Lewis is about as bright as Alaska in December.

(CNSNews.com) Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said on Tuesday that the government should require individuals to buy health insurance and cited the Preamble to the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence’s “pursuit of happiness” language and the 14th Amendment as the sources of Congress’ authority to enact such a mandate.

“I think people should be required to get health insurance. We require people to get insurance for their automobile state by state but the federal government has an obligation to encourage by law, moral persuasion, to get people to get health insurance,” Lewis told CNSNews.com on Tuesday after a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee hearing in opposition to Republican efforts to repeal the health-care law enacted last year.

CNSNews.com also asked Lewis what part of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to require individuals to buy health insurance.

“Well, when you start off with the Preamble of the Constitution, you talk about the pursuit of happiness,” said Lewis. “You go to the 14th Amendment–it’s equal protection under the law and we have not repealed the 14th Amendment. People have a right to have health care. It’s not a privilege but a right.”

The Preamble of the Constitution states, “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

…The 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

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