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Thu Jun 28, 2012, 06:06 PM

Congress passes healthcare insurance mandate ......in 1798

Please forgive me if this was already posted. I heard about this on the Thom Hartman show yesterday and thought to share the link here.

From Forbes magazine:

In July of 1798, Congress passed –and President John Adams signed - “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.

Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution. "

Much more at:


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Reply Congress passes healthcare insurance mandate ......in 1798 (Original post)
chknltl Jun 2012 OP
HopeHoops Jun 2012 #1
hughee99 Jun 2012 #2
chknltl Jun 2012 #3
Shrek Jun 2012 #4

Response to chknltl (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 06:13 PM

1. Shhhh. A Republican might be watching. We wouldn't want to bother them with facts now would we?


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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 06:17 PM

2. If I understand correctly, the money collected from the sailors

was delivered to the Treasure Department, not a private insurance company, and used to fund the Government Marine hospital service. I'm not sure anyone has argued that the government can't mandate that people pay money TO THE GOVERNMENT for a service the government provides.

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #2)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 07:07 PM

3. You are correct.

Wasn't the reason for my posting this, I simply found it fascinating background considering current events. There have been other government sponsored mandates too, I think there was one just prior to the War Of 1812, that mandated that every adult male own a firearm. Boy wouldn't the NRA, the firearm manufacturers and our fellow DUers over in the 'Gungeon' have some happy thoughts about that!

Are you old enough to recall getting 'those' medicines and medical tests at school? I am. Across our nation, our government had mandated that each school child get an ucky tasting sugar cube and a TB test. We children absolutely hated those four little needles and for those who came back with a positive test...well they were usually tramatised and for a short while even avoided by the rest of us, which further tramatised them. Those tests, and others like them were paid for by our tax dollars and no, they made not one insurance company wealthier. They did make some drug manufacterers happy though I suspect.

Not looking for debate here hughee99, truth be told I am well aware that the big insurance companies are right there in the fight to destroy our democracy with their Washington lobbyists and their greed. For me, this passage of Obamacare by the SCOTUS is but a toehold on the Normandy Beach in We The People's struggle to retake OUR government.

Furthermore, I strongly approve that in every nook and cranny across this nation, We The People are having this very discussion RIGHT NOW!

Jefferson said that democracy requires an informed electorate, well it is good that the electorate is busy debating and informing each other. My OP is just a little more information and right now, more than anything else, information is the coin of the realm.

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Response to chknltl (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 07:17 PM

4. It was a payroll tax, not an individual mandate

And applied only to ships engaged in foreign commerce (and thus clearly within reach of the commerce clause).

§ 1.

Be it enacted, Sfc.

That from and after the first day of September next, the master or owner of every ship or vessel of the United States, arriving from a foreign port into any port of the United States, shall, before such ship or vessel shall be admitted to an entry, render to the collector a true account of the number of seamen that shall have been employed on board such vessel since she was last entered at any port in the United States, and shall pay, to the said collector, at the rate of twenty cents per month for every seaman so employed; which sum he is hereby authorized to retain out of the wages of such seamen.

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