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Can the US federal government require us to buy health insurance? I can think of a list of reasons why not.
1) The Constitution doesn’t give the Federal government the right to make individual health decisions. Our government is supposed to be designed to do certain essential things (national defense, etc.) with the least possible restrictions on individual or business activities. We’ve gone way overboard at times, usually by stretching the “commerce clause,” but that doesn’t mean there are no limits.
Funny how the same people in favor of this individual health restriction are the ones who believe that state limits on abortions are unconstitutional. Their logic – that you can’t enforce abortion laws without invading someone’s “privacy” (a right concocted via a questionable interpretation of the right against warrantless search & seizure). So states can’t say that a doctor is not allowed to suck a baby out of you for your convenience and his financial gain. But the feds can tell you that you’re not allowed to manage your own health care risk?
2) Some people don’t believe in conventional medicine, for religious and other reasons. And some people don’t want to pay any money into a fund that will be used for purposes they don’t believe in – be it IVF, Viagra, birth control, abortion, whatever. It would be against the first amendment to force people to ignore their religious beliefs by paying into such a pool. And because of various laws, you can’t find a pool that doesn’t pay for stuff some will find objectionable, or just won’t want to be insured against. Like, I don’t want to be insured against illegal drug addiction, so why should I be forced to pay for insurance against illegal drug addiction?
3) They will not be able to enforce it against all individuals. Some people are going to be out of money when the insurance bill comes, and they are not going to pay. Then what are you gonna do? Throw them in jail? Take their kids’ milk money?
4) The use of the interstate “commerce clause” is a huge stretch. If I decide to pay my nearby doctor cash for services, or plan to never go to the doctor because I don’t believe in it, then no cash or services have moved between the states. If they can argue that this is “interstate commerce,” then what isn’t? Will they be able to tell me to move to another state because forcing me do that makes it “interstate commerce” and that gives them the power? Can they force me to put my kids in Chinese and Arabic language classes? What’s the difference? Telling me I can’t say “no thanks” to buying something is constitutional??
The comparison with car insurance is not apt, mainly because the Federal government is not the same as the state government. The whole point of the Constitution is that states can (if allowed by constituents) regulate everything except a few things reserved for the Feds or specifically reserved to individuals. It’s like, I get to decide all kinds of things for my kids that the state doesn’t (yet), because the state is very different from the parent. Also, you can avoid buying car insurance by not driving. And, there is always the option to swear that you have enough financial means to pay for an accident instead of get insurance.
There are probably other arguments I’m not remembering right now. But bottom line – I don’t need the government to micromanage my life like that. Just today I read a quote from Ronald Reagan, something like: the scariest words to hear are “we’re from the government and we’re here to help.” How very true.
You’re so smart.
I’m not understanding the “interstate commerce” thing. Perhaps companies should be mandated to use insurance companies located in the state where that business is based. For instance, I work with a Chicago company, that’s a subsiduary of another with it’s home base in Minnesota. Therefore, instead of B/C B/S of IL. we are currently insured by B/C B/S of Minnesota. Here’s another question that this issue raises in my mind. Since a lot of companies have cut health benefits for the employees due to economics, would this now mean that ALL companies, regardless of size, would be mandated to offer not only individual health care but also family coverage?
How are folks that are unemployed supposed to afford health coverage? Is that money expected to just magicallyappear? What happens in this situation?
But here is the whole crux of the matter in my mind…..just who the hell does this so-called government think they are, and what exactly is OUR role in the whole thing? Are we now to be declared “possessions” of the government who are told what to do, when to do it and how it should be done? Wouldn’t this be like saying the citizens of the U.S. have now become little more than slaves at the mercy of this government? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t that abolished with the Civil War? How much longer are we going to allow these freaking people to continue with these things? I, for one, am totally sick of the government taking our rights one at time, “for our own good”.
What’s next? We’ll all be told when to rise, when to work, when to eat, what to eat, what clothes to wear, what time we need to be off the streets… I could go on and on (I’m sure you’ve already picked up on that). Again, correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that martial law?
How much longer are we going to sit by and let “these people” interfere with our private lives and decisions. These are NOT matters to be decided by the government! Sorry people, but this kind of crap totally ticks me off! Thanks for letting me vent.
People who go outdoors when the sun is bright should be required to buy and apply sunscreen too! Expecially those “snow birds” that always go for the Lobster Look! 😉
I am one of the Great Uninsured. I’ve been trying to purchase insurance for myself for close to five years now, but to no avail. Each time I’ve applied, there has been some “pre-existing condition” which eliminates me from coverage. Not, “we’ll cover you for everything except x and y, which we will eventually cover after a year”. No, it’s “denied.” And this is a high-deductible, HSA-style policy! I laugh to think about applying for a conventional policy, and not just because I wouldn’t be approved. There’s no way I could afford the monthly premiums.
So I checked into the state’s backup plan. The state offers “subsidized” policies for people like me, who apply but are denied. Only here’s the thing: I’m relatively healthy. I see the doctor once a year for a checkup, rarely anything after that. Maybe a nasty cold, but that’s it. The policy that I wanted, applied for, and could afford (the HSA) was going to cost me approximately $150/month. The state “subsidized” policy? $375/month!! And, of course, it’s a full-coverage policy. I don’t NEED that kind of coverage right now! I can budget my money, and afford my medical bills… if I know that my annual checkup happens in September, I’ll put aside a little until then, and I can afford it! The insurance that I want and need is the kind that will kick in IF I get sick, hit by a bus, whatever.
(Oh, and just for the record, they denied me because I had PTSD right after Steve’s wreck. And the policy that I was applying for (the HSA) didn’t cover mental health issues. Makes complete sense, doesn’t it?)
Given that, I would be one of those people that the government would put in jail for non-coverage. Hopefully, they’ll let me bring my laptop with me so I can still talk with you guys.
There are so many things wrong with this Health Care Bill. But the first and foremost one is the fact that they think they can force me to buy something.