I thought for a long time that the biggest mistake earnest advocates of socialized medicine made was that they assumed it was government’s business—indeed, responsibility—to do “the right thing.” (Never mind those pesky questions about effectiveness. Never mind wondering what in the world could possibly make anyone think the government could do this, much less whether it should.)
I think the real biggest mistake is a much more sinister side of the same thing. The talkers were all over it today. The most important question the Supreme Court is considering is whether the individual mandate reasonably follows from the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. Does the federal government have the power to force you to enter into a financial contract with an insurance company?
No, it’s not like auto insurance mandates. Not all Americans drive.
No, it’s not like paying into Social Security. Not all Americans have jobs.
This is an attempt to legally compel you to spend money—either as insurance premiums or as a fine for refusal. It’s charging you to be alive. As any number of commentators and concerned citizens have pointed out, this is the gravest of assaults. If the government can force you to do this, then the Constitution as a guardian of our liberty is meaningless. If the government can force you to do this, then the government can force you to do anything.
And here we sit, having raised our first generation with no ingrained fear of government. What’s the problem? The government helps people, right? They won’t do anything that’s not good for us.
That’s why I’m beginning to genuinely fear for our dear republic. All of the “raising kids right” that I and people like me can muster is no ultimate match for the juggernaut of ubiquitous statism (in school, in the media…).
I’m really kind of thinking the Supreme Court will throw out the individual mandate, if not the entire law (because of how it was written). Obviously, I’m pulling for this, and I’ll be happy to hear it. But if it happens, it shall be no lasting victory.
It’s just the last time until the next time.