These guys are really scum, including the Democrats who “don’t agree” with some tyrannical provision or other of the 2000-plus-page health care cage legislation but allowed themselves to be harried or bought off in the name of “saving” the socialist and corrupt Obama presidency. Meanwhile, the New York Times says: “The uninsured are the biggest beneficiaries of the bill, which would extend coverage for low-income Americans.” Uh, no. No, not all “low-income Americans” want to be enslaved. Why the gratuitous insult of the moral character of all “low-income Americans”?
Randy Barnett on the lawsuits that are coming up in response to the unconstitutionality of a law forcing Americans to buy a product:
Can Congress really require that every person purchase health insurance from a private company or face a penalty? The answer lies in the commerce clause of the Constitution, which grants Congress the power “to regulate commerce . . . among the several states.” Historically, insurance contracts were not considered commerce, which referred to trade and carriage of merchandise. That’s why insurance has traditionally been regulated by states. But the Supreme Court has long allowed Congress to regulate and prohibit all sorts of “economic” activities that are not, strictly speaking, commerce. The key is that those activities substantially affect interstate commerce, and that’s how the court would probably view the regulation of health insurance.
But the individual mandate extends the commerce clause’s power beyond economic activity, to economic inactivity. That is unprecedented. While Congress has used its taxing power to fund Social Security and Medicare, never before has it used its commerce power to mandate that an individual person engage in an economic transaction with a private company. Regulating the auto industry or paying “cash for clunkers” is one thing; making everyone buy a Chevy is quite another. Even during World War II, the federal government did not mandate that individual citizens purchase war bonds.
If you choose to drive a car, then maybe you can be made to buy insurance against the possibility of inflicting harm on others. But making you buy insurance merely because you are alive is a claim of power from which many Americans instinctively shrink. Senate Republicans made this objection, and it was defeated on a party-line vote, but it will return.