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pudge's Journal: How Do I Violate Thee? 5

Journal by pudge

Federal government mandates for health insurance violate the Constitution in several ways.

The most obvious is the Tenth Amendment: Congress has no authority, implied or expressed, to force everyone to get health insurance. Therefore it cannot do it. And no, please don't say "general welfare," as this was never intended to be a grant of power, but a description of the powers to follow in Article I, Section 8. And no, please don't say "regulating interstate commerce," because regulating commerce is not similar to forcing everyone to engage in a particular commercial act.

There's also the Fourth Amendment. I have the right to be secure in my papers: the government has no right to know if I even have health insurance.

Then there's the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments: I cannot have my liberty taken away from without due process. This is admittedly the shakiest of my claims for historical reasons, due to the unfortunate slippery slope of history, but it seems to me that I should have to be proven to have done something wrong in order to have my liberty taken from me.

Perhaps the strongest claim, however, is that the First Amendment guarantees the freedom of association. The Supreme Court has held that this necessarily also implies the freedom to not associate. If I dislike all insurance companies and choose to not associate with them, that is my constitutional right. Similarly, I may decide that having insurance (entirely, or when I have more important uses for the money, such as donating it to an anti-sex slavery charity) is against my religious beliefs.

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This discussion was created by pudge (3605) for no Foes, but now has been archived.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.

How Do I Violate Thee?

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  • Then there's the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments: I cannot have my liberty taken away from without due process. This is admittedly the shakiest of my claims for historical reasons ...

    Taking only the above argument, and for the moment putting aside all the other REALLY GOOD AND ACCURATE parts of your post...

    Isn't the due process here that duly elected officials believe that this law is just and that it should BE a law? (guffaw! sorry!!)

    Sorry, but that's how they're going to look at it.

    The Supreme Court has held that this necessarily also implies the freedom to not associate.

    I have no doubt this law will pass, but I also have little doubt that it will be found to be unconstitutional on those grounds.

  • Since when has Congress ever cared if a law they wrote was constitutional? Not in my lifetime, and even long before. Why is it that they had to amend the Constitution to outlaw alcohol, but not other drugs?

    I'm for universal health care, but I'm staunchly opposed to mandatory insurance. The insurance companies are the biggest drain on our health care system.

    • by pudge (3605) * Works for Slashdot

      Since when has Congress ever cared if a law they wrote was constitutional?

      Congress DOES care if the people are angry at them for violating the Constitution, though.

      I'm for universal health care, but I'm staunchly opposed to mandatory insurance. The insurance companies are the biggest drain on our health care system.

      Yes, it is two completely separate things to say we should make sure everyone has health care if they want and need it, and to force everyone to have a certain type of health insurance. (I am against universal care ... if government is the one backing it. The Tenth Amendment applies to that too, but the First, Fourth, and Fifth probably don't.)

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        Congress DOES care if the people are angry at them for violating the Constitution, though.

        Well, they care if people are angry, period. Most people are woefully ingnorant of what the constitution actually says. It does seem that the 10th amendment would apply here.

There must be more to life than having everything. -- Maurice Sendak

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