Alaska GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller has repeatedly claimed that federal health care benefits violate the Constitution. It turns out, however, that “Mr. Noun, Verb, and Unconstitutional” doesn’t actually think that the Constitution applies to himself. Yesterday, Miller acknowledged that the received the very same kind of federally funded health care benefits that he believes to be unconstitutional:
U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller acknowledged Thursday that in the past his family received assistance from federal Medicaid and Denali KidCare, the state low income health care program. His opponents in the race responded that he’s a hypocrite for taking assistance while now saying federal entitlement programs are unconstitutional.
Miller’s campaign didn’t provide an answer for for the past week-and-a-half did not answer when asked what low-income assistance he has received. But Miller addressed it Thursday when asked by reporters after a debate in Anchorage, saying people are entitled to know about his past benefits but “it’s a bit of a distraction from where we’re at today.”
Miller attempts to distract from his own hypocrisy by pointing out that he only objects to federally-funded health care benefits, claiming that it is “ultimately a state decision” whether or not to provide a basic safety net to the nation’s least fortunate. But this claim does nothing to change the fact that the Medicaid benefits Miller accepted are paid in part by the federal government — a violation of Miller’s bizarre view of the Constitution.
And Miller isn’t just a hypocrite, he also has no idea what he is talking about. Had Miller actually bothered to read the Constitution, he would know that Congress has the power to “to lay and collect taxes” and to “provide for the . . . general welfare of the United States.” Federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid clearly fit within this power to raise revenue and spend it to benefit the nation at large. Additionally, Miller’s proposal for a state takeover of federal entitlement programs is economically impossible unless America forbids its citizens from retiring in a different state than the one that they paid taxes in while working.
There is one thing that’s clear from Miller’s actions, however. He is perfectly happy to leave millions of other people helpless against the twin dragons of poverty and disease, but there is no way that he is going to follow his own draconian rules.