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Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:18 PM

If Health Insurance Mandates Are Unconstitutional, Why Did the Founding Fathers Back Them?

http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/102620/individual-mandate-history-affordable-care-act?utm_source=The+New+Republic&utm_campaign=32651b8553-TNR_Daily_041312&utm_medium=email

by Einer Elhauge

In making the legal case against Obamacare’s individual mandate, challengers have argued that the framers of our Constitution would certainly have found such a measure to be unconstitutional. Nevermind that nothing in the text or history of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause indicates that Congress cannot mandate commercial purchases. The framers, challengers have claimed, thought a constitutional ban on purchase mandates was too “obvious” to mention. Their core basis for this claim is that purchase mandates are unprecedented, which they say would not be the case if it was understood this power existed.

But there’s a major problem with this line of argument: It just isn’t true. The founding fathers, it turns out, passed several mandates of their own. In 1790, the very first Congress—which incidentally included 20 framers—passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. This law was then signed by another framer: President George Washington. That’s right, the father of our country had no difficulty imposing a health insurance mandate.

That’s not all. In 1792, a Congress with 17 framers passed another statute that required all able-bodied men to buy firearms. Yes, we used to have not only a right to bear arms, but a federal duty to buy them. Four framers voted against this bill, but the others did not, and it was also signed by Washington. Some tried to repeal this gun purchase mandate on the grounds it was too onerous, but only one framer voted to repeal it.

Six years later, in 1798, Congress addressed the problem that the employer mandate to buy medical insurance for seamen covered drugs and physician services but not hospital stays. And you know what this Congress, with five framers serving in it, did? It enacted a federal law requiring the seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. That’s right, Congress enacted an individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance. And this act was signed by another framer, President John Adams.

. . .

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Arrow 17 replies Author Time Post
Reply If Health Insurance Mandates Are Unconstitutional, Why Did the Founding Fathers Back Them? (Original post)
swag Apr 2012 OP
Lionessa Apr 2012 #1
rfranklin Apr 2012 #3
progressoid Apr 2012 #5
Lionessa Apr 2012 #6
rfranklin Apr 2012 #8
jeff47 Apr 2012 #4
treestar Apr 2012 #17
RC Apr 2012 #2
Lionessa Apr 2012 #7
RegieRocker Apr 2012 #9
Lionessa Apr 2012 #10
area51 Apr 2012 #11
RegieRocker Apr 2012 #12
Lionessa Apr 2012 #13
RegieRocker Apr 2012 #14
teamrn Apr 2012 #15
Ruby the Liberal Apr 2012 #16

Response to swag (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:36 PM

1. Sorry not the same at all.

 

The difference is that this mandate is regardless of any choice besides being alive. All other mandates are based on a decision to do something other than live, like run a shipping company, or own a car. This would be the first and only, that I've been able to find, where you're mandated to just for being.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:42 PM

3. It is safe to assume that the 40 million uninsured will ask for medical care during their lives...

 

and that is the choice that they make other than living. When they show up at the emergency room demanding care it will be too late to enroll them in a health insurance plan.

Please use a little common sense.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:48 PM

5. Health insurance does not equal medical care.

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Response to rfranklin (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:50 PM

6. I don't agree that the mandate is constitutional, furthermore,

 

not everyone who chooses to get medical care will refuse to pay. You assume that paying a doctor directly is not happening, but it does. Not all uninsured are freeloaders.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:03 PM

8. Out of pocket does not cover a great deal of the uncompensated care...

 

In 2004, uncompensated care is
estimated to be $40.7 billion. Adults
uninsured for the full year receive the
majority of uncompensated care,
$26.3 billion (65% of the total amount).

http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/the-cost-of-care-for-the-uninsured-what-do-we-spend-who-pays-and-what-would-full-coverage-add-to-medical-spending.pdf

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:44 PM

4. Yes, we all remember when we decided to be able-bodied men.

Or maybe you just missed that firearms mandate.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 20, 2012, 08:09 PM

17. Then stay out of it and don't be covered for health care

You're choosing to require health care. Anyone can just rely on folk medicine if they want to. It is expensive now. And able to do a lot more. If you don't want insurance to pay the bills, then owe the bills. Geez, they're trying to make sure what health care you need can be paid for. It doesn't fall out of the sky now.

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Response to swag (Original post)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:41 PM

2. And there is this too --

 

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America:
"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, PROMOTE THE GENERAL WELFARE, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Section 8.
"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and PROVIDE FOR THE common defense and GENERAL WELFARE of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;..."
Twice in our Constitution it mentions "general welfare" What constitutes 'General Welfare'?

The old-age benefits provisions of the Social Security Act of 1935 is an example of providing for the 'general welfare'. Medicaid/Medicare are 2 more examples of providing for the 'general welfare'.
Government controlled, Single Payer, Universal health care for the people of the United States IS covered by the Constitution, because the relative health of our citizens does affect the general welfare of the Nation. 45,000 dead people a year are proof the profit driven, privately run systems we have in place now are not working to provide the necessary health care for our nation.

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Response to RC (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 12:51 PM

7. Taxes for healthcare, I have no problem, forcing me to pay a private insurer, I have a problem

 

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 01:05 PM

9. Do you not have a job?

 

And yes that question is important .

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #9)

Fri Apr 13, 2012, 02:03 PM

10. No, been mostly unemployed for many years now.

 

Still trying to get a step ahead again, but the economy just isn't there yet.

Why is that important to this discussion?

I have no intention of remaining unemployed so this will effect me sooner or later. And for the part-time, temp jobs I've had on and off over the past 5 five years, none had insurance available, and still wouldn't under the new rules with fewer than the required employees.

I've also not used any type of medical care in since the early 90s. Not a ER, not primary care, nothing. Now I realize that isn't going to continue forever, but forcing me to pay a private company that may or may not choose to insure whatever I'm going to need isn't the answer. Adding a middleman increases costs for the user, medicare for all, and a higher tax is the only thing that makes sense. Mandating a corporations profit on my back, when I get back on my feet, isn't acceptable to me.

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 10:46 AM

11. +1

The number of defenders of GingrichCare never ceases to amaze me.

If the GingrichCare rule had been proposed by an obvious republican, everyone here would be against it.

If the rightwing mandate to buy private, for-profit, essentially unregulated insurance is upheld, it's going to hit democrats hard at the ballot box.

"Employer-based health insurance has always been a bad idea. Your life should not depend on who you work for." -- T. McKeon

"Any proposal that sticks with our current dependence on for-profit private insurers ... will not be sustainable. And the new law will not get us to universal coverage ...." -- T.R. Reid, The Healing of America

"Despite the present hyperbole by its supporters, this latest effort will end up as just another failed reform effort littering the landscape of the last century." --John Geyman, M.D., Hijacked! The Road to Single Payer in the Aftermath of Stolen Health Care Reform

A country that managed to put men on the moon can do single-payer health care.


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Response to Lionessa (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 15, 2012, 11:36 PM

12. I will enlighten you...

 

Since you don't have a job you will NOT be forced to buy health insurance. If you do get a job your employer will be forced to provide it for you. Obviously you have no tendencies toward self employment otherwise you wouldn't have stayed unemployed for so long. In essence your worries are ill founded. Your energies would be best used in finding your next job. Yes a system for all not privatized would be best. But its better than nothing.

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Response to RegieRocker (Reply #12)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:22 AM

13. You haven't enlightened shit. You've instead tried to spin shit into ice cream.

 

Sorry it still stinks, and though looking a lot like chocolate, it's not going to fool me, sorry it's fooling you, please eat up.

If you believe what you typed, you need to find out more about the bill and it's effects, which employers are required to provide and which aren't, etc.

Secondly by what standard do you figure everyone can make money being self-employed? I gather you must be some sort of free market capitalist that believes anyone not making money is either lazy or un-imaginative or what?

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Response to Lionessa (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 16, 2012, 12:14 PM

14. Lol you said it I didn't enlighten shit. Can't be done.

 

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Response to swag (Original post)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 12:40 AM

15. It's our Constitution

They didn't. Healthcare was NOT addressed in the Constitution which was written and signed in 1787, before theses mandates of 1790, 1792, and 1798.

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Response to teamrn (Reply #15)

Thu Apr 19, 2012, 09:03 PM

16. They who didn't?

Are you saying that the Founding Fathers were only responsible for the Constitution and then some other guys took over?

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