Rep. Bachmann Suggests The Uninsured Shouldn't "Covet What Belongs To Our Neighbor"

November 07, 2011 3:20 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Many conservatives argue that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates the Tenth Amendment, which says powers not explicitly spelled out in the Constitution should be left to the states. It's less common for critics to argue that the health care law violates the Tenth Commandment, but that's exactly what GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) did today.

Speaking at the Family Research Council, Bachmann declared that President Obama's policies — and especially the Affordable Care Act — amount to "the most ambitious social engineering project in the history of the United States" and "a leap beyond the New Deal and the Great Society." According to Bachmann, "The Tenth Commandment, which teaches that we should not covet what belongs to our neighbor" is a better "principle for good government that's worked historically in the United States."

BACHMANN: President Obama believes in cultivating power unto himself and centralizing power unto himself. He's been willing to engage during his presidency in a massive redistribution of wealth and in the politics of an Occupy Wall Street envy to achieve his purposes. And the president's economic policies, most notable of which is Obamacare, represent the most ambitious social economic engineering project in the history of the United States. It is in fact a great leap beyond the New Deal and the Great Society. Contrast that with the Tenth Amendment — I'm sorry — the Tenth Commandment, which teaches that we should not covet what belongs to our neighbor. That's a principle for good government that's worked historically in the United States.

Bachmann may want to reconsider what kind of policies "worked" before Obama's presidency, which began amid staggering (and rising) income inequality and with tens of millions of Americans lacking health insurance. However, Bachmann seems to believe the appropriate response is to tell struggling Americans to read the Bible and stop 'coveting' the basic financial security enjoyed by those who are more fortunate. 

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