul: Thank you.