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Posted at 3:46 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

The flawed conservative case against the mandate

By Greg Sargent

Charles Lane summarizes the conservative argument for the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate as follows:

[T]he threat to liberty, if any, comes not so much from the individual mandate itself, but from the other things Congress might do if it gets away with claiming authority for this measure under the commerce clause.

Fairly stated, this is the conservative constitutional argument: Health care for all is a good cause. But if, in the name of that noble goal, you construe Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce so broadly as to encompass individual choices that have never previously been thought of as commercial, much less interstate, there would be nothing left of the commerce clause's restraints on Congress's power. And then, the argument goes, Congress would be free to impose far more intrusive mandates. Judge Vinson suggested that Congress "could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals," and that is hardly the most absurd or mischievous imaginable consequence.

This is one of the core conservative arguments against the mandate. I'm no lawyer, but I'd like to attempt a non-legalistic case in favor of the notion that the individual mandate does not set any such precedent for future Congressional overreach.

The argument for the individual mandate rests on the premise that the health care market is unique -- that it's not like the market in other products. The idea is that in a world where insurance companies are prohibited from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions -- a prohibition that no one is objecting to as unconstitutional -- people will have an incentive not to buy insurance or get health care until they get sick or injured.

Since this will inevitably happen to everyone aside from those in perfect health who suffer sudden accidental death, it's inevitable that virtually all of us will participate in the health care market whether we have insurance or not. Those who do so belatedly without insurance will drive up prices for all of us. Therefore, the individual mandate constitutes the regulation of participation in commerce that is inevitable. Congress isn't compelling that participation. It's just establishing the terms of that participation by placing a check on a certain mode of participation that harms all of us.

Could this be used as a precedent for a future Congress to compel you to eat or buy broccoli or purchase any other product it fancies? It's hard to see how.

For this to happen, you would need a situation that's analagous to the health care one. The mandate is often compared to forcing you to buy broccoli, but a better comparison would be to forcing you to buy vouchers to exchange for broccoli (or any other product) later.

In this case, the only way this is comparable to the mandate is if two things are true: First, that you will inevitably eat broccoli one day. And second, that if you don't buy vouchers for broccoli, your inevitable consumption of it will drive up the price of the vouchers for everyone else. Neither of those applies, of course. The comparison just doesn't wash -- even in a world with an individual mandate, Congress would not have legal basis for forcing people to eat broccoli.

Given the uniqueness of the health care market, it seems obvious to this non-lawyer that the individual mandate doesn't set precedent for the sort of future Congressional overreach that so frightens conservatives. Anyone arguing at some future time that the individual mandate gives Congress precedent to cite the commerce clause in order to force you to buy broccoli, or vouchers for it, would be laughed out of court.

By Greg Sargent  | February 4, 2011; 3:46 PM ET
Categories:  Health reform  
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Comments

Your italics are mis-set around after this line:

"but I'd like to attempt a non-legalistic case in favor of the notion that the individual mandate does not set any such precedent."

and this renders the rest of the post in italics.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 4, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

And again, conservatives weren't at all concerned about mandating that individuals do business with Wall Street when they wanted to privatize Social Security.

Do they realize that their concern about coercing individuals to do business with private health insurers, if upheld by the court, completely knocks the legs out from under their cherished dream of doing away with Social Security via privatizing it?

Posted by: JennOfArk | February 4, 2011 3:53 PM | Report abuse

@JennOfArk "And again, conservatives weren't at all concerned about mandating that individuals do business with Wall Street when they wanted to privatize Social Security.

Do they realize that their concern about coercing individuals to do business with private health insurers, if upheld by the court, completely knocks the legs out from under their cherished dream of doing away with Social Security via privatizing it?"

Cross posted from a previous thread:

The primary basis for the constitutionality of Social Security is the Sixteenth Amendment (Income Tax) to the United States Constitution.

A simple way to deal with the privatization constitutionality question would be to give everyone an opt out provision. They can chose to "opt out" of participating the privatization, but it wouldn't exempt them from the tax. Of course, this would be a pretty bad decision to make from an economic standpoint.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

Posted by: jnc4p | February 4, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

thanks, jnc4, fixed.

and agreed, jenn. there are many ways to make the argument.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 4, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Greg-

I suspect that if the individual mandate passes constitutional muster and is approved by the Supreme Court, the ruling will be strictly limited to the facts of the health care system, as you say. I'm not sure it's as easy as you think to craft an opinion that would assure no over reaching.

Posted by: mobrien83 | February 4, 2011 4:01 PM | Report abuse

thanks, jnc4, fixed.

and agreed, jenn. there are many ways to make the argument.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 4, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

fair point, mo. my basic aim here is to show that it would be hard to use the mandate as a precedent for forcing you to eat broccoli...

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 4, 2011 4:06 PM | Report abuse

JennofArk, conservatives have never said that privatizing social security means doing business with Wall Street. There are myriad forms of investment that never touch Wall Street. Anyway, privatizing Social Security to us is like an individual mandate for you libs - a poor substitute for the morally right thing to do. What we need to do is end the Ponzi scheme of generational robbery with the Orwellian name of Social Security.

Posted by: jstine | February 4, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Your post would be entirely true if not for the the irrefutable fact that PPACA is marching America inexorably toward Fascism. Ahem.

Posted by: jamois | February 4, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

When the Supreme Court decided that someone growing a little grass in their closet and then smoking it in their bedroom was both a "commercial" and "interstate" "individual choice" that was in the governments ability to regulate, I think they tanked this argument.

Posted by: flounder2 | February 4, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

So Greg, two jurists who already have used legal reasons via the Const. to declare much of Obamacare un-Const. is not to be followed huh??? If a Pub negated a Court ruling you would be frothing, WAPO would be outraged and the liberal posters would hang him or her in effigy if they couldn't take our a Hit on them! LOL The V and H opinions both declared this mess out of step with the Const. Of course, if libs do not want the Const. they just ignore it huh?????

Posted by: phillyfanatic | February 4, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

So Greg, two jurists who already have used legal reasons via the Const. to declare much of Obamacare un-Const. is not to be followed huh??? If a Pub negated a Court ruling you would be frothing, WAPO would be outraged and the liberal posters would hang him or her in effigy if they couldn't take our a Hit on them! LOL The V and H opinions both declared this mess out of step with the Const. Of course, if libs do not want the Const. they just ignore it huh?????

Posted by: phillyfanatic | February 4, 2011 4:08 PM | Report abuse

When the Supreme Court decided that someone growing a little grass in their closet and then smoking it in their bedroom was both a "commercial" and "interstate" "individual choice" that was in the governments ability to regulate, I think they tanked this argument.

Posted by: flounder2 | February 4, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

On her recent tour to entertain the troops in Afghanistan, the military brass bragged to Kathleen Madigan about all the new roads and schools they have being building over there.

Kathleen is now begging them to invade Detroit.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to fix, Greg, is the sentence, "Those who do so without insurance will drive up prices for all of us." That should read, "Those who do so without insurance and who cannot afford to pay their bills out of pocket will drive up prices for all of us."

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 4, 2011 4:15 PM | Report abuse

"Could this be used as a precedent for future Congress to compel you to eat or buy broccoli or purchase any other product it fancies? It's hard to see how."

Congress passes a law compelling the purchase of broccoli or any other product it fancies and the President signs it.

"Anyone arguing at some future time that the individual mandate gives Congress precedent to cite the commerce clause in order to force you to buy broccoli, or vouchers for it, would be laughed out of court."

No they wouldn't. They would argue that the "living" Constitution allows this as mandating broccoli promotes the general welfare and reduces the government's overall health care expenditures due to Medicare and Medicaid costs. The key would be the ideological dispositions of the Justices on the bench, not the quality of your argument.

A better way to make your argument Greg is to argue that the mandate is no more of an overreach than was the original Wickard v Filburn (1942) or Gonzales v. Raich (2005). Or more specifically, we've already crossed the bridge where Congress can do whatever it wants under the Commerce Clause unless and until the Supreme Court is actually willing to enforce some constraints on it.

Posted by: jnc4p | February 4, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to fix, Greg, is the sentence, "Those who do so without insurance will drive up prices for all of us." That should read, "Those who do so without insurance and who cannot afford to pay their bills out of pocket will drive up prices for all of us."

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 4, 2011 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to fix Greg, is forcing people to buy clothes, so they can go out in public,

And another thing to fix, is forcing people to buy passports, when they travel outside the country,

And another thing to fix is forcing people to buy Drugs at fixed rates, instead of allowing them to negotiate group discounts.

Oh wait; It was the Republicans who passed that mandate, so it must be Constitutional. That is very different; never mind. God rest Gilda.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh and btw Greg, do you think the La. jurist who told the Admin to stop the moratorium on oil drilling should have been dissed or is that Admin. corruption and arrogance too??? Libs apparently only use the Const. to redistribute other people's jobs, monies, investments and products.

Posted by: phillyfanatic | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

When the Supreme Court decided that someone growing a little grass in their closet and then smoking it in their bedroom was both a "commercial" and "interstate" "individual choice" that was in the governments ability to regulate, I think they tanked this argument.

Posted by: flounder2 | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with broccoli? :)

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

that should read, "Those who do so without insurance and who cannot afford to pay their bills out of pocket will drive up prices for all of us.
-----------------------------------

A distinction without a difference. Today, more than half of all uninsured ER visits are uncompensated. This makes sense when an overnight stay can be $20,000 or more and that is just diagnostic. The average income is $45k so it's not hard to see that the average person without insurance can't pay those kind of charges.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Another thing to fix Greg, is forcing people to buy clothes, so they can go out in public,

And another thing to fix, is forcing people to buy passports, when they travel outside the country,

And another thing to fix is forcing people to buy Drugs at fixed rates, instead of allowing them to negotiate group discounts.

Oh wait; It was the Republicans who passed that mandate, so it must be Constitutional. That is very different; never mind. God rest Gilda.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Testing. The system is either loading very slow, or in some cases timing out. You need to let tech support know about it.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"Could this be used as a precedent for future Congress to compel you to eat or buy broccoli or purchase any other product it fancies? It's hard to see how."

Really? Can you explain how Congress couldn't compel the consumption of broccoli? It's hard to see how Congress would NOT have such an authority. After all, healthy eating habits reduces the need for health care, and since Congress can compel and define how one participates in the "health care market" then Congress MUST, by extension, have the power to compel certain eating habits. Congress must have the power to ban trans fats, or tobacco, and limit chocolate consumption to no more than one pound a month. How is it possible to delineate the "individual mandate" from any other health factor? How?

Do you even know what the actual commerce clause says? Congress has the power to regulate trade between the states - interstate commerce. That's it. NOT individual actions (or nonactions), NOT local businesses. Arguing the individual mandate is arguing that the constitution has no meaning. Period. Just throw it out, and let the government do whatever it wants to do; that's the argument in defense of the individual mandate.

So do you want to live in a nation where the law is binding upon the government? Or do you want to live in a nation where the government can do whatever it decides is right?

Posted by: _BSH | February 4, 2011 4:30 PM | Report abuse

What's wrong with broccoli? :)

Posted by: lmsinca | February 4, 2011 4:24 PM |

It has been palling around with Michelle Obama.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"The argument for the individual mandate rests on the premise that the health care market is unique -- that it's not like the market in other products"

This is the flawed. It's not unique. It's a financial product that insurers against unforeseen expenses. There are other financial products available that do the same thing in other areas. We've regulated the crap out of health insurance and and turned it into pre-paid health care instead of a true insurance product because we think (wrongly) that we can control people's behavior that way. if only we limit patient costs, we can get them to control their BP, eat better, manage their blood sugar, prevent cancer, etc. load of hooey.


Instead, by completely removing the insured from any meaningful exposure to costs, we've increased utilization in the most expensive areas.

Check out MedPAC's work on in the home health benefit, which doesn't have beneficiary cost sharing. Off the chart utilization and loads of fraud because benes have no reason to check their EOB.

Here's a prediction -- the new "free" prevention screenings will have no measurable influence on the rates of the diseases/conditions they are meant to prevent and this will not help "bend the cost curve." But it sure makes for a good sound bite that the we're "doing something"

"Those who do so without insurance will drive up prices for all of us." Because we mandated it to be that way. We don't have to let that happen. you want the kids to pay premiums and very, very rarely collect expensive benefits only b/c of the money. Financing someone else's health care isn't their responsibility. encourage them to pay into the pool by offering limited benefit plans. use a carrot not a stick. how many 20 years olds needs a policy as comprehensive as Medicare? very few. get them paying something by offering a "just in case you get cancer plan" price according to risk and you'll get them to buy it or at least consider it. community rating is just a bad idea -- but it sure sounds "fair."


"people will have an incentive not to buy insurance or get health care until they get sick or injured." Then don't let them. You rolled the dice and it's not our problem if you seven out. It's a free country. If someone wants a doesn't want insurance, he can pay the bill, take on the debt if the provider agrees, or take hike.

There are two big problems that we need to address. Those who want to purchase, but can't afford insurance and what used to be known as the "uninsurables" -- the pre-existing condition crowd and/or catastrophic expenses, like the lady featured yesterday afternoon. both of these problems can be solved without the mandate through reinsurance pools and the like.


Tax-preferred first dollar coverage is the biggest problem in health care financing. PPACA doesn't address this -- it embraces it

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 4, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Health Care Reform curfew time.

Paul Ryan; it is Feb. 4th. 2011.

Do you know where your Health Care Reform Bill Is?

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

If someone wants a doesn't want insurance, he can pay the bill, take on the debt if the provider agrees, or take hike.
--------------------------------------------------
This would require repealing EMTALA, the fed law that requires hospital ER's to deliver care regardless of ability to pay.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 4:48 PM | Report abuse

If the US population ate broccoli every day that could possibly do more good for the overall health of this country than HCR tbh. It's a superfood. I try to eat it twice a week.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | February 4, 2011 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the old Slippery Slope fallacy - assert that some dire event must follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. "If you let government mandate seatbelts, the next thing you know, they'll force you to ride golf carts instead of autos."

Posted by: Maezeppa | February 4, 2011 4:56 PM | Report abuse

"This would require repealing EMTALA, the fed law that requires hospital ER's to deliver care regardless of ability to pay."

sort of -- the ER has to stabilize you if you have an "EMC" -- emergency medical condition, but once you're stable, the obligation to treat ends.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | February 4, 2011 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, Liam. I'll let them know immediately. apologies for any difficulties folks are experiencing.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 4, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

this is just wrong:
==================
This would require repealing EMTALA, the fed law that requires hospital ER's to deliver care regardless of ability to pay.
==============

EMTALA, like its predecessor COBRA, requires that a hospital with an ER, use its best efforts to determine if an emergency exists. Hospitals are required to so BEFORE seeking payment. If an emergency exists, Hospitals are required to provide all that they have at their disposal to treat the emergency. If no emergency exists hospitals have no further requirement.

The issue is triage. The law changed the way ERs manage work flow.

I will borrow an argument from the well spoken mobien: the constitution doesn't have an out clause for those things that folks believe to be social good. It doesn't say that it can be ignored if what the government wants is just too important to worry about that pesky old document written, according to Ezra Klein, sometime before 1910 in a language few now understand.

Mr Sargent's argument is just not going to fly.

and the slippery slope is real. Seat belts? then car seats, then different kinds of car seats, then CAFE standards and on and on and on. Today uncle tells us what kind of light bulbs we may buy, what kind of toilet we may use as a seat of ease, what kind of shower we should take and on and on and on.

Seat belts meet 68,000 new federal register pages each year.

yes, virginia, the slippery slope exists and we're on it. That's why the tea party exists. Enough is too much.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 4, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

sort of -- the ER has to stabilize you if you have an "EMC" -- emergency medical condition, but once you're stable, the obligation to treat ends.
------------------------------------------------------------
That's how the law reads yes, but the way it works is that if you show up in ER with cancer or heart disease or a broken back, it will be months that you are there at hospital expense before the hospital's obligation under EMTALA is extinguished.

See supreme court case law where hospitals have tried to limit their liability:

http://www.emtala.com/roberts.htm

http://www.aaem.org/emtala/watch.php

and

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please.

The federal government already compels people to participate in a mandatory insurance plan. It's called Medicare. If you prefer socialized financing of medicine to market-based approaches, fine. But let's not pretend there's some meaningful "freedom" distinction here where socialized financing of healthcare is fundamentally constitutional, but a market-based approach is not.

And the federal government penalizes all kinds of "inactivity" right NOW. We have this thing called the "child tax credit." If you have no kids, you pay a tax penalty.

You're seriously suggesting to me that a $600 tax penalty for not having health insurance is more freedom-destroying than paying $1,000 more in taxes because you can't claim the child tax credit? Is NOT having a child "activity" now?

This is such a BS argument. The reality is that conservative judges are taking a partisan political position against health care reform. The same way a prosecutor can get a jury to indict a ham sandwich, any sufficiently motivated legal mind can find a constitutional precedent to declare ANYTHING unconstititional (or constitutional).

Let's stop pretending that there's some legitimate "freedom" issue here. To make healthcare work, you gotta crack down on the freeloaders. Of course, that's politically unpopular. So, judges who don't want to make healthcare work for political reasons are ruling against it. That's what's going on here.

Posted by: theorajones1 | February 4, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Here's what REALLY happens under EMTALA:

Facts. In Roberts, the plaintiff Wanda Johnson was run over by a truck in May 1992 in a small Kentucky town then flown to Humana Hospital in Louisville (predecessor to Galen of Virginia). She had no private health insurance and had not qualified for Kentucky Medicaid. The hospital and doctors provided treatment for her injuries (including surgery to remove her spleen) and she was placed on a ventilator. Over two months later, Ms. Johnson was taken off the ventilator and placed in the hospital's "step-down unit" in preparation for transfer to a non-acute care setting.

All the time under EMTALA

Roberts v. Galen of Virginia, 119 S. Court 685.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Another EMTALA court case:

In this case, Leo Scafidi argued he was unstable and should not have been transferred to a nursing home 30 days after he was admitted to a hospital with cardiac and kidney problems.

Thirty days under EMTALA

Baxter v. Holy Cross Hospital of Silver Spring, U.S., No. 98-1169

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

And another EMTALA case:

Plaintiff can sue under EMTALA based on the transfer of his allegedly medically unstable baby from the hospital where he was born to a neonatal intensive care unit at another facility (where the baby died the next day) (Lopez-Soto v. Hawayek, 1st Cir., No.98-1594

------------------------------------------------
EMTALA is a backdoor way for the uninsured and indigent to get extensive, expensive and multi month healthcare from hospitals.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

If the uninsured either have to pay or go without treatment, we need to repeal EMTALA which is just a backdoor way for the uninsured to get healthcare anyway. If I'm 24 and I don't want to buy insurance, mostly what I worry about is having a car accident. If the hospital has to treat me anyway and put me up there for a couple of months if necessary to treat my broken back, why would I buy insurance? What's the difference in the treatment I would get uninsured and insured? Same thing.

That's how I would think as a 24 year old.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

If most healthy people opt out of purchasing insurance, the health care Insurance Industry, and most likely the Medical Providers system will collapse.

The Insurance Industry is based solely on having a large number of low risk, healthy people in their pools, to allow them to skim large profit margins, large salaries/bonuses, and operating expenses off the top of their premiums receivables. It is really a Ponzi scheme. Pay us when you are healthy, and we will drop you, if you look like you are going to start asking for a payout.

So who are the Republicans going to bat for, with their efforts to repeal the individual mandate? Isn't it mostly a bunch of free loaders, risk takers, or dead beats?

It has to be, or else the Insurance Companies would have already gone out of business.

So why are The Republicans going to bat for that minority of people, who just do not want to contribute their fair share?

They are still going to seek to medical care, as needed, but they just are not prepared to contribute to covering the over all costs of the system.

Should we also let them show up at restaurants, when ever they run out of food, and be allowed to eat for free?

I am not talking about people who are so poor they can not afford the premiums. The reform bill already addressed that issue. I am talking about people who can afford the premiums but do not want to pay anything for coverage, but still will seek medical care, when ever the get injured or become seriously sick.

It still strikes me, that all The Republicans are doing, is going to bat for that class of freeloaders.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

mr.sargent is absolutly correct.about one thing.he is no lawyer.

Posted by: alamodefender | February 4, 2011 5:30 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree that the argument presented by Repblicans here is nonsense. If they do not like the mandate than they need eliminate the private insurance companies because the mandate is what makes the new system work for everyone; everyone would pay into the system, private isnurance companies would make profits and everyone would be eligble for care. Profits are the problem. Withou the mandate profits are questionable. What happened to Repblicans supporting policies that allow private companies to make profits? If we want to stay with private insurers, we must require people to have insurance. I am required to buy auto insurance.

Posted by: lisashap | February 4, 2011 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, the only people who are affected by the individual mandate are the uninsured. Not the insured, not the employees who are covered by their employers, not even the poor.

It is ironic that the Democrats want to get the uninsured off the dole and paying their own way.

The Republicans want the uninsured to show up at the ER and using EMTALA gouge the rest of us.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | February 4, 2011 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Let me summarize:


The FLAWED liberal case in favor of Greg's blog.....


Is there no end to the shoveling of the GARBAGE?

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 4, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I really don't think Greg Sargent likes to listen....


That is the FLAW IN HIS BRAIN.


Anyway, the Conservative argument is this:

There are State powers and Federal powers - the definition of this line is in the CONSTITUTION.


That is WHY we have a CONSTITUTION.


I seriously do not know why it is so difficult for people to understand this.

The Conservatives believe that health care is a power of the STATES. It is clearly on that side of the line.


WHERE do doctors get their licenses? The States.


Case closed.


NOW - let me give you a lesson. If the Federal government decides to "occupy" a certain area of powers, then by definition, the States are not ALLOWED to make laws in that area.

So, logically, if the Courts give the Federal government power in the area of health care, logically the power to give out doctors licenses goes to .... the Federal government.


THAT has never been done in the past 200 years. Health care has been the domain of the States for over 200 years.

ARE you to say that all the doctors' licenses for the last 200 years are INVALID? That ALL the health care laws of ALL the states have been passed in ERROR - and the Federal government should have been making health care legislation for the past 200 years???


That MUST be your position.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 4, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

It is time to laugh Greg Sargent out of his blog

His articles are too stupid, and do not live up to standard.

AND he repeats himself - Greg has a disrespect for his readers which is obnoxious and should not be in a major American Daily.


Time.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 4, 2011 5:55 PM | Report abuse

mr. sargent is correct about one thing,he is no lawer.

Posted by: alamodefender | February 4, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

If most healthy people opt out of purchasing insurance, the health care Insurance Industry, and most likely the Medical Providers system will collapse.

The Insurance Industry is based solely on having a large number of low risk, healthy people in their pools, to allow them to skim large profit margins, large salaries/bonuses, and operating expenses off the top of their premiums receivables. It is really a Ponzi scheme. Pay us when you are healthy, and we will drop you, if you look like you are going to start asking for a payout.

So who are the Republicans going to bat for, with their efforts to repeal the individual mandate? Isn't it mostly a bunch of free loaders, risk takers, or dead beats?

It has to be, or else the Insurance Companies would have already gone out of business.

So why are The Republicans going to bat for that minority of people, who just do not want to contribute their fair share?

They are still going to seek to medical care, as needed, but they just are not prepared to contribute to covering the over all costs of the system.

Should we also let them show up at restaurants, when ever they run out of food, and be allowed to eat for free?

I am not talking about people who are so poor they can not afford the premiums. The reform bill already addressed that issue. I am talking about people who can afford the premiums but do not want to pay anything for coverage, but still will seek medical care, when ever the get injured or become seriously sick.

It still strikes me, that all The Republicans are doing, is going to bat for that class of freeloaders.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

mr. sargent is correct about one thing,he is no lawer.

Posted by: alamodefender | February 4, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

mr. sargent is correct about one thing,he is no lawer.

Posted by: alamodefender | February 4, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

mr. sargent is correct about one thing,he is no lawer.

Posted by: alamodefender | February 4, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Greg Sargent, either you are so lacking in any legal understanding or you are just a plain liar. I suspect the second.

The CBO itself told DEM leaders during the H.C. Debate that the mandate would be out side any " precedent" of the Courts, and would set new " precedent" that the CBO lawyers believed could not be supported, in any aspect, by the Commerce Clause.

Posted by: jacquelynwoods | February 4, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

There is a much better legal reason that the mandate is constitutional, and that is an established principle that no one can voluntarily give up his or any other's rights to sue or otherwise demand recompense for foreseeable injuries.

It is why there can be so many legal problems to Little league. Clauses in which a person agrees to hold blameless some organization in which he wishes to participate are routinely struck down when someone who signed the pepers gets hurt and sues, or when his child gets hurt.

So the thought that someone could opt out by agreeing in writing that he would not seek to be included at some later date when he had become aware of a condition that would be expensive and he could then seek insurance won't pass the willing renouncement of his right to insurance.

Since that very healthy young man who would willingly sign away his rights to health insurance so that he wouldn't be required to participate would eventually find the foolishness of his signing away his rights, and thereupon demand that NOONE can so sign away their rights, (and be legally correct) he Government has the necessary authority to prevent the case of implied signed away rights, (Well, because he refused to pay his insurance, he gave up his rights to insurance, as well as the overt scedeing of personal rights to avoid paying premiums.

Posted by: ceflynline | February 4, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

greg is absolutely correct. and EMTALA in practice requires full treatment of the condition.

what's unique about health care is that it's a product you can acquire without paying for it, the cost of which is then passed on to those with insurance.

it's against the law to steal broccoli, and there's no law requiring the grocery store to let you eat it before asking if you can pay for it.

the product is health care, not insurance, and we've all, in essence, bought it, or will, because we don't even have the option of waiving our right to go to the ER and not be turned away.

with that right in hand, when you chose not to buy insurance, you are deliberately chosing to stiff me with your bill, and that's activity that can be regulated under the commerce clause.

Posted by: JoeT1 | February 4, 2011 6:03 PM | Report abuse

I've spent this afternoon watching the C-span broadcast of Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the constitutionality of ACA. Many Republicans decry that this hearing could have happened earlier -- but it's clear from the testimony that there are a number of constitutional grounds, so what would they have done with an earlier hearing? Also, the precedent notion simply doesn't stand up because of the magnitude of health care within the economy. It's also interesting to hear of a previous case where a farmer was required to participate in an agricultural market. On balance, it appears that after three hours of testimony, ACA will pass constitutional muster.

Posted by: jwhawthorne | February 4, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Is there no end to the shoveling of the GARBAGE?

Not as long as you are posting RFR,STRF, sockpuppetcentral

Posted by: srw3 | February 4, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Testing. The system is either loading very slow, or in some cases timing out. You need to let tech support know about it.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 4:29 PM
=========================================

They're trying to ban you, you poor simple dolt. Let's have the Nelson Muntz post again; it gets even funnier after the 215th time you post it.

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

We require people to buy automobile insurance. Why not Health Insurance?

The judge's argument is flawed. No surprise that he was a Reagan appointee.

We also require motorcycle drivers to wear a helmet. So we are already intervening in people's private choices in order to compel them to do what society believes is safer. That may not be a good thing, but we already do it.

Posted by: samsara15 | February 4, 2011 6:15 PM | Report abuse

We require people to buy automobile insurance. Why not Health Insurance?

The judge's argument is flawed. No surprise that he was a Reagan appointee.

We also require motorcycle drivers to wear a helmet. So we are already intervening in people's private choices in order to compel them to do what society believes is safer. That may not be a good thing, but we already do it.

Posted by: samsara15 | February 4, 2011 6:16 PM | Report abuse

The Commerce Clause is not by any means the strongest argument for the constitutionality of the Health Care Act. Congress has the ability to impose income taxes. The mandate is just that -- a tax which is imposed if you do not buy health insurance. The federal government is giving me $1500 off my taxes this year for purchasing a new energy efficient HVAC system for my house. Why is it legal to use tax policy to encourage people to buy green HVACs or electric cars, but not health care? Are Republicans saying it is only constitutional to lower taxes for purchases but not the converse? If so, think of it as rasing everyone's taxes and giving a full rebate to anyone who purchases health insurance. It amounts to the same thing. Just because you don't like an act of Congress doesn't make it unconstitutional -- something it seems even a few Federal judges need to learn.

Posted by: andyfu | February 4, 2011 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I get the argument about broccoli that Judge Vinson is making: The hypothetical proponents of the Broccoli Mandate would say that broccoli is good for you and so if you don't eat it, you'll be sick more often and drive up the cost of health care. Therefore, by their interpretation of the Commerce Clause, Congress should have the power to mandate that everyone buy broccoli. But the Broccoli Brigade would be ignoring some important facts:

First, you can live a perfectly healthy life without eating broccoli if you choose other foods and behaviors that promote health. George H. W. Bush is a perfect example. His hatred for broccoli is legendary, and yet he's lived well into his geezer-hood.

Second, if Congress did mandate that you BUY broccoli, it won't do you any good if you don't EAT the stuff. And forcing people to eat broccoli is not regulating economic inactivity; it is regulating private BEHAVIOR. The enforcement of eating habits would require an impossibly expensive (not to mention totalitarian) system for watching what everyone ate for dinner. In their own homes. Every night. It would be impossible to argue that such an absurd system was a measure "necessary to make the interstate regulation [of commerce] effective" as Scalia argued in the marijuana growing case.

And third, I happen to LIKE broccoli, so I for one will gladly welcome our new broccoli-loving overlords.

Posted by: Spacer | February 4, 2011 6:21 PM | Report abuse

They're trying to ban you, you poor simple dolt. Let's have the Nelson Muntz post again; it gets even funnier after the 215th time you post it.

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 6:10 PM |
................

Greg thanked me, and even after he did, you just had to demonstrate once more why you are Plumline's Lobotomized Nelson Muntz. Hah Hah!

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

The mandate is just that -- a tax which is imposed if you do not buy health insurance.

Posted by: andyfu | February 4, 2011 6:19 PM
=======================================

Not according to Obama. You surely don't think Barry is a liar---do you?

Posted by: Brigade | February 4, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Nelson Brigade Muntz strikes again.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 6:25 PM | Report abuse

We're already all mandated to pay for the uninsured people who end up at the ER with much more serious conditions (or the same minor conditions, treated more expensively in the ER). We pay for these people with higher costs of our own to subsidize them.

Personally, I'd rather we pay for a more efficient system that covers everyone, rather than the current very inefficient (treating hangnails in the ER, etc.) system.

Shift the mandate from the current one to one that is more practicable.

And then we need to work on getting rid of insurance companies entirely. All they are is a parasitic middleman industry that produces NO good or service, or value added. We pay millions to keep an executive class in Armani and Lexuses, and to keep an advertising industry (which again provides zero value added to the product that your providers create) flush with profit. The sooner conservatives start to grasp this fundamental issue, the better for our country.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 4, 2011 6:26 PM | Report abuse

We're already all mandated to pay for the uninsured people who end up at the ER with much more serious conditions (or the same minor conditions, treated more expensively in the ER). We pay for these people with higher costs of our own to subsidize them.

Personally, I'd rather we pay for a more efficient system that covers everyone, rather than the current very inefficient (treating hangnails in the ER, etc.) system.

Shift the mandate from the current one to one that is more practicable.

And then we need to work on getting rid of insurance companies entirely. All they are is a parasitic middleman industry that produces NO good or service, or value added. We pay millions to keep an executive class in Armani and Lexuses, and to keep an advertising industry (which again provides zero value added to the product that your providers create) flush with profit. The sooner conservatives start to grasp this fundamental issue, the better for our country.

Posted by: B2O2 | February 4, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Reality Check:

The Republican Party Is Going To Bat, to allow Freeloaders who can afford to pay for Insurance, to not do so. What next; Will the Republicans go to bat to allow deadbeat dads to not pay child support?

If most healthy people opt out of purchasing insurance, the health care Insurance Industry, and most likely the Medical Providers system will collapse.

The Insurance Industry is based solely on having a large number of low risk, healthy people in their pools, to allow them to skim large profit margins, large salaries/bonuses, and operating expenses off the top of their premiums receivables. It is really a Ponzi scheme. Pay us when you are healthy, and we will drop you, if you look like you are going to start asking for a payout.

So who are the Republicans going to bat for, with their efforts to repeal the individual mandate? Isn't it mostly a bunch of free loaders, risk takers, or dead beats?

It has to be, or else the Insurance Companies would have already gone out of business.

So why are The Republicans going to bat for that minority of people, who just do not want to contribute their fair share?

They are still going to seek to medical care, as needed, but they just are not prepared to contribute to covering the over all costs of the system.

Should we also let them show up at restaurants, when ever they run out of food, and be allowed to eat for free?

I am not talking about people who are so poor they can not afford the premiums. The reform bill already addressed that issue. I am talking about people who can afford the premiums but do not want to pay anything for coverage, but still will seek medical care, when ever the get injured or become seriously sick.

It still strikes me, that all The Republicans are doing, is going to bat for that class of freeloaders.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 4, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

In regard to my 6:21PM post on the Broccoli Question: The necessity of health care at some point in your life is not something you can avoid by making "other choices," unless you choose to be fatally run over by a bus at a young age. And it's considerably less intrusive to verify that people are obeying the insurance mandate than it would be to verify everyone was eating their veggies.


Posted by: Spacer | February 4, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse


I really don't think Greg Sargent likes to listen....


That is the FLAW IN HIS BRAIN.

Anyway, the Conservative argument is this:

There are State powers and Federal powers - the definition of this line is in the CONSTITUTION.

That is WHY we have a CONSTITUTION.

I seriously do not know why it is so difficult for people to understand this.

The Conservatives believe that health care is a power of the STATES. It is clearly on that side of the line.

WHERE do doctors get their licenses? The States.

Case closed.

_______________

NOW - let me give you a lesson. If the Federal government decides to "occupy" a certain area of powers, then by definition, the States are not ALLOWED to make laws in that area.

So, logically, if the Courts give the Federal government power in the area of health care, logically the power to give out doctors licenses goes to .... the Federal government.

THAT has never been done in the past 200 years. Health care has been the domain of the States for over 200 years.

ARE you to say that all the doctors' licenses for the last 200 years are INVALID? That ALL the health care laws of ALL the states have been passed in ERROR - and the Federal government should have been making health care legislation for the past 200 years???

That MUST be your position.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | February 4, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/happy_hour_roundup_179.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 4, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

So if I understand your reasoning - if the market is "unique" then congress can compel people to buy something. If this law would hold - a citizen who just wants to be left alone, to pursue happiness, would be held in compement by not purchasing something form a private company. No matter how much you want health care, these are not the principles upon which this great nation was founded and thrives.

Posted by: sarno | February 4, 2011 6:50 PM | Report abuse

what?

sargents silly words on another topic don't really change the management of non commerce.

What a crap column this is.

Posted by: docwhocuts | February 4, 2011 6:58 PM | Report abuse

"This is one of the core conservative arguments against the mandate."

It's one argument, of a common type, that tries to show that the law is on the wrong side of the line. The more direct argument is simply that the mandate isn't regulation of interstate commerce.

"I'm no lawyer, but I'd like to attempt a non-legalistic case . . . ."

No worries. When lawyers make the argument you are making, they aren't making a legal argument. They're engaged in pure, old-fashioned sophistry.

This isn't a new argument; it's the same one that's been made before, a fine example of "expanding the time frame." We'll just define your whole life as one big transaction.

"The idea is that in a world where insurance companies are prohibited from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions -- a prohibition that no one is objecting to as unconstitutional -- people will have an incentive not to buy insurance or get health care until they get sick or injured."

Indeed, this entire "problem" is one created by Congress in the first place, which makes it one of the great bootstrapping exercises ever. Congress has tried to bootstrap its way into regulation "interstate commerce" by creating a "problem" it claims needs to be fixed by compelling people to engage in commerce.

What is also interesting is that this entire argument runs contrary to liberal dogma about corporations and especially Big Insurance. Liberal dogma says that taxes and costs imposed on corporations are borne by the corporations, not passed on to consumers. But here they assume that uninsured people get "free" care, the cost of which is then passed on to customers in higher rates.

Amazing how that works. Why not just require coverage of preexisting conditions and leave it at that? Let the companies bear it. They are evil anyway, right?

"Anyone arguing at some future time that the individual mandate gives Congress precedent to cite the commerce clause in order to force you to buy broccoli, or vouchers for it, would be laughed out of court."

That's what sane people said about Wickard. And Roe. And most other cases in which the left tore down the basic structures of the Constitution.

It's no stretch at all from the mandate to veggies. Eat Big Macs instead of veggies, you raise health costs for all the rest of us. Once you cross the bridge to claiming that failure to do X will raise all of our health care costs, if not now then in the long run, they can make us exercse, get tests, etc. That all becomes part of one big "transaction" and "market" limited only to your whole lifespan.

Sophistry and nothing more.

Posted by: quarterback1 | February 4, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

This old saying has never been more true: Give an inch and they'll take a mile.

Posted by: johntu | February 4, 2011 7:54 PM | Report abuse

This old saying has never been more true: Give an inch and they'll take a mile.

Posted by: johntu | February 4, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

I think the thing that people forget is that no one is going to jail for not buying health insurance. What happens is that people pay a tax for not having health insurance (the power to tax, btw is a fully constitutional power of the Congress) and is thus enforced through the IRS. People didn't want to call it a tax because people don't like to be taxed, but for all intents and purposes, the "mandate" imposes taxes on those that do not buy health insurance. Even so, it seems like this tax is itself not subject to the same enforcement mechanisms as the income tax. I would like to see a story in the Post about the enforcement mechanisms of the mandate so that the extent of the severity of flouting the mandate is clearly understood by the American people.

Posted by: BMTSullivan | February 4, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Maezeppa:
Ah, the old Slippery Slope fallacy - assert that some dire event must follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. "If you let government mandate seatbelts, the next thing you know, they'll force you to ride golf carts instead of autos."
********************
Oh, I see.... like "If you let the government mandate seatbelts as a 'secondary offense', soon they'll pass a bill in the cover of night that it is a primary offense".
Oh, that's right... that's what happened.

Posted by: oldno7 | February 4, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

It is misleading to suggest that being forced to participate in the US health insurance market is not a limitation of personal freedom, because it is impossible for anyone to avoid seeking healthcare beyond his or her ability to pay for it. Whether or not one submits to treatment, at all, and to what extent one submits, is entirely voluntary, so why should everyone be subject to the same "tax". If someone decides he or she doesn't want his colonoscopy today, is that person not permitted to refuse. Will some well meaning busy body instead tell the person that he or she cannot put the test off or refuse it entirely because disease not found early is thought to be more expensive to treat, postponement or refusal would raise the aggregate cost of treatment for the entire at risk pool. Furthermore, the mandate to participate in an insurance pool completely eliminates the option for self insurance, and most directly accomplishes a guaranteed profit for the insurer of the pool. Moreover, the mandate to participate in an insurance pool eliminates the option of marshaling family or community resources as the need arises, which historically has been a constructive resource for building many a community and many a family. The insurance mandate eliminates the option of traveling to a less expensive nearby or distant market seeking treatment, like what has been called medical tourism. The provider monopoly to which we are subjected has already interfered with the option of purchasing cheaper medications across the border with Canada that many until recently found attractive, and indeed just to ensure that private commercial pharmaceutical companies have a captive market that affords them high profits from medications that were in the main originally developed through government financed research. How is one not a dupe, or a shill, for characterizing people who think they cannot afford, and want to resist imposition of, a new monthly utility bill for a government sponsored health insurance monopoly as being simply mean, stupid, pro-disease, and anti the sick? Advocates of these new taxes could more humanely concern themselves with protecting people from being ripped off by the various health care vendors, who are really saying to us all, pay up or we'll have to let you die.

Posted by: drray-yup | February 5, 2011 12:06 AM | Report abuse

Oh wow, I have gotten about 3 or 4 different samples from major brands. It is not difficult to find them. Search online for "123 Get Samples" you can find them easily.

Posted by: robindiaz5 | February 5, 2011 2:17 AM | Report abuse

You have a hard time believing that the individual mandate wouldn't be used as a precedent for, to use the example, buy brocolli? Like the Clean Water Act wasn't extended from it's original meaning to mandate low-flow toilets, shower heads, and now to eliminate a big 1.9% of phosphates from dishwasher detergent? How about the EPA recently extending it's mandate to control and deal with oil spills now being extended to "milk spills", forcing farmers to submit for govenement approval, contingency plans in case there is a major milk spill on their property? Whenever the government is allowed to control any aspect of our life it automatically assumes the authority to regulate it - and I don't want my food choices (already dictated to people who receive food stamp support), my personal habits (and I have a several that aren't politically correct like smoking, amongst others). Now in your liberal little brain you probably think that forcing me to stop smoking under the premise that it will cost the government controlled health care departments is a good thing - but it is my choice and I don't want it taken away by the stroke of some nameless, regulation writing, government employee - without benefit of legislation or judicial review.

Posted by: dreese55 | February 5, 2011 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Regardless of the Constitutionality of the Mandate, there real "flaws" in how it goes about enforcing it, specifically the way the IRS will determine if you can afford group/individual/family insurance premiums.
A "huge" issue is the policy benefits being "dictated by HHS". If they require policies to include specific benefits that your current policy doesn't include; you will have to get a new insurance plan that will likely be at a higher cost. So, you can't "keep your insurance" if it doesn't meet the HHS guidelines.
Email to Senate Judiciary Committee:

"I have been in health care administration for over 30 years. My Husband is a Surgeon. I worked for both the V.A. and private Hospitals, consulted for Nursing Homes, managed private practice.

What I heard during hearing testimony is what I would expect to hear from the legal profession. Those of us who are not lawyers simply rely on commonsense. Mandating individuals/families to obtain and pay for Health Insurance when they cannot afford to do so is simply irresponsible and enacting a law that we already know a large number of individuals/families will not be able to comply with or afford is what I believe is Unconstitutional. Forcing people into indebtedness should be unconstitutional. And the formula IRS will use will not determine whether an individual/family can actually afford the premium.

The new entitlement, "premium assistance" for those unable to afford a policy premium through the "exchange"(which is not in existence and the actual cost unpredictable); is based on the individual/families "modified adjusted gross income". Unfortunately, an individual/families "modified adjusted gross income" doesn't take into account expenses that are not tax deductible, such as electric, gas, car payments, water, loans, credit card payments and the like. To assume based on the IRSs formula that an individual/family has disposable income that is adequate to pay for Health Insurance with benefits mandated by HHS, is a fallacy. So the Government is actually mandating that in many instances people charge or borrow to purchase health insurance.

Whether our cost of insurance is higher due to the number of uninsured's seeking medical care or whether our taxes are higher due to subsidies for those needing premium assistance makes no difference; either way I pay more then necessary.

As an employer who has paid 100% of my employees health premiums for over 30 years, I expect that due to HHS benefit mandates; our policy will not comply as it doesn't include "preventive care". So, we will be forced to seek new, more costly coverage.

There was a time when Health Insurance was actually insurance. Insured's and the Government now expect a premium to include the total cost of treatment and provide free preventative care.
Who is going to pay for free services and is this really what insurance is suppose to be?

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | February 5, 2011 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The broccoli reference is a straw man - something ridiculous on its face and easily dismissed. There are many other "great" liberal ideas that Obama and his crew would be happy to force upon the population, and they would be a good deal more damaging than forcing us to purchase vegetables. Next we'll hear how the government will further regulate our lives since we're all emitting the "dreaded" CO2 by breathing. Can we get some WP writers who don't have a predisposition to unfairly trash every argument that doesn't come in bright blue?

Posted by: JM80 | February 5, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

The "unique" thing is a naked lie. It is just that, a lie. Liberal arguments do not deserve the dignity of debate because it lends dignity to falsehood. b

Posted by: gorak | February 5, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Reality Check:

The Republican Party Is Going To Bat, to allow Freeloaders who can afford to pay for Insurance, to not do so. What next; Will the Republicans go to bat to allow deadbeat dads to not pay child support?

If most healthy people opt out of purchasing insurance, the health care Insurance Industry, and most likely the Medical Providers system will collapse.

The Insurance Industry is based solely on having a large number of low risk, healthy people in their pools, to allow them to skim large profit margins, large salaries/bonuses, and operating expenses off the top of their premiums receivables. It is really a Ponzi scheme. Pay us when you are healthy, and we will drop you, if you look like you are going to start asking for a payout.

So who are the Republicans going to bat for, with their efforts to repeal the individual mandate? Isn't it mostly a bunch of free loaders, risk takers, or dead beats?

It has to be, or else the Insurance Companies would have already gone out of business.

So why are The Republicans going to bat for that minority of people, who just do not want to contribute their fair share?

They are still going to seek to medical care, as needed, but they just are not prepared to contribute to covering the over all costs of the system.

Should we also let them show up at restaurants, when ever they run out of food, and be allowed to eat for free?

I am not talking about people who are so poor they can not afford the premiums. The reform bill already addressed that issue. I am talking about people who can afford the premiums but do not want to pay anything for coverage, but still will seek medical care, when ever the get injured or become seriously sick.

It still strikes me, that all The Republicans are doing, is going to bat for that class of freeloaders.

Posted by: Liam-still | February 5, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Liam-still
The Republican Party Is Going To Bat, to allow Freeloaders who can afford to pay for Insurance, to not do so. What next; Will the Republicans go to bat to allow deadbeat dads to not pay child support?

**************
Liberals are so stupid and covetous of the hard earned dollars of the industrious. The "freeloaders" are those who want young, healthy people to pay for insurance that they don't need so that liberals (and illegal aliens) can go to the doctor for free. Health care is not a right. It is a commodity. If you want it, pay for your own. If you don't want it, it is UNCONSTITUTIONAL on its face for the government to force you to purchase it.

Posted by: oldno7 | February 5, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Greg Sergeant wrote:

For this to happen, you would need a situation that's analagous to the health care one. The mandate is often compared to forcing you to buy broccoli, but a better comparison would be to forcing you to buy vouchers to exchange for broccoli (or any other product) later.

"In this case, the only way this is comparable to the mandate is if two things are true: First, that you will inevitably eat broccoli one day. And second, that if you don't buy vouchers for broccoli, your inevitable consumption of it will drive up the price of the vouchers for everyone else. Neither of those applies, of course. The comparison just doesn't wash -- even in a world with an individual mandate, Congress would not have legal basis for forcing people to eat broccoli."

How about this:

"In this case, the only way this is comparable to the mandate is if two things are true: First, that you will inevitably use oil one day. Even if you don't drive, you still use oil in common household products. So to reduce oil consumption, which we feel is good for the country to get off foreign oil, you should buy an Electric Car. If you don't buy a Electric Car, like the Chevy Volt for example, your inevitable consumption of using more oil will drive up the price of the oil for everyone else."

Regardless of whether you think the Individual Mandate is Constitutional, I find it amazing and frightening that so many people are willing to give the corrupt, incompetent organization in the country, the US Congress and the Federal Government this kind of unprecedented power over their lives. I find it mind-boggling to so many are so willing to surrender their freedoms to these jokes and their Statist cheerleaders on the Left.

Posted by: websterr1 | February 5, 2011 12:14 PM | Report abuse

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