Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More On Health Care

Steve Adcock, writing on the website, Small Government Times, recently brought up an interesting point regarding the idea of mandatory health coverage:

Is mandatory health insurance Constitutional?

Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island, was asked by the CNSNews.com web site to cite the Constitutional authority for the government to require the American people to buy health insurance. Apparently, Reed will have to get back with us on that one.

"Specifically where in the Constitution does Congress get its authority to mandate that individuals purchase health insurance?" CNSNews.com asked Reed.

"I would have to check the specific sections, so I’ll have to get back to you on the specific section," Reed said. "But it is not unusual that the Congress has required individuals to do things, like sign up for the draft and do many other things too, which I don't think are explicitly contained [in the Constitution]."

Unbelievable. We have a sitting politician in Washington D.C. who admits Congress has used the government to require mandates of the American people without explicit authorization from the very document that provides the government with their just authority.

"It gives Congress a right to raise an army, but it doesn't say you can take people and draft them. But since that was something necessary for the functioning of the government over the past several years, the practice on the books, it's been recognized, the authority to do that."

It gives Congress a right to raise an Army and a Navy, Senator. Read Article I, Section VIII of the Constitution for more on what you, and your fellow colleagues, can legitimately do with the power that our election process has provided you.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the government has never required the American people to purchase a good or service, and doing so would be an "unprecedented form of federal action".


The only other exception I could think of where mandated purchase of a product is involved is car insurance, but people can choose whether to buy a car or not. Not everybody is forced to purchase car insurance. And the thing that necessitates car insurance - an accident that might impinge upon the property and person of someone else - doesn't exist in a situation where one's own health is the only consideration.

I don't think this argument is going to fly but it deserves attention. What kind of a world do we live in where nobody has the guarantee of safety, a job or a roof over their head but they could be forced to pay into a system where money they can't afford to spend goes down the toilet year after year against their will? That's the way the American insurance system is set up and it doesn't appear that that is going to change.

I guess, in another way, we are forced to pay for a service that we'll probably never see . . . social security. But again, only if we're working. Nobody makes us pay into social security . . . or even pay taxes . . . if we are unemployed. And a good thing, since so many of us are.

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