The Supreme Court is taking on Obamacare. There are many questions to be decided, but the largest is the so-called individual mandate.
Some have suggested that the mandate is equivalent to states requiring the purchase of car insurance. This arguments fails on at least two grounds.
The first is that nobody need drive and those that don’t do not need to buy car insurance. Yours truly has not owned a car in baker’s dozen years and buys no insurance. But everybody alive needs to live, and you can’t have a tax on life itself.
That is, you might imagine a tax on life itself—and the Congress does have power to institute such a burden—but you should not be forced, at the point of a gun or threat of incarceration, to fork over a fee to a government-sponsored crony just to live. If the mandate is upheld, the government will select the crony or cronies who will take your money and might not even give you anything in return for it (see below). The cronies will almost certainly funnel a portion of it back to the government to insure that they retained favored crony status.
Second, the car insurance is for the car, and the argument is that because we know that accidents not only happen but are likely and frequent, and that many disputes between those causing and those suffering from accidents will have to be settled on a routine basis, therefore it is said that insurance makes this process flow smoothly. And there is some justice in that.
Now some facts about illness and medical care. Not everybody gets sick, and some of those who do choose not to go to the doctor. Imagine that! It is also so that many who are not sick, or sick with ailments that are self-limiting, choose to go to the doctor when they really needn’t. Many people sicken as they age and die, and many of the young have no or little need of medical services. Further, a great many diseases are self-inflicted, and a great many more could have been avoided through greater personal diligence. Too, for a given ailment there are a wide range of treatments, not all of which are known to work with equal efficacy.
If Congress had made a different argument and said that because a sufficient portion of the population will require medical care, and it is the duty of this country’s citizens to care for one another, that everybody should pay a tax which would go into a pool which could be drawn from to pay for citizen’s medical care, then the law would be on stronger ground. Congress does indeed have the power to tax.
But they cowered in fear at the T-word and chose to avoid it through a ploy that must not be allowed to stand. It would set an evil precedent. Congress will be allowed to mandate that private citizens pay other private citizens for whatever services that august, yet flighty, body deems essential. Failure to pay means penalties or jail time.
The Obamacare mandate is a guarantee of a permanent crony capitalistic system, socialism once removed.
And now just think of all those facts about illness. If Congress, even through a tax, is allowed to dictate payments of medical care, then Congress will be forced to define what medical care is. This is inescapable. This is a necessary consequence of the law. Not only was a certain derided politician quite right about “death panels”, but her predictions were too narrow.
Should the insurance you are taxed for or mandated to buy cover aspirins? If not, why not? A decision must be made—and will be made. How about diapers? If you scoff at this, then you have not been paying attention to the news. And you haven’t glanced at what is happening in Europe, where experiments like these have already been made.
What about antacids? How much care and how hard should doctors work to save a life of a 92 year old? Bandages? A pot of chicken soup for every home? Should fat people be forced to lose weight? Should the government ban “unhealthy” food and practices?
A perfect blizzard of questions like these await us, questions which previously were left up to each individual citizen and family to decide will be forced on a very small body of men and women to decide with finality each and every one. This being too time consuming, the decisions will be shunted to a group which reports to Congress, which will, in a very short time, metastasize into a bureaucracy.