On his FNC show tonight Bill O’Reilly declared that the government does not have the right to force a person to buy health insurance. After asking for the definition of the Commerce Clause O’Reilly said, “This is total BS. This is why people hate lawyers. This is nuts.” Bill-O, constitutional scholar, thinks the constitution and the Commerce Clause are BS.
Here is the video courtesy of Media Matters:
After he declared that his audience doesn’t know what the Commerce Clause O’Reilly asked guest Lis Wiehl to explain it. As she started to explain it, O’Reilly interrupted her and said, “I want the audience to know, this is total BS. This is why people hate lawyers this is nuts.” Later he gave his explanation, “The government is saying you have to buy health insurance. You have to do it. I say that’s unconstitutional. The federal government does not have the power to force an American to buy anything.”
Under O’Reilly’s logic the government mandate that drivers buy auto insurance is also unconstitutional because the government can’t force you to buy anything. O’Reilly ended the segment by saying that the government can’t force you to do or buy anything. This simply is not true. The government forces parents to get their vaccinated before they enroll in school.
Using O’Reilly’s reasoning the health insurance mandate in Massachusetts is illegal, but it isn’t, and the city of San Francisco’s universal health care plan was also ruled legal last year. The legal challenge that O’Reilly and his guests were discussing doesn’t exist. A little bit of research before they went on the air would have revealed that people, who think that a health insurance mandate is unconstitutional, don’t have a leg to stand on.
Bill-O wasn’t basing his argument on any sort of research or reasoning. He just thinks that when the Constitution is applied to a position that he disagrees with, the Constitution is BS. Bill O’Reilly playing legal scholar on television is a very scary thing.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association