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pudge's Journal: Mandate On All Americans 9

Journal by pudge

Has there ever, in our history, been a mandate on all Americans?

"If you are an American/live in this country, you must do this."

I am against all mandates on people. It's one thing to say, "if you want to drive, you must have auto insurance." It's completely another to say, "if you are alive, you must have health insurance." The comparison is fundamentally dishonest. The government, quite literally, has no right to force people into a particular action simply because they exist.

That goes for the military draft, especially. But it only applied to healthy males of a certain age. Obama and the Democrats are, for the first time, attempting to put such a mandate on all Americans.

It obviously should be ruled unconstitutional, since the federal government has no right to do this. But even apart from the constitutional questions, why aren't we having a debate about whether or not we want to have a country that forces all people to do something, just because those people are alive?

More practically (though not more important), I am especially angered by the fact that the reason why the mandate exists in Obama's plan is not what he says. He says it is so that if something happens to you, then you won't leech of society for your problems. Then why not allow means testing or other opt-out options?

Every expert, for many years, who has pushed individual mandates for health insurance has said the same thing: individual mandates exist because the people who don't have health insurance (who can afford it) overwhelmingly make a personal economic decision that it is better for themselves to not pay for health insurance: they save money doing it. Their money spent on insurance is not used for themselves, it's used for other people. This makes the pool of money smaller, and the percent per capita going to care larger.

So, therefore, the experts say, the mandate, by forcing the people who do not need insurance to pay into insurance, increases the pool of money without significantly increasing the amount of money being paid out.

It is a tax, for the explicit purpose of wealth redistribution: to take money from you, and give it to someone else who needs health care.

Obviously, Obama is lying when he says this is not a tax, and that it does not violate his campaign promise to not increase taxes on people who make less than $250K. But I care less about that than the fact that he is lying about the reason for this tax: he says it is about paying for me if I get sick, but it's really about Obama hoping that I won't get sick, so my money will be paying for other people.

Individual health insurance mandates are about wealth redistribution, pure and simple. It is a literally unprecedented act against American liberty, with the sole goal of forcing people to pay into a system they won't use, so they can pay for other people who do use it.

Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.

This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mandate On All Americans

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  • I'm with you about mandates; government shouldn't have the power to mandate anything. I can almost see car insurance, since if you hit me and have no insurance I'm SOL through no fault of my own, but from your negligence. Rather than mandating health insurance, if they want me to have insurance they should just provide it. I can opt out of auto insurance by not owning a car, I don't see how I can opt out of mandated health insurance short of killing myself.

    But the draft -- it was mandated for men only. That

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      I think the draft WAS worse ... not because it was men only, but because, as you said, it took more from you. The draft was evil. It was for a mostly good purpose, but it was an evil means.

  • It obviously should be ruled unconstitutional, since the federal government has no right to do this. But even apart from the constitutional questions, why aren't we having a debate about whether or not we want to have a country that forces all people to do something, just because those people are alive?

    You know and I know that this is quite unconstitutional under the 10th amendment.

    But Obama doesn't know or care because a) he's probably never read the Constitution, and b) he's a liberal and doesn't give a rat's ass about the Constitution, and c) all he knows about the Constitution is that it's a "living document" subject to liberal whims and follies and d) he's a liberal and knows-what-you-need-even-if-you-don't-or-if-you-don't-think-so-and-so-you-should-shut-up-now-because-you're-disagreeing-with-him-an

    • by mgessner (46612)

      Oh, I hit the wrong button. Blast!

      The other thing I was going to say is that the LAST thing they really want regarding this is any kind of debate over the facts. The old joke "Don't destroy my argument with the facts!" sure holds true here.

      There was an A.P. analysis not too long ago that showed his health care speech to be inconsistent with the facts. But from what I remember, not many papers carried it or took it seriously. I found links to it on a couple conservative blogs and that was it.

      I'm glad you

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      You know and I know that this is quite unconstitutional under the 10th amendment.

      Obviously. But it is also IMO unconstitutional under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, as well as the underlying principles this country was founded on, of the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and property.

  • It's one thing to say, "if you want to drive, you must have auto insurance." It's completely another to say, "if you are alive, you must have health insurance." The comparison is fundamentally dishonest. The government, quite literally, has no right to force people into a particular action simply because they exist.

    I hear it a lot. "Many states require you to keep auto insurance" as reason to require us to keep health insurance. It's completely flawed. Auto insurance requires I have insurance to cover

    • by Bill Dog (726542)

      The analogy is valid from Liberals' POV -- that by not insuring yourself, you cause economic "damage" to others by making everyone chip in to pick up the tab if you get seriously sick or injured.

      But I like your better idea. Like the no-fault auto insurance model -- everyone is responsible for themself, and if you choose to roll the dice, you hafta pay if you lose.

  • by Bill Dog (726542)

    The comparison is not fundamentally dishonest if it is only to point out (and nothing more) that there is precedent for the govt. to force us to buy insurance.

    And on the govt. not having the right to force the people into action merely because they exist, you may be right constitutionally, but on the subject of taxation in general, I think it's improper. That is, I think it's improper for the govt. to tax behaviors (or lack of), because it has no right to tell or encourage or "nudge" us into doing or not do

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      The comparison is not fundamentally dishonest if it is only to point out (and nothing more) that there is precedent for the govt. to force us to buy insurance.

      But even then it is flawed because government only forces you to buy insurance if you choose to drive a car, not if you are breathing.

      That is, I think it's improper for the govt. to tax behaviors (or lack of), because it has no right to tell or encourage or "nudge" us into doing or not doing something

      Exactly right. There are so many ways to criticize the idea of mandates, and this is among the better ones.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch

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