September 22, 2009
Mandate On All Americans
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/*>.
Posted by pudge at September 22, 2009
12:05 PM | Email This
You have a mandate to obey the law, Pudge. It aplies to not only every American, but anyone who is in this country and falls under the law.
If you think a law is unconstitutional -- and certainly some laws have been -- tell it to the judge.
2. Isn't the ultimate mandate that we as Americans MUST pay taxes?
3. You have a mandate to obey the law, Pudge.
The last utterance before Big Brother declared his final victory.
I LOVE BIG BROTHER.
"Isn't the ultimate mandate that we as Americans MUST pay taxes?"
not everyone pays taxes - some even get money back they didn't pay.
ivan: You have a mandate to obey the law
Most of the time, no, I only have a mandate to NOT VIOLATE the law through particular action. An individual health insurance mandate would be a mandate to PERFORM a particular action.
Can you name a similar mandate on all Americans?
If you think a law is unconstitutional -- and certainly some laws have been -- tell it to the judge.
Sorry, do you think that's an argument of any sort? It's not.
Duffman: Isn't the ultimate mandate that we as Americans MUST pay taxes?
Of course not. You only pay taxes if you act in certain ways that make you subject to them. (And as Ron K says, many people pay no taxes, and indeed, literally get my money in their pockets.) If you have no income, you don't pay income tax; no property, no property tax; no purchases, no sales tax.
This mandate is new and different: if you are living, you pay this ... "life tax."
6. Well said Pudge.
It is essentially the question of do we live the life we choose to live, or the one the government allows us to live?
Essentially I agree that this is indeed a tax. However those who choose not to pay for health insurance are going to get treated whether or not they have insurance. If they are sick or injured, they do not have to pay for treatment but the taxpayers are stuck for the bill. This is different than auto insurance. If you do not carry auto insurance you are liable for the expenses if you are in an accident, at least if it is your fault.
If we the taxpayer are subsidizing those who refuse to carry insurance, they should either be required to carry insurance or be fully liable for the expense of their care. Of course it is more complex than this, but this point does not seem to be raised in many discussions of the issue.
8. It's a tax. Argue all you want about the merits, but Obama promised no tax increase on us repeatedly.
He also promised no mandate. So either way, if he does this, it's a huge broken promise.
9. Yes, it certainly is a Tax! But, more than that, it is a Noose around your Neck. When the Government controls Health Care, it controls your Right to Live. Woe to the dissidents who may need Government Health Care.
Chris: those who choose not to pay for health insurance are going to get treated whether or not they have insurance
And most of them will pay out of pocket.
If they are sick or injured, they do not have to pay for treatment but the taxpayers are stuck for the bill.
So why not ... make them pay for treatment? Why is that so hard? And if they cannot, well, then they probably couldn't afford insurance anyway.
Again: you are repeating Obama's argument, but it is a lie. That is not why they are doing mandates. They are doing it to take money to use for OTHER PEOPLE.
If they thought for a SECOND, Chris, that the people who are not buying insurance, but can afford to, were more of a burden to the system than a benefit to the system, they would not be requiring them to pay into the system. Because then they would lose money by bringing them into the system. They are bringing them into the system knowing they will get more from them than they will pay out to them. That is the POINT.
11. ...but, does anyone deserve to die from lack of health care in this Country.
12. No, they don't deserve to die from lack of health care. But, under Government Health Care, many who don't deserve to die will die. Anything that is available without any upfront charge or financial responsibility to the seeker of Heath Care, will become quickly overloaded with demand. It will soon be seriously short of funding. Rationing will become the norm and the Government will be in charge of who will live and who will die. Yes, many will die and those deaths will continue to increase proportionately as time goes by. Just, check how well other Nations are doing such a fine job with their Health Care. Heath Care will also, be used as a tool and threat against those who may raise their voices of descent. Talk about having major control over an increasingly enslaved Society.
#11 "...but, does anyone deserve to die from lack of health care in this Country."
No, but handing the system to the federal government is not going to solve it. Why are so many people willing to believe that the answer to every problem is the central government seizing it?
Duffman, if you had an irregular heartbeat, and your doctor prescribed a pacemaker, and a government official prescribed a painkiller, which would you choose?
Duffman: ...but, does anyone deserve to die from lack of health care in this Country.
Does anyone deserve to have the government force them to do ... anything?
15. I will go to prison before I give that socialist slime ball a dime for his "forced" health care insurance.
16. hinton: and I will contribute to your defense fund!
You guys keep missing the point.
It is about getting young healthy people to pay for bankrupt medicare. There are a large number of things that would make health care more affordable for Americans. Congress keeps sidestepping all of them.
It is all a scam.
18. Vince: that is the point I explicitly made. Well, not about medicare explicitly, but about health care in general.
Right, for instance, allowing companies to sell in all 50 states does nothing to give the government more control. In fact, it would do the opposite.
Ditto with tort reform.
Just look at what the government proposes and it always means more dependency no them.
Looking at the underpinnings of this mandate, the POTUS is out to fundamentally transform this country, just as he said in his campaign - that the O-bots and many others paid no attention to.
Unless we keep sending a message that we reject this change and he and anyone else who votes for this type of change will pay for it at the ballot box, mandates like these could soon be commonplace. Not fear mongering, just stating reality.
21. I never thought in all my life that I would see such an idiot, narcissist such as Obama end up as President of this great country. For the financial mismanagement that our Congress and Senate have perpetrated on the American taxpayer, they should be stripped of all personal wealth and imprisoned. Ask me how I really feel.
So, an insurance company mailed a letter to seniors saying the Medicare benefits were going to be reduced. The President (of the United States of America no less) ordered the company to stop doing that. Um... who the hell does he think he is?
Today, the CBO also said his plan would reduce Medicare benefits. What's he gonna do now... arrest the CBO? I would not be surprised at anything this tyrant does.
He grants visas to dictators and denies them to allies.
Obama is not necessarily an idiot. He is a devout ideologue and committed to the Chicago Mobster way of doing things and ideologically committed to radical neo-Marxism. He ideological bent and his temperamant have made him economically incompetent (worse than Bush) and underneath the hard shell he puts on domestically, he is an appeaser - as recently demonstrated.
All in all, neither Bush nor Clinton can hold a candle to the level of corruption that is covertly on display at all levels of Government.
Soon it will be revealed that much of this corruption is being funded by Mr. Soros and his 527 groups.
Actually it's fraud, racketeering and extortion not to mention corporate ruling class deception of the highest order. America is a sick country that smokes, drinks, eats steak dinners, doesn't exercise, and has a low skilled immigration problem. The benefactors are the big insurance firms along with Dell, HP, Microsoft, IBM.
There's no mention of a single payer car insurance system or the use of open source software or open document formats to lead the way toward reform of health care costs. Worse, there is no population control feedback loop to regulate cost under a universal mandate.
Also keep in mind that regulators will probably allow for the insurance providers to achieve double digit rates of return and multi-million dollar bonuses for excutives.
One word for you Pudge: Medicare.
Tell your congressman to get rid of Medicare. See how far they get with that.
I wonder, if we are "forced" to have gov health care. Just how many more gov-workers will they need to hire to run this. 100.000??? Million? And how shall they be paid(taxes) and how much shall they make per year?
One thing government does very well (GROW)
Don't for one second tell me there won't be reduced health care.
27. tc: you're in Medicare? I'm not. Try again.
28. Pudge @27
Huh? I don't follow what you are saying. I pay Medicare taxes because I work for a living, but I don't draw Medicare. Are you saying you don't pay taxes on the wages you earn, or do you not earn any wages?
Pudge, you're surely not THAT ignorant. I assume you get a paycheck from somewhere? If so, take a look at it, and see the following lines:
FICA. OASDI. Medicare.
See those lines, and the numbers after them? Those are MANDATES.
Social security and medicare are systems that you are required to pay into, by law.
tc and Proteus: taxes only apply to people who earn income. The health insurance mandate applies to people WHO ARE ALIVE.
How can you not see this obvious difference? Can you really not see that one is a subset of Americans, while the other is EVERYONE?
31. Pudge@30- You're right that the health insurance mandate would be unique in this respect. But why does that make it less moral or constitutional than other federal laws that affect your liberty? What specific moral rules or constitutional principles have to do with whether a mandate affects all people or just those who do certain things?
Bruce: why does that make it less moral or constitutional than other federal laws that affect your liberty?
There's basically three components to it that are problematic. Each of the three is shared by other programs, though none of the other programs have all three components.
The first is that you cannot opt out. If I can, through acting freely, avoid being affected by something, that's at least SOME freedom I still have. If it is unavoidable, then ... it isn't. So this is something like the military draft, where you are simply forced into it. It is an affront to liberty, period.
Second is that it affects everyone, which some people may see as being more fair, but I see it as just doing evil to a greater number of people, compounding the error.
And third -- obviously -- it is one more grassy knoll added on to the slippery slope we've been going down for quite some time. Each new massive program that steals our liberty becomes a justification for more encroachments (as we've seen with tc and others implying that Medicare and Social Security and other programs are a justification for this one).
So apart from the portions of the Constitution directly violated, which I already went over, the violations of these principles -- that we should not require a free people; that the more people harmed, the worse it is; and that it contributes to a future loss of liberty -- magnify the problems.
33. Pudge, I understand how these 3 issues are moral ones for you (though you made no argument that they have any constitutional relevance). On the other hand, even if you can opt out of program X by not doing Y, you lose the liberty to do Y without having to do X, so that's still a loss of liberty, and not necessarily any less (depending on what X and Y are). And the slippery slope argument is valid only if we lack the ability to stop rolling down the slope. Since the healthcare mandate, and any other programs we pass, will be approved by Congress, we the people have fine traction on the slope. No one says that Medicare and Social Security are "justifications" for healthcare, let alone that they force us to do it. Some people do point to Medicare's low overhead and relatively high customer satisfaction as evidence that a single-payer system can work well (and pass constitutional muster). Is your argument that we shouldn't pass healthcare because that, too, might be successful and popular?
Bruce: you made no argument that they have any constitutional relevance
Yes, I did. The first point I made references our unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which the Constitution protects. Forcing people to do things, without them having violated the law first, is illegal.
even if you can opt out of program X by not doing Y, you lose the liberty to do Y without having to do X
Yep. And those things should be very cautiously implemented in our society. The income tax should be repealed.
so that's still a loss of liberty, and not necessarily any less (depending on what X and Y are)
Granted, but in this case, Y is "being alive," so ... yeah.
And the slippery slope argument is valid only if we lack the ability to stop rolling down the slope.
False. It's valid if it's likely to happen. It's true that we will not NECESSARILY continue down that slope, but we have done so for more than my lifetime, and it is therefore a valid argument.
No one says that Medicare and Social Security are "justifications" for healthcare
Nonsense. Obama himself has used Medicare as a justification many times. He says things like, "some people say government shouldn't do health care, but we have Medicare!," all the time. tc said it in this very discussion.
let alone that they force us to do it
I never said anything about Medicare forcing us to have socialized health care.
Some people do point to Medicare's low overhead and relatively high customer satisfaction as evidence that a single-payer system can work well (and pass constitutional muster).
Except that it does NOT work well (it is bankrupt) and it is NOT constitutional.
Is your argument that we shouldn't pass healthcare because that, too, might be successful and popular?
No, but that is obviously a valid concern too. People tend to follow the path of least resistance, even if it surrenders their, or someone else's, liberty. Popularity is what our Republic was designed to protect our individual rights AGAINST.
It is obviously harmful to a defense of such a program to say it is popular, because that only invokes James Madison's words:
When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens.
Pudge@34, I'm thrilled to see you cite the "unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". Some people would interpret the first and third rights in that list as promising help if your life or ability to be happy were threatened by disease. (Yes, these have to be weighed against other rights, like the rights of those who would treat you or pay for your care, but still.)
You misinterpret Obama and others when they cite Medicare. It's not a "justification" for national healthcare, it's evidence that it can work. Big difference.
And Medicare is not bankrupt; it cannot be, as it is a program funded out of current taxes. It is true that in the future some changes will need to be made to its revenue and/or expenses. The same is true of my private health insurance plan, which is not bankrupt either.
But thanks for your candor in stating that you think Medicare and the income tax should be repealed and you fear that a national healthcare plan will be so popular that our increasingly wealthy nation may someday support other programs as well. At least you are being intellectually honest in acknowledging the sad world that would result from your one-track obsession with your narrow definition of liberty.
Bruce: Some people would interpret the first and third rights in that list as promising help if your life or ability to be happy were threatened by disease.
And there is not a single jot of historical or philosophical basis to such an interpretation. You cannot have a "right" to someone else giving you something. That is literal nonsense.
You misinterpret Obama and others when they cite Medicare.
And Medicare is not bankrupt
Not yet, but it will almost surely be in the next decade. "Bankrupt" is the correct word.
But thanks for your candor in stating that you think Medicare and the income tax should be repealed ...
I did not say Medicare should be repealed. Please stop lying.
... and you fear that a national healthcare plan will be so popular that our increasingly wealthy nation may someday support other programs as well.
Yes, I do fear -- as our Founders all did -- that the tyranny of the majority will lead to dissolution of civil liberties. Every patriot should have that fear.
At least you are being intellectually honest in acknowledging the sad world that would result from your one-track obsession with your narrow definition of liberty
You're a liar, Bruce. Nothing about the country I prefer to have is "sad" in the slightest bit. The ONLY WAY you could POSSIBLY think that is if you think that we must all rely on government force to have a non-sad world. And if you believe that, then you're a slave.