The Mandate and Mug Clause

Where is the constitutional authority for ObamaCare?


What does it say about your cause that nearly every policy idea you cook up is based in some form or another on coercing the American people?

When House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), was asked recently to identify where the Constitution grants Congress the authority to force all Americans to buy health insurance, he replied, "Under several clauses, the good and welfare clause and a couple others."

For those of you who aren't familiar with the "good and welfare" clause, it states, "The Congress shall have Power to make Citizens of each State compelled to partake of the Privileges of Health Care Insurance, & those who refuse will be fined, charged with a misdemeanor Crime or lashed (or receive Medicaid)."

Now, I'm not a lawyer, but I was somewhat surprised to discover that the Constitution features a "good and welfare" clause—though obviously, Washington has done a laudable job fulfilling the latter part of this imaginary passage.

(We'd be better off mandating that elected officials own copies of the Constitution.)

It has, actually, been widely speculated that Conyers, a lawyer, was referring to the General Welfare Clause, which gives Congress the authority to tax and spend to promote the general welfare.

The other "clauses" he mentions are likely the long-abused Commerce Clause, which gives Congress the power to "regulate Commerce … among the several States."

Attorneys general from 14 states and other state legislatures disagree with Conyers and already have mounted legal challenges to the constitutionality of individual mandates. Few people believe they will be successful in their admirable cause.

As a layman, I have little business wading into the intricacies of constitutional law—though, in my limited understanding of this nation's founding tenets, forcing patriots to buy something in the private market seems to undermine the entire point of the project. Judging from the celebratory mood of the Democrats, who shrug off questions of constitutionality and individual rights, my reading of history is obviously way off the mark.

Surely it is inarguable that the debate over a national mandate epitomizes the central ideological divide in the country today.

In broad terms, there is one side that believes liberty can be subverted for the collective good because government often makes more efficient and more moral choices.

Then there is the other side, which believes that people who believe such twaddle are seditious pinkos.

And judging from nearly every poll, the majority of Americans disapprove of President Barack Obama and his defining legislation. Whether they understand the mugging of freedoms in legal terms or in intellectual terms or only in intuitive ones doesn't matter.

Richard M. Esenberg, professor of law at Marquette University, explained the consequences of Obamacare like this: "If Congress can require you to buy health insurance because of the ways in which your uncovered existence (affects) interstate commerce or because it can tax you in an effort to force you to do (any) old thing it wants you to, it is hard to see what—save some other constitutional restriction—it cannot require you to do—or prohibit you from doing."

Come to think of it, I have a great idea: For the common good, everyone should be mandated to purchase a newspaper each day. (Thomas Jefferson understood that democracy suffers without a newspaper.) But you won't be able to purchase just any newspaper—only the local one—as we will eliminate the national market.

Hey, why not?

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his Web site at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.


NEXT: Invasion of the Invisible Sex Slaves

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  1. Only an idiot would think this is Constitutional.

    But fuck the Tenth Amendment. Fuck the Commerce Clause. Forcing people to buy a product is the new way.

    Right, Chad/Tony/MNG?

    1. Butt fuck the tenth amendment indeed…

      1. Did someone say butt fuck?

    2. The dumb bastards in this country don’t need no stinking Constitution.

      1. WE don’t need it. It’s just an inconvenience to us.

  2. A woman has sovereignty over her body with regard to abortion (rightly so). But, I do not have sovereignty over my own health-care choices.

    The President lied when he said if you like your current insurance, you can keep it. My insurance has a lifetime cap. It saves me money on premiums, I like it. I won’t be able to keep it (unless I buy it on the black market).

    1. Don’t be silly.

      “Pro-choice” doesn’t mean that you get to choose whether to have health insurance, any more than it means you get to choose which conditions the insurance covers. Pro-choice doesn’t mean that you get to choose which school your kids attend. Pro-choice doesn’t mean you get to choose how your Social Security money is invested.

      Pro-choice doesn’t mean that you get to choose which radio programs to listen to; the Fairness Doctrine will take that choice away.

      Pro-choice doesn’t mean that you get to choose how to use property you own.

      What were you thinking??

      1. Get your laws off my body! We demand mandatory seat-belt laws! Pro-choice! Force restaurants to cut back on food-prep salt usage! Fat Taxes are good! Free abortions for pregnant three-year-old girls!

      2. I have been asking my fellow pro-choicers if they’ll back me up on my views that this junk is unconstitutional. Of course, none of them back me up. Then I tell them that they are not really pro-choice but they are pro-abortion (which I have no problem with) and the fit hits the shan.

  3. The Commerce Clause is the Constitutional provision that covers the health care bill. Not only has it been very liberally (no pun intended) construed by the Supreme Court, even going so far as to find certain transactions occurring entirely within one state to be reachable by federal legislation, but just think about this for a minute. On the one hand, conservatives have argued that this will affect 1/6th of the American economy. The individual mandate is an integral part of the bill. Is it even plausible to suggest that an initiative that affects 1/6th of the economy does not affect interstate commerce?

    I also find the argument against the individual mandate amusing for another reason. If requiring individuals to enter into a financial transaction with a private party is unconstitutional, it certainly is not unconstitutional that people be required to do so with the federal government. Social security is the most obvious example of an insurance program in which virtually everyone is required to participate. Because most legislation contains severability provisions (meaning that if one provision is found to be unconstitutional, the rest of the legislation survives), I almost hope conservatives succeed in challenging the individual mandate. Can you say, “single payer?”

    Finally, both during the election and particularly after he was given the Nobel Peace Prize, conservatives have complained about Obama never having actually accomplished anything. How ya like him now?

    1. Nobody ever accused him of a never having signed his name on anything.

    2. Social security is the most obvious example of an insurance program in which virtually everyone is required to participate.

      Social security is not an insurance program. It is a taxation and wealth redistribution scheme that imposes a tax on younger people and immediately hands the proceeds to older people, and immediately spends any surplus on unrelated government programs, with absolutely no money held in reserve, and the terms of which can be arbitrarily changed or repealed by Congress at any time.

      1. So a Ponzi scheme?

        1. This comes as news to you?

      2. “Social security is the most obvious example of an insurance program in which virtually everyone is required to participate.”

        And which is also unconstitutional. It was only enabled by the New Deal era court creatively reinterpreting the meaning of “general welfare”.

    3. I don’t see any conservatives around here. Whom are you addressing?

      It is interesting that an individual mandate requiring people to buy intrastate commerce (liberals won’t allow interstate commerce here) can be construed as interstate commerce.

      But, liberals always win this argument, because existing is commerce for them. It must be why they regulate all of existence, and even presume to know how.

    4. If I fart in a store, say a national chain, and it is rank, I mean a real stinker, and it causes people to leave the store, thereby causing less purchases to be made that day, I have affected interstate commerce. See how easy that is to twist?

      Social Security is a great example of an insolvent beast, brought on with altruistic intentions, evolving into a tax eating machine used as a giant IOU for greedy hands to pillage.

      You think financially ruining a nation in the name of “social justice” is worthy of a Nobel? Great accomplishment here, what with the extreme division and cultural insanity this has wrought. How peaceful it is to see both sides politely engaging in intellectual and moral debate. The solemnity we all feel as our elected officials gloat over their “victory” is only trumped by the calm brought by knowing “Joe the plumber” will subsidizing the insurance you are forced to buy.

      1. Do you thing the IRS would accept a fart in a jar for failure-to-purchase-ObamaCare-insurance fine?

        1. You’d probably have to provide the whole turd.

        2. The IRS hires nothing but fart smeller.

    5. Your argument FAILS. There is no – zero, zilch, zip, nada – historical support for your proposition that Congress can, under the power of the Commerce Clause, mandate that individuals must buy ANYthing. To do so renders the clause, and the general principle that the federal government is one of limited, enumerated powers, meaningless.

      Given a flexible enough interpretation of the Commerce Clause, coupled with a similarly flexible interpretation of the Necessary and Proper Clause, provides Congress with unlimited power to impose any kind of law whatsoever, no matter how intrusive in the daily lives of individuals.

      As for Obama not acheiving anything, I, for one “like him” even less than I ever did before. What he has now “acheived” is a significant step down the road to total central government control and domination of all of our individual lives, robbing us of individual liberties and freedom. If that is not socialism, please explain why not.

      I’ll give him this much: he has now helped me understand how all those left-wingers had Bush Derangement Syndrome, because every time I see or hear Barack FUCKING Obama, I want to spit and I hope his fucking head explodes and he drops dead.

    6. Obama never having actually accomplished anything

      It’s funny that one can loot one person’s wealth, hand over a chunk of the proceeds to another, and call it an accomplishment.

      It’s just not ha-ha funny.

    7. “Another not unimportant consideration is that the powers of the general government will be, and indeed must be, principally employed upon external objects, such as war, peace, negotiations with foreign powers and foreign commerce. In its internal operations it can touch but few objects, except to introduce regulations beneficial to the commerce, intercourse and other relations, between the states, and to lay taxes for the common good. The powers of the states, on the other hand, extend to all objects, which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, and liberties, and property of the people, and the internal order, improvement and prosperity of the state.” –Joseph Story, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833

      1. Is that when they struck down the Militia Acts of 1792?

    8. “Social security is the most obvious example of an insurance program”

      I am so fucking sick of stupid people.

      Where the hell did you get the idea that Social Security is “insurance?”

      1. Where the hell did you get the idea that Social Security is “insurance?”

        In a certain sense, it does function as a insurance against outliving one’s savings.

        One problem with Social Security is that no one is quite sure what it’s supposed to be. Is it a guaranteed basic income for seniors? Is it a forced savings plan? Is it a form of insurance, guaranteeing an income if one lives too long and would outlive one’s savings?

        Yes, I realize that in most ways it’s just “collect a bunch of money and then either give it to seniors or write IOUs against the program and spend the money.” But the point is that it’s not even clear how it’s sold.

        If it were just a basic income/insurance plan, then Bush’s plan to reduce the benefits for upper income retirees would make sense. But a lot of Democrats, at that point, switched back to calling it something like a forced savings plan, where you get out more the more you put in.

        1. Historical view of the SS Act

          1935 Social Security Act

          Shortly after enactment of the Social Security law, the Social Security Board published a set of three charts summarizing the major features of the new law.

          The first Chart contained a summary of Titles II and VIII of the Act (the Social Security program and taxing provisions of the law intended to fund it).

          The second Chart summarized the Title III Unemployment Compensation program and the corresponding taxing provisions for Unemployment Insurance (Title IX).

          The third Chart summarized the remaining seven programs created under the Act, all of which were in the form of grants to the States to provide these programs. For these each of these seven programs a set of defining categories is provided, such as which agencies had jursidiction of the program, what the appropriation was for the coming year, etc.

          Thus the three Charts, taken together, are a brief and accessible summary of the entire Social Security Act of 1935.
          (Public No. 271, 74th Cong. [H.R. 7260]; approved Aug. 14, 1935)

          Federal Old-Age Benefits (Title II)
          Federal Taxes With Respect To Employment (Title VIII)
          (To be administered by the Social Security Board established by title VII of the act)
          (Public No. 271, 74th Cong. [H.R. 7260]; approved Aug. 14, 1935)

          Federal Grants To States For Administration Of Unemployment Compensation (Title III)
          Federal Tax Upon Employers Of Eight Or More Employees (Title IX)
          (Public No. 271, 74th Cong. [H.R. 7260]; approved Aug. 14, 1935)

          Old-Age Assitance
          Aid To The Blind
          Aid to Dependent Children
          Maternal and Child Health
          Crippled Children
          Child Welfare
          Public Health

        2. It is what the political needs of the Left require it to be. When arguing aginst income tax cuts, SS withholding is a tax on the poor, when one talks about cutting witholding it is an insurance premium. Not being clear on what they consider it makes it easier for the Left to argue in bad faith.

    9. Supreme Court decisions to the contrary not withstanding, the Constitution contains no language in the commerce clause permitting the recently passed health care reform law. The phrase is “…and regulate commerce among the several states…”. The phrase “to regulate” was intended to prevent the states from impeding interstate commerce by methods other than those expressly denied to them by the Federal Constitution. Read something other than Democratic Party campaign propaganda and that will become blindly obvious to you. That purpose does not include within it anything authorizing this law. Arguments based on previous unauthorized excursions into the general welfare fail to carry the argument; viz: “Well, ya let me murder Mr. Smith ten years ago. Why ya fussin’ about me killing Mr. Jones today?? Huh?”

      As a practical matter, most – if not all; I haven’t examined “all” closely enough – of the problems with the present health insurance industry arise from state and federal government laws of one sort or another. Forbidding interstate competition among health insurers – another proof of the universal power of irony; isn’t it? – reduces competition in the industry. State and Federal mandated coverage in all policies raises the prices as well, to the detriment of consumers. (Arguments that we’re just too stupid to figure out our own best economic interests prove too much; if we’re too stupid to do that, then we ought not be allowed to vote for any political office-holders at all, eh? And who would be vote for, if we’re all too stupid to tie our shoes? Oh, I know: all those private-school educated people who are the grandchildren of senators and presidents and such; right?)

      Fundamental problem is that neither past practices of ultra vires law-making nor claims of protecting us from ourselves justify much of what passes for law these days, in either the Federal or the State domains. And the practical fact of the matter is, each and every government program to “help us” take care of ourselves because we lack – whatever – to do so, always and forever cost more, provide less and entail intrusions on our freedoms which the laws’ sponsors – figuratively, at least – on a proverbial stack of bibles would never happen. Read the legislative history of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as it relates to racial quotas, sometime, if you need a good laugh.

      1. Today’s liberals like to redefine terms whenever it’s convenient for them. Take the commerce clause. It says that congress has the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”

        Replace the word “regulate” with “control” and “commerce” with “industries” and “among” with “within.” Now we have the modern interpretation. The commerce clause contains 3 prepositional phrases (beginning after the word “commerce.”) The words “regulate commerce” must apply to all 3 phrases in the same manner. Now, if you believe that this clause grants congress the power to regulate industries within the states, wouldn’t it have to mean that they also have the same power in foreign nations?

    10. Actually not everyone is required to buy into the Social Security System. Congress is not required and I, as a County Firefighter, was not required. I paid into a retirement system apart from Government mandate. I have 17 quarters from military service. That money I gladly give to you in your retirement.

  4. A woman has sovereignty over her body with regard to abortion (rightly so). But, I do not have sovereignty over my own health-care choices.

    BS, this plan enslaves all women because it don’t pay for abortions. Women will not get the same healthcare as men now.

    1. I don’t know about that last statement. Men don’t get abortions paid for either.

    2. I thought you were pro life now.

    3. If women want to kill, they must pay for the killing themselves. No one is properly obliged to finance their abhorrent violence against completely defenseless victims.

      1. “””If women want to kill, they must pay for the killing themselves. No one is properly obliged to finance their abhorrent violence against completely defenseless victims.”””

        Government needs to come in and save the baby! Next step is to save the child, the adult, and the old folk. We are on our way.

        1. Nope: Government needs to mind its own fucking business and leave people the hell alone.

          Same goes for officious intermeddling assholes who declare themselves “activists,” but can’t even minimally control their own lives and appetites.

          1. “””Nope: Government needs to mind its own fucking business and leave people the hell alone.””

            Indeed, including if a woman wants an abortion. But once you jump on the who’s going to protect those who can’t protect themselves, your on the nanny bandwagon.

      2. What victims, it is just unwanted fetal tissue, it is like a blood clot, not alive, a human or a person.

        1. Spoken like a true psychopath.

          1. +25

        2. Murder is only morally wrong if there is a negative consequence. For most people, today, I believe there would be such a consequence in most circumstances.

          If there is not a negative consequence, because humans do truly have the right to pursue “happiness” which means whatever they want, then humans have the right to murder — and if all things considered, they still want to do it, it could be considered a moral obligation to their self.

          And other humans have the right to punish them for murder however they want, if a will and a way exists to do so.

          I am not referring to a document. That is life. To assume murder is always wrong is a mistake, as it is also a mistake to assume anything one does to pursue one’s satisfaction is wrong.

          1. And although Jane’s language is technically incorrect, it shows no evidence of psychopathy.

    4. But … Free Mammograms!

      1. They’re not free for the third parties whose assets are confiscated to pay for them.

        Why would any woman think unrelated third parties should be forced to pay so that she can get free mammograms, or kill babies she knew were apt to result from having sex?

        1. What? Do you want women to DIE from BREAST CANCER? Mammogams are a woman’s RIGHT!

        2. Because without abortion coverage, poor womens right to an abortion is restricted.

          1. Again, if poor women demand to kill, those killers can pay for their killing themselves. There is no tragedy in restricting homicidal psychologies from killing perfectly defenseless victims.

            1. The constitution says all women have a right to an abortion, so if they can’t pay it it needs to be free.

              1. The Constitution doesn’t say a damn thing about abortion. It does, however, say everyone has a right to free speech. What it doesn’t say about any of the rights guaranteed is that if you can’t afford it, everyone else has to pay for it for you.

                I have the right to keep and bear arms, but I can’t afford right now the sweet Springfield SOCOM II I want, so y’ll have to chip in and buy it for me, m’kay? That’d be greeeaaaat, thanks.

                1. It was made the law by the supreme court. It is the most important right any woman has.

                  1. Without the rite to abortion a woman has no rights.

                    1. Stupidest thing I ever heard.

                    2. Without the rite to abortion a woman has no rights.

                      I can’t tell if you’re a troll or you just play one on TV. You spell “right” right half a dozen times and then you spell it two different ways in the same sentence?

                      And for the record, abortion isn’t a right, it’s a service. Just like prostitution is a service, car repair is a service, food delivery is a service.

                      If you want to make the case that abortion is a right, then go “right” ahead. But just because it’s a right doesn’t mean you’re 1) entitled to public funds to pay for it; or 2) even entitled to a doctor to perform it. If it’s a fundamental right, than the government can’t take away your ability to do it. So by all means, stick a knife up your cooch and do it yourself.

                  2. “It was made the law by the supreme (sic) court (sic). It is the most important right any woman has.

                    Only a misogynistic psychopath thinks that way. Most women are as deeply offended by killing as men are, and they certainly do not consider it a “right” — much less the most important “right” they can have.

                    1. Most women are as deeply offended by killing as men are

                      True, except it isn’t killing because it isn’t alive yet, only potentially alive.

                    2. “except it isn’t killing because it isn’t alive yet, only potentially alive.”

                      If the baby is not alive, no abortion is necessary. The only reason the procedure is undertaken is because the baby is alive and will come to term if it is not killed before doing so.

                      Whatever right to kill that you demand for yourself, at least be honest about what you are demanding. Think hard about what that demand says about your (lack of) character and about your inability to think beyond killing as a response to problems that you have caused yourself in life.

                    3. Because it is her body her rite

                    4. But there are many among us who would counter that it’s not just her body–it’s her body and the baby’s body (and the baby can’t exactly get a vote while in utero, but one would think he/she would vote in favor of being born).

                      Until the above statement (summarized more neatly as “When does life begin?”) can be proven or disproven beyond a reasonable doubt, there’s never going to be agreement on this. But I say we should err on the side of life.

                    5. Life begins when it is wanted.

                    6. Life begins when it is wanted.

                      So I can abort Obama any time I want?

                  3. Apart from the right to life and the right to liberty I presume?

                  4. This is Choad talking, right?

                    Or are you just pretending to be stupid?

                  5. Last time I checked the Supreme Court does not “make” laws.

                2. Very nice Rifle. I would love to have one too. Even though I have no practical purpose to own one.

                  1. This was for WTF. not sure why it posted down here.

              2. “The constitution (sic) says all women have a right to an abortion, so if they can’t pay (sic) it (sic) it needs to be free.”

                Cite the words in the Constitution that provide for free abortions on demand.

                1. Roe said it a right.

                  1. “Roe (sic) said it (sic) a right.”

                    Cite the language in Roe that dictates free abortions on demand.

                    Further, are you now admitting that the Constitution doesn’t say a damned thing about it?

                    1. Why aren’t tags sticking on this site?

    5. And men pay more for life insurance now, Jane. Does that “enslave” men?

      1. No because they cost more to ensure.

        1. “No (sic) because they cost more to ensure (sic).”


        2. So you’re okay with women being charged more for health insurance, if abortion coverage means that they cost more to insure?

          1. No, it is discrimination, men deserve to pay more because of the hieararchical patriarchical oppression of womyn.

            1. OK, I realize I’m way too slow on the uptake with trolls, but now even I can’t keep a straight face and believe that one.

            2. Holy smokes. Women’s Studies grad?

              1. Come on guys, she’s trolling for fun.

                1. That assumes it’s a she, I suspect it’s another “J” regular poster.

    6. I beg to differ – the new plan covers abortions in the cases of rape, immenant death to the mother, or incest.

    7. Wow, I’m surprised that with all the intellect here that so many fell for “Jane’s” lines and argued against “her”. I’ll admit up front as an anti-abortion person, that I was ready to level the guns, but as I read on it became apparent that “she” was just throwing chum out there to start a feeding frenzy.

  5. I find the comparisons to mandating the purchase of auto-insurance absurd…

    …since I’ve always opposed mandating that driver’s buy auto-insurance.

    I’ve made the case vocally in these forums several times over the years actually–it is absurd that the government forces poor people to insure rich people’s cars for them.

    If you want to drive a car you know other people can’t afford to fix, then insure your own damn car!

    Don’t try to force everybody else in the world to insure your car for you.

    1. Funny part about auto insurance is that where (not sure if these states exist anymore) it wasn’t required to have it, rates for insuring your car were cheaper!

      Who would’ve thought that when only responsible people that choose to pay for insurance without coercion, it doesn’t seem to cost as much?

      But, I’m sure health insurance will defy the rules of logic…

    2. You’re making the common mistake of thinking auto insurance is about collision insurance (which in my experience is always optional) when it’s about personal liability insurance.

      1. Which to be clear, changes your argument but does not eliminate it.

        1. Actually, what I’m talking about is uninsured coverage.

          …which you’re free to buy, and, in fact, still need to buy anyway if you really want your car insured.

          And it doesn’t change my argument one bit.

          So the next time someone tells you it’s okay for Congress to mandate that we buy health insurance because some states already force drivers to buy auto insurance, ask them why it’s okay for the government to force poor people to insure themselves against ever rich Humvee drivin’ jackass they see!

          Because it’s not okay. It’s unjust.

          And just because so many average people have allowed themselves to think it’s about personal responsibility? That doesn’t make it okay or just either.

          If you drive around in an $80,000 car and you can’t afford to insure your own god damn car, and the people in it, against damage caused by people who can’t afford to pay for it? Then you’re the one who’s being personally irresponsible.

          …not the old lady on a fixed income. …not the guy drivin’ to his $10 an hour job.

          Go tell your auto loan company that you don’t have to make payments anymore on the car you bought ’cause the people who hit it were uninsured and see what they say.

          It’s absurd. …and I defy anyone to use the comparison to mandated auto insurance as a justification. They’re both indefensible.

          1. And it really bugs me that Obama is touting this injustice as a feature rather than a bug…

            Making people pay for insurance who don’t need it, and probably won’t use it, is being touted as part of the fix…

            It’s sickening.

          2. “””Actually, what I’m talking about is uninsured coverage.”””

            Is that mandated? I haven’t owned a car in a while, but the last I remember,only liability insurance was required.

            “””Making people pay for insurance who don’t need it, and probably won’t use it, is being touted as part of the fix…”””

            That’s tricky, not everyone needs insurance. What if I can and want to pay cash? But pretty much everyone does need health care. IMO, that still doesn’t justify this law.

            1. I Louisiana, the only insurance that is mandated is liability. Everything else is your choice. If I choose not to carry uninsured motorist or collision insurance, then it is my responsibility to fix the vehicle.

              You may be confusing state mandates with lender requirements. If you have a loan on a vehicle, then full coverage is required by the lender to protect their collateral. As soon as it is paid off, you are free to go to liability only. And why should I be responsible for fixing my own vehicle if its damage is the fault of another? I am guessing if I hit a pedestrian, and was at fault in doing so, you would believe that person should be able to collect from me for repairing their body.

              1. The last part was addressed to Ken, not you Tricky.

          3. Ken Schultz –

            It looks like you’re misunderstanding what uninsured motorist coverage is for. It is not to pay for damage to the car. It is to pay for personal liability if you are injured in an accident in which the other person is at fault, but does not have insurance against which you (or, more likely, your insurance company under subrogation) normally would make a claim.

            And not all states require it – what is required as far as minimum car insurance varies by state.

        2. Again Ken, it’s pretty irrevelant to the overall argument (which I’m in agreement with you), but uninsured motorists coverage is about *personal liability* not about repairing the damage to a car.

          You are insuring against the claim against whomever was found at fault in an accident for their personal liability for damages (which may include make up for lost work income, punantive damages and in a non-ironic twist, health care costs)

          There is as you say a slight upward income-skewing benefit of manadatory insurance, because it marginally lowers the pool of uninsured motorists.

          But the people that really need car insurance are in fact the rich people. A poor slob has no assets to protect. Standard liability coverage varies but is typically less than 100K per claim. So that’s the max one is going to get out of a tort.

          Otoh, once you have net assets in excess of 6 figures (which I do, and I suspect you do too), you generally should increase the liability coverage above the minimum, because what you are really doing is not protecting your car, but your net worth.

          1. Looks like a lot of trees, but now I think I see the forest…

            The state mandates that everyone buys insurance for the damage they cause other people, and that’s okay ’cause personal responsibility is when everyone’s forced to pay for each other?

            I take it back. There is no part of this I don’t understand…

            Forcing people to buy insurance for the damage they might cause your property is not enforcing personal responsibility.

            You insuring your own property is personal responsibility.

            You should buy insurance to cover your own property and your own liabilities if you wish. Period.

            The only confusing thing is the way people have been trained to think about it. Somehow I’m obligated to insure your assets and health for you?

            I’ll insure my assets against what I do, and what other people might do! You insure your own! And if you destroy my assets? …and you don’t have any insurance? That’s okay! I I have my own coverage…

            There’s no need for the government to force anybody to do anything.

            1. It really is the same thing as the health bill, and if you can’t get this figured out, how are you gonna get other people to see the light?

              Forcing people without assets to buy auto insurance is just like forcing people to buy health insurance who don’t need it.

              It’s all the same thing.

              1. Freedom: I buy insurance on my cars, including comprehensive/collision and uninsured/underinsured motorist as well as liability. You idiots do whatever you want. Those without insurance don’t get a new car when one of their fellow-believers in no insurance hits them. Me? Don’t care because it’s not my problem. And, yes, car insurance was cheaper when it wasn’t mandatory. Also left out are the people – in Texas, some stats suggest up to 50% of those who drive – are in fact uninsured and buy insurance on a payment plan, get the insurance card, get their car registered or their drivers license renewed, then “forget” to pay the rest of the payments on the insurance. Oh, yes, the only true beneficiaries of mandatory auto insurance are – ready? – politicians, who get to claim that they’ve made the world safer and helped the poor and lawyers, who now have a nominally guaranteed source of money when one of their clients gets hit in an auto accident. You and me? Oh, well … “feel the love” is as close as I can get to expressing what we get, without getting banned for unforgiveable vulgarity.

                Just like “Jane” in the abortion fuss back up the threads a bit insisting that since she has a right under Roe v. Wade to an abortion, if she cannot pay for it, I’m supposed to pay for it; or, to be more fair, help to pay for it. Actually, she said that if a poor woman can’t afford an abortion, that poor woman had a right to reach into my pockets to pay for it.

                1. Most things were cheaper back when car insurance wasn’t mandatory 😉

                  1. Surely you wouldn’t argue that forcing people to buy things makes companies compete on price?

                    I mean, if you were a company struggling to make some product affordable to people who couldn’t afford it otherwise, why would you keep struggling?

                    I’m not sure reasonable people can disagree on this point. In fact, a lot of states created whole insurance regulatory bureaucracies out of just this concern–now that we’re mandating this, obviously we can’t let the insurance companies gouge the people we’re forcing to buy these products…

                    And it’s because people have been trained to think that paying to insure other people’s property is part of personal responsibility–and that’s got it all freakin’ backwards.

                    Stop thinking backwards, everybody!

                    1. I wish that health insurance were more like auto insurance; if it were, we’d pay for the little things (routine checkups, colds, jammed fingers) out-of-pocket the way we do with our cars (batteries, oil changes, routine maintenance) and cover the big, often unexpected things (broken bones, pneumonia) using insurance, just like we do with our cars (major accidents, tree falls on car, etc.).

                      Imagine how much auto insurance would cost if we made a claim every time we got a new set of tires!

                    2. Bingo: That is why health insurance, as it is currently understood (as opposed to catastrophic coverage only) is an absurd concept doomed to failure (i.e. ever escalating costs).

                      What other routine expenses do we buy insurance against? None, because it’s a stupid concept.

                      On a side note, the type of auto insurance where “everything is covered” does exist, and it is very expensive. As someone who drives a junker with over 250,000 miles on it, I find that, for the price of this insurance, I could buy an equivalent (or better) beater every couple of months. Of course, I don’t, and occasionally, when stuff breaks, I have to eat the cost to fix it. Tough shit, but it beats a car payment and full coverage insurance by a long shot.

                    3. “As someone who drives a junker with over 250,000 miles on it, I find that, for the price of this insurance, I could buy an equivalent (or better) beater every couple of months. Of course, I don’t, and occasionally, when stuff breaks, I have to eat the cost to fix it. Tough shit, but it beats a car payment and full coverage insurance by a long shot.”

                      Hey President Obama!

                      There’s somebody over here making economic decision for himself!

                      Better send somebody from the government to consumer protect his ass, quick!

                      ; )

              2. Not exactly like the health bill. The auto/health comparison would be more accurate if the gov’t forced you to drive and then mandated auto insurance.

  6. So the noted Progressive Obama allies with BIG CORPORATIONS to FORCE the American people to BUY their PRODUCT. What could be more wonderful than that?

    1. Progress!

    2. ei. Hilter, they do whatever it takes. Next the redefinition of an illegal alien, then the amnesty. Then federal takeover of state governments. Our new fuhrer, has a plan.

      1. “Then federal takeover of state governments”.

        Just like Russia’s been doing for the last five years.

        Thanks Bryan, hadn’t seen that yet.

  7. The approach I like to take follows this:


    The idea behind the Dormant Commerce Clause is that this grant of power implies a negative converse ? a restriction prohibiting a state from passing legislation that improperly burdens or discriminates against interstate commerce. The restriction is self-executing and applies even in the absence of a conflicting federal statute.

    Under this precedent, if insurance is interstate commerce, then the court would effectively be forced to strike down all state laws barring interstate insurance sales, if it upholds the healthcare bill.

    1. I thought of this as well. You must be as smart and good-looking as I am.

      If so, my condolences.

    2. Like much in the Wiki, that’s not quite correct and besides, a Wiki article isn’t legal precedent. Some legal scholars claim the existance of a D.C.C., but that’s because they cannot read or forgot their copy of the Constitution. Under Article I, Section … oh I forgot … the section wherein the legislative powers are enumerated, right after that list of Congressional authority, there is a list of things prohibited to the states; the ban on burdening interstate commerce is there.

      1. I guess you’re talking about this:

        No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress

        I’m not sure if state regulations count as “duties or imposts” on imports or exports. Although one could argue that interstate insurance sales *could* count, if they qualify as “commerce”.
        Plus, then you have the added bonus of:
        The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

        Which, in combination would seem to explicitly prohibit congress from allowing states to set up separate regulatory regimes. Again, if insurance sales count as “interstate commerce”.

  8. America going to Marxism and soon:


    1. Soon?

      Whats this “soon” bullshit?

    2. What’s this “Marxism” bullshit.

      1. Well it’s definitely an “ism” of some sort, and I’m pretty sure it’s not any of the “isms” the founding fathers had in mind when they wrote that sucker.

  9. The individual mandate is going to stay with us, because the Republicans are going to fall in love with it.

    If not buying health insurance is covered by the commerce clause, then getting/not-getting an abortion will also be covered by the commerce clause.

    It’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right to discover that you can regulate abortion nearly out of existance without banning it.

    1. We wouldn’t want women to be exploited by for-profit abortion clinics.
      That’s one step below back alleys.

    2. The individual mandate is going to stay with us, because the Republicans are going to fall in love with it.

      Libertarian economists (who fall towards the practical side of libertarianism) will and have already fallen in love with it, because it’s needed to make the other parts work.

    3. Sorry, kinnath, but it doesn’t work that way. Abortion is in the emanations of the penumbras if the Bill of Rights, which means even the Commerce Clause doesn’t cover it.

      Why any elective procedure, which is what an abortion is, should be covered by insurance, is a mystery to me.

      1. In the future, being born will rightly be seen as affecting interstate commerce. So the feds will have the authority regulate the who, what, where, when, and why births occur or don’t occur.

        1. It’s working for us quite swimmingly!

  10. I am relatively young and healthy, too old to be on my parent’s plan, and earning too much to qualify for subsidies. The mandate would likely force me to pay a wildly disproportionate share of the costs relative to what I use because of community rating, gender rating, and bloated minimum coverage requirements. Actuarial tables go out the window to “spread risk”, so I would end up subsidizing the obese, the lazy, and those who choose unhealthy lifestyles. Do we force safe 40 year old drivers into paying auto premiums at the level of a 17 year old male driver with 3 tickets? I would also be subsidizing the welfare population, anchor babies, and women who pop out 10 kids.
    Not gonna happen. I’m opting out instead of paying artificially inflated premiums. It makes economic sense! Also under this bill, preexisting conditions must be covered so if something ever happens, I’ll just buy insurance when I need it.
    If enough people like me get shafted, adverse selection might get out of control and penalties for opting out might be increased. If that happens, I might be forced in, but I will feel compelled to over-utilize the healthcare system as I refuse to be a low cost cash cow gift to the insurance companies, paying inflated premums but getting very little in return.

    1. “Also under this bill, preexisting conditions must be covered so if something ever happens, I’ll just buy insurance when I need it.”

      Haven’t read the bill but as I understand it preexisting condition exclusions are only banned for kids under 17. If there’s any stronger wording at all, it probably doesn’t take effect until something like 2014.

      Go ahead and damn the man or whatever, but don’t be surprised if you end up bankrupt and uninsured if you happen to get sick.

  11. ‘In broad terms, there is one side that believes liberty can be subverted for the collective good because government often makes more efficient and more moral choices.

    Then there is the other side, which believes that people who believe such twaddle are seditious pinkos.”

    You mean Republicans are commies too? I mean where would we be without prohibition, raiding marijuana clinics designed to allow sick people get what they and their doctor have decided would most benefit them, the Patriot Act, etc, all mandated (and paid for by us taxpayers), for the ‘collective good’.

    Man, I can’t wait until the Republicans mess things up badly again, this demotard witch hunt and aligning ourselves with republinuts is getting tiresome and boring. What happened to the days when neither republicans nor democrats were worth a shit?

    1. What happened to the days when neither republicans nor democrats were worth a shit?

      They are still with us, having never left us. Happy days are here again!

    2. It’s not because the GOP is good it’s because the dems are in power with such majorities which gives them the capacity to do what they have wanted to for some time.

      It wasn’t much better when Bush was in office with a gop legislature.

      Gridlock is our friend.

      1. “It wasn’t much better when Bush was in office with a gop legislature.”

        I wanted to pull my hair out at the ‘indendents’ who fawned over Obama and didn’t look forward enough at what the Dem congress+presidency could do. They have short memories. At least Repubs didn’t have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. Dems still have 58 votes (59 if you include Lieberman) and depending on the bill, it might not take much to get the 1 or 2 votes needed from some Repubs. Personally, I hope Dems get the thrashing in November Repubs are wishing, though I doubt it will be that severe.

        1. This is exactly my objection. Both parties suck, but it’s worse when one party is holding so much of the power at one time. While nothing may get done with x party congress and y party president, at least they check each other…nothing TOO crazy can come out. I don’t think the issue is which party is the one in control, the fact that ONLY one party is in control is the big problem.

          1. With gridlock only what NEEDS to get done gets done. Neither side gets what it WANTS.

            1. Works for me…

      2. If by “wasn’t much better” you mean exactly the same, only worse, I’ll agree.

        It seems that every president since Reagan has had their own Trillion dollar pet project that’s been pushed down our throats against our will.

        That said, if I must live with these trillion dollar programs as a part of my existence (and it’s either leave to some other country or exist with these programs), I’ll take paying a trillion dollars for health care to paying a trillion dollars to fight an unjustified war in Iraq every time. At least with the health care bill we won’t be hearing about the thousands of soldiers who have died for a fraudulent cause.

        At the very least, with dems in office I don’t have GOP moral fuck heads telling me what I must not do for the “good of the country.” I’m not saying that the demotards are good, but this deveil is definitely better than the former devil IMO.

        1. At the very least, with dems in office I don’t have GOP moral fuck heads telling me what I must not do for the “good of the country.”

          No you have neo-pagan dumbfucks telling you what you can eat, how to get around(cars bad, trains good, electric cars ok), what kind of light bulbs to use, what insurance products to buy, how to treat your pets, what to study (sexual abuse awareness) etc.

          1. No you have neo-pagan dumbfucks telling you what you can eat..

            Agreed, the idea that the left isn’t selfrighteously religious is demonstrably preposterous. Their god is socialism.

        2. They weren’t quite as bad because they didn’t have quite the numbers.

          Also I don’t know what the GOP did to tell you what you “must not do for the “good of the country.”?

          I could give a shit what they say, I care a lot about what laws they pass.

  12. It’s funny i always thought slavery was outlawed in this country under the 13th amendment.

    1. It’s more indentured servitude…

      1. In what way? I don’t remember entering into a voluntary contract for it.

        1. In the aspect that we can still own land and have access to the courts. Length of service is a different story, so I defer on that point.

          1. …and the whole contract thing…so it’s a compromise..of sorts (bad sorts)

        2. It was a clause in the social contract that you implicitly signed by being born in a place where there were other people.

    2. Actually, the 13th Amendment says that slavery or involuntary servitude cannot exist
      “except as punishment for a crime [in which a person was] duly convicted.” It’s not so much that they are enslaving us in spite of the 13th amendment, it’s more that they are redefining what “crime” is. In this case, thinking that people are not entitled to health care.

      Truthfully, it’s interesting that the 13th was ratified in 1865, and the 16th amendment declaring Congress’ power to enforce an income tax (involuntary servitude?) was ratified 48 years later. Too bad we didn’t have sympathetic judges on the Supreme Court when that doozy got amended.

  13. The founding fathers would have never supported this freedom-crushing health care bill! They were far too busy tending to their slaves and oppressing women…

    Why can’t we get back to an era where non-whites aren’t considered persons, women can’t vote and life expectancy was 50 years? “The Good Ol’ Days” as Glenn Beck would have you believe!

    Gosh darn liberal agenda…. never forget when we marched with signs that read “Race Mixing is Communism”. Health care reform is the new race mixing– communism!

    (/sarcasm for the dense)

    1. Your lack of anything concrete to say speaks volumes of your ignorance. You’ve exposed your problem, step two is fixing it.

    2. One *might* attempt to actually know what the opinions of the people you’re trolling are before bothering.

      Ignorant trolling, so ineffectual.

    3. and life expectancy was 50 years

      We’re working on it. We passed obamacare after all.

  14. Hate to pop a bubble, but the commerce clause does not even factor into the individual mandate. It’s an income-tax power: buy insurance, pay less income tax. Don’t buy insurance, pay more income tax.

    It is EXACTLY that simple, and there is no real constitutional question.

    1. “It’s an income-tax power: buy insurance, pay less income tax. Don’t buy insurance, pay more income tax.”

      Except for the obvious fact that your income remains the same, and you are simply being forced to use it to buy a specific product from specific providers on pain of taxation penalties.

      For that reason, it’s not an income tax. It’s just abusing the confiscatory power of taxation to harm those who do not buy products that corporate lobbyists have convinced government functionaries to force the public to buy.

  15. “We need to stop worrying about the rights of the individual and start worrying about what is best for society.” — Hillary Clinton

    1. The children! Won’t somebody think of the chiiilllldddrrrrennn!!?

  16. Think Progress had a post talking about the Militia Acts of 1792 that required all able-bodied “free” (ha!) white men between the ages of 18-45 to own certain military supplies at their own expense.

    Their argument was that if it worked for George Washington, it works now.

    It also conscripted every “free” white man into a state militia.

    Boy, those founding fathers sure loved liberty!

    1. I don’t really think the Militia Acts were regarded as exercises of the commerce power, so that discussion at Think Progress is worth, well, about as much as most discussions at Think Progress.

    2. That was congress not the founding fathers. But you’re right, the government set to work paving over liberty from go. Just like Obamacare congress exempted themselves from the Militia Acts. A sign of things to come.

      Lincoln had a compulsory draft.
      Wilson had a compulsory draft.
      FDR had a compulsory draft.
      LBJ had a compulsory draft.

      Good progressives all!

      The reason the Constitution was so salutary was the the framers didn’t know who would end up having power once the government got going, so they put in protections. As soon as the government got going the ones who got power of course set about undoing those protections. It’s taken them two centuries but by now the Constitution has been interpreted to empower the government to do anything it chooses, as interpreted by the government.

  17. It’s a living document.

    Only the elite among us are wise enough to know what the Living Document means on any given day.

    This idea has a history: http://historyhalf.com/judicia…..n-context/

  18. I’m not a constitutional lawyer, but perhaps hte “Empowering States to be Innovative” amendment, which permits States to opt out of the Federal Plan (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..11748.html
    ), makes the whole thing constitutional.
    I.e. States that don’t opt out implicitly impose the mandate. As they impose car insurance.

    1. Is there a provision in the Obama Omnibus Health Care Reform Act which allows individuals to opt out? No? Well, guess we’ll have to include that in the “Reconcilliation Bill” in the Senate now, eh?

      1. There is a reason I mentioned the car insurance analogy.
        The amendment makes the mandate a State issue, and that is where you will have to argue.

    2. “””but perhaps hte “Empowering States to be Innovative” amendment, which permits States to opt out of the Federal Plan “””

      If that’s true, then states’ AG suits are moot. Assuming they are not moot on any other grounds.

      1. Yup. Actually that is how I learned about it when Sen. Ron Wyden, the author of the amendment, pointed it out in response to all the AG hubbub.

  19. Simple way to discover the answer to the original question of constitutionality. First, get a copy of the Constitution; second, look at Article I, Section 8, Powers of Congress; third, look at the Tenth Amendment that says whatever powers weren’t delegated Congress doesn’t have. Much of the current body of Federal law and regulation would fall if that were the test actually used. Good luck. Let me see … hmmm … nine old guys and gals who owe their appointments to a bunch of politicians, who are the Establishment of the Establishment … yeah, they’re not going to look for sophistries by which to allow Congress to do whatever it wants. Sure.

  20. I’m curious if private vs public will be a difference for a SCOTUS review. While the government seems to be able to force you to partisipate in government programs, can it force you into private programs? If yes, say hello to your new health overlords. If no, then forget privatizing social security or any other federal program.

  21. Nice use of a second page there.

    They claim the Commerce Claus gives them the authority to do this. However, that is for interstate commerce. Right? So I guess that means they will let us buy insurance from out of state.


  22. Where was all this Constitutional hand-wringing when the states were compelled by DOT regulations to force drivers to purchase private auto insurance? If you remember, federal highway funds were to be withheld from any state that didn’t require all motorists to purchase insurance.

    I don’t hear those complaining about being compelled to buy health insurance whispering a word about being compelled to buy auto insurance. It seems both are the same kind of government-mandated purchase of a private product.

    1. Asked and answered many, many times dipshit.

    2. Yep. Both are govt mandated. Both are wrong. Chances are, the anger over ObamaCare may spill over into examining other statist laws. It’s already been a component of many tea parties.

    3. I don’t hear those complaining about being compelled to buy health insurance whispering a word about being compelled to buy auto insurance.

      Then you’re not listening. Both are wrong. Your argument is stupid, in any case.

      1. People in New Hapshire can still choose to buy car insurance, it is not a mandate like most all the rest. And supprise supprise they have some of the lowest rates in the country.

    4. Everyone hates mandatory car insurance too.

      1. King of the hill made a good point about forcing people to buy car insurance. Hank pointed out that, if the insurance company raises your rates in the event of an accident, what is being insured? Why not just cut out the middle man and make payments on a loan yourself? The insurance agent simply points out that “it’s the law” as a rebuttal.

    5. They don’t force you to buy car insurance if you don’t own a car do they? The only way to get out of buying health insurance now is to be dead.

  23. Social Security, Medicare, subsidies to big business are all paid for with a tax. Health care is subsidized as an insurer’s monopoly, a non-compete and a non-negotiable pricing of health vendors.
    That is not free enterprise. It is theft from the citizens left to insure the businesses too big to fail.

    1. This is exactly why it pisses me off to no end when people claim that the Insurance industry is a failure of the free market. I mean, is there any industry that still hasn’t been corrupted by the government meddling?

      1. Oops posted incomplete thoughts!

        Basically, the medical and medical insurance industry is the greatest example of how the government fucks things up, yet people still look at it as a failure of the market.

  24. I would really like to see that apparently very short list of what is NOT constitutional for Congress to do to the citizenry.

    1. I know! At this point, what laws couldn’t they pass? Of course, every liberal will respond, “Bush pissed on the constitution too! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!”

  25. Sounds like the man date is going to the Supreme Court. I am a progressive that does not like the man date, its there to make the health insurance lobby happy, I dont believe the Dems wanted it there in the first place. The bigger issue is the violence at hand-

    This is an emotional reaction by liberals? I am making this stuff up? You guys lost the election, deal with it – like we had to deal with Iraq (were liberals violent about it?). When you win the White House, majority in the House AND super majority in the Senate- repeal the HC laws. Or do we have to now go after the second amendment?

    Reps. Louise Slaughter and Bart Stupak have received death threats. A tea party participant published what he thought was Rep. Thomas Perriello’s home address and urged disgruntled voters to “drop by” for a “good face-to-face chat.” Five congressional offices in five different states have been violently attacked. A public gun display is scheduled for the Waco anniversary in April at the national park closest to DC.

    1. I suppose the proper response is “So what?”. This isn’t anything wingnuts on the the Left haven’t done. It’s a bit tame in fact. Funny. I’m curious. Has Obama been hung in effigy yet?

      1. Yes. Before the election. On my university campus.

        No love for Demotards, but justifying right wingnut violence by pointing out left wingnut violence is not really all that productive.

    2. Just curious: with this control of the “White House, majority in the House AND super majority in the Senate,” has the Iraq War that you “had to deal with” been stopped?

      Yeeeeeeeaaaaahhhhh… It’s not easy to stop the progress train. It’s even harder to change direction. Thus the outrage over both situations; but this one potentially locks the United States into something for a lot longer (at least 20 years). One more thing: has the U.S. been in a singular war since 1935 (the year the Social Security Act passed)?

  26. How about the bombing of the Times Square recruiting center? The inevitable pseudo-riots at the G8 and G20?

    Or this?

    Or this?

    1. Is justifying right wing wack job violence by pointing out equally wacky left wingnut violence really the best way?

      All it does is make you look as stupid as those you chastise. And believe me, they look stupid.

      1. No it does not.

        However, it is noted what political violence you get the vapors over.

  27. Pretty frightening that a legislator doesn’t know every detail of the document that empowers them. Sounds like a “make it up as we go along” mentality.

  28. Where is the constitutional authority for Social Security? For Medicare? For the EPA? (I could keep going…)

    Why bother worrying about it anymore. Very few people care. It’s over. America is over. It’s dead, and you can’t blame it on Pelosi. You can’t blame it on Obama. They didn’t elect themselves – they were elected by the morons that make up the majority of the American public. People with sense are vastly outnumbered by brainless morons. So, unless somebody has some sort of de-moronification bomb or something, then what is there to do? How do you overcome stupidity? How? Answer: You can’t.

    1. Cant believe someone else wrote, what I have thought for years. PERFECT.

    2. I’ve found that guns work pretty well.

  29. This article was read by Rush Limbaugh on his radio show today. Given his usual disdain of libertarian thought, that makes this a laudable accomplishment Mr. Harsanyi.

    Good stuff.

    I especially like the line you wrote that exactly described how I’m thinking: the twaddle believers are pinko bastards.

  30. I do see three ways out for people who do not wish to buy medical insurance: 1)join the ranks of the impoverished, they will get medicaid if they are 133% of poverty; 2) Join a religion that bans the purchase of insurance (Amish or Mennonites),according to the news report, if your religion bans the purchase of insurance, you are exempt:3)I have not seen anywhere, where deductibles are regulated, so apparently you can get a 100,000$ deductible, therefore the insurance will cost close to nothing:I will add a fourth method to avoid paying the insurance, simply pay the fine every year, which is probaby much less than the insurance.

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  32. Interesting that Reason ran an article in 2004 that SUPPORTED MANDATORY HEALTH INSURANCE. Come on guys…

  33. I am now officlally a convert because of the Bravery of Obama, Pelosi, and Reid. They finally drew a line in the tan.

    Forget missile defense of our allies in Eastern Europe. Forget sanctions against a Persian Empire about to go nuclear. Forget Israel, we have done enough. Forget that our Constitution has been re-defined per “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and is now more a guideline than a rule. And, Al-who?

    I say rejoice, for we now know what the bow-around-the-world tour was leading up to. Our President has just drawn his heroic line in the tan with the exceptional healthcare legislation just in time for summer.

    I for one am delighted at this new legislation. We have finally struck a blow for freedom from tanning. The 10% excise tax on indoor tanning services that will take effect July 1, 2010 is our equivalent of the landing on the beaches of Normandy and a huge blow against the enemies of freedom. Not only will this bill provide healthcare for every human in the fifty, but it will do it for free and strike a blow against vitamin D as well. And the anti-tanning regiment, as just about the first part of the bill to go into effect, will be the vanguard of this newly beloved legislative overwrite of our liberties. I cannot imagine a better way to get started. Nice going, Democrats. Keep up the good work. I think you forgot to protect us from another threat, though. Where is the excise tax on poodle and Chihuahua grooming? I get queasy just looking at those poor animals after they’ve been sheared, scented and bowed. Taxing that into oblivion would surely help my health.

    Here is to the beloved absurdity of government intervention.

    Lazy Jack


  34. I pointed out yesterday that the mandate was a bad idea, but the new law has important positive changes to health care. That comment was met with violent attacks ON THIS SITE. I then replied that the violence this week-on the steps of our Congress, a congressman being spit on, five democratic offices in five states being attacked, ten death threats, a congressman’s brother’s house being attacked, open gun rally in VA, all being egged on by Republican leaders-for example- Palin-restock an reload is her current theme AND cities displayed in RIFLE crosshairs on HER WEBSITE. Leaders have responsibilities, repelicans have none. The more you say this is isolated, the more proof is there is more.

    1. I say if you want free health care, move somewhere that has it. Why you had to change the very basis on which our country was founded is beyond me. There’s an entire world out there that will steal other people’s money and give it to you. As one of the poor this is supposedly supposed to benefit I PAY my own bills without the benefit of insurance. I’d rather be drowned in medical bills than have the government, an entity known to screw up EVERYTHING at some point no matter which party is in charge, have ANYthing to do with my health. I guess I will be paying the fines.

      One other thing, you do realize that there are repercussions we are not considering. If a parent refuses to use any of this for their children, how long before parents lose their children because they aren’t being “responsible” simply for protesting this?

  35. We, the United States is being held hostage and here is why:


  36. Yes. Before the election. On my university campus

  37. Many years after receiving my graduate degree, I returned to the State University of New York at Binghamton as a faculty member. One day in a crowded elevator, someone remarked on its inefficiency. I said the elevators had not changed in the 20 thomas saboyears since I began there as a student.
    When the door finally opened, I felt a compassionate pat on my back, and turned to see an elderly nun smiling at me. “You’ll get that degree, dear,” she whispered. “Perseverance is a virtue.” ????

  38. My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I’m sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won’t get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books. In other words, there’s more to the books of the Bible than most will ever grasp. I’m not concerned that Mr. Crumb will go to hell or anything crazy like that! It’s just that he, like many types of religionists, seems to take it literally, take it straight…the Bible’s books were not written by straight laced divinity students in 3 piece suits who white wash religious beliefs as if God made them with clothes on…the Bible’s books were written by people with very different mindsets…in order to really get the Books of the Bible, you have to cultivate such a mindset, it’s literally a labyrinth, that’s no joke.

  39. Even if you go on his website, it’s still just a a ten minute discussion. The interview with Jim Cramer simply amounted to Jim sputtering something every couple of minutes while John wagged his finger at him the whole time. I’ve never seen him have an intelligent discussion with anybody, and he only talks to people that he knows he can bully into a corner. Usually idiots, yes, but it’s still dispicable. I don’t watch him that often, but it is people like him that make me wretch. The fact that people go around saying “He slammed so and so” in that “debate” pisses me off. John’s not directly responsible for that, but he certainly plays his audience to get that effect.

  40. Well said. Tucker is despicable, Crossfire became despicable (despite the presence of supposed “heavyweights” like Novack and Carville), and Jon Stewart is a comedian who has never proclaimed himself to be anything else. Just because certain people here don’t understand how satire works doesn’t change that fact. The fact that The Daily Show has gained some cultural traction doesn’t change that.

  41. “The size of the lie is a definite factor in causing it to be believed, for the vast masses of the nation are in the depths of their hearts more easily deceived than they are consciously and intentionally bad. The primitive simplicity of their minds renders them a more easy prey to a big lie than a small one, for they themselves often tell little lies but would be ashamed to tell a big one.”

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