APPLES, KUMQUATS, AND AUTO INSURANCE
We are constantly being told that forcing people to buy health insurance with the threat of fine or imprisonment is just as harmless as requiring drivers to purchase auto insurance. The analogy is comparing apples to kumquats and fails on several counts:
The requirement for auto liability insurance is a state mandate. The states may impose such a mandate in accordance with the 10th Amendment of the Constitution.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.
That the states can require liability insurance says nothing about the federal government’s ability to make any similar requirement. In fact, the states’ ability to do so implies that the requirement is not a legitimate power of the federal government, having been delegated to the states. Proponents of forced insurance coverage should be arguing the opposite, that the states have no right to mandate insurance since, as they say, it is a power of the federal government.
The Constitution is a relatively concise, easy-to-understand document. Unlike the 1000+ page bills in Congress, the Constitution does not require a team of lawyers to understand what it says. It says the federal government does not have any such power.
The auto insurance requirement is for liability insurance, to insure against any actions of an individual which may harm others. This is the novel idea of holding people responsible for their own actions, not analogous to health insurance covering only the individual himself.
The liability insurance requirement is for an optional activity (driving a car). If one wants to drive, one has to have liability insurance. Mandated health insurance is not for an optional activity (if one wants to live). It is no less than a tax on living itself!
Both Nancy Pelosi and President Obama argue that forcing people to buy health insurance is needed to prevent people from “gaming the system,” ultimately forcing others to pay their bills since they are uninsured. Huh? What do you call all the millions of people who will be getting others to pay for their insurance under the new plan. They aren’t “gaming the system?” What “system” will there be to “game” anyway if this law isn’t passed?
The argument continues that those with insurance coverage are already paying for the uninsured. The proposed solution goes something like this:
Presently, the hospital bills of millions of uninsured are paid for by others.
Therefore a very complex law with a huge new government bureaucracy will be passed so that…
the hospital bills of millions of insured will be paid for by others.