Pete Souza

Pete Souza

No, Rep. Pelosi, the “pursuit of happiness” clause in the Declaration of Independence does not make Obamacare okay.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently invoked the Declaration to defend ObamaCare.

“To go to back to our Founders once again, they sacrificed it all for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” she told reporters. “This law, the Affordable Care Act, is about a healthier life, the liberty to pursue your happiness. That is solid policy, and the mandate is central to that.”

She’s correct that the mandate is absolutely central to Obamacare. Of course, Obamacare is such a poor public policy that other mandates have already been suspended — some more than once. But even if the mandates were a good idea, it’s ridiculous to claim that the Founders would have believed that the right to “pursue happiness” involves compelling anyone to buy anything. They would have been appalled that their Declaration, aimed at freeing them from royal tyranny, was being cited to impose federal mandates on citizens.

In the U.S., whether you’ll be happier with or without health insurance should be for you to decide. If it falls to lawmakers to determine what constitutes an individual’s “pursuit of happiness,” those lawmakers are going to be creating plenty of unhappy citizens.

The Constitution established a limited federal government: One that would protect citizens, not one that attempts to fulfill all their needs. You could look it up.