Peg from Minnesota asks regarding health insurance,

Peg asks, “I’m missing something. Shouldn’t we ALL drop our health insurance – and just purchase it if we get expensively ill?”

And I sure as hell agree with her. I am now paying $700 a month, guaranteed to go up when ObamaCare kicks in, for catastrophic insurance. What a chump I am – just as soon as Obamacare is the law of the land and insurance companies have to take me no matter how ill I am, I will stop paying that premium and wait to get sick. I suspect others will do the same – hang onto your wallet.


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16 responses to “Peg from Minnesota asks regarding health insurance,

  1. Retired IB'er

    You will be required to buy insurance or face a fine based upon your income. Whether there will be an arbitrage (fine vs. insurance cost) only time will tell, but I doubt it.

  2. dang sweet info dude.

  3. Anonymous

    This is exactly why the individual mandate is so important, and it’s exactly why the conservative Heritage Foundation endorsed the individual mandate years ago, it’s why the mandate was in the Republicans’ alternative to Clinton’s 1993 health care plan, and it’s why likely 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney included an individual mandate in his health reform legislation in Massachusetts.

    Get over it. It’s not some tool of Karl Obama’s evil tyrannical powergrab. It’s a sensible policy developed by serious people who have studied the mechanisms of our health care system for years.

  4. Anonymous

    Well, there’s some considerable debate about that, isn’t there.

    I don’t know how you ignore the last 80 years of Commerce Clause jurisprudence, but I suppose you can try if you like. Since the 1930s, the Court has held that Congress has a right to regulate even individual activity that, in the aggregate, would effect interstate commerce.

    Clearly, you recognize the national effect that the lack of a mandate would have — your post was dedicated to it. (No mandate, healthy people remove themselves from the risk pool, costs skyrocket, etc.) Congress is entirely within the grounds allowed by the last 80 years of CC interpretation to regulate this economic transaction that clearly — in your own telling — would have a significant effect on national commerce.

  5. Peg

    Actually, Chris – I think that this is the Democrat’s super-duper secret plan. They want everyone to cancel their insurance and for the insurance companies to essentially fold. Then – it will seem we have no recourse except to resort to…. tada! Single Payer!

    There is method to their madness, I fear.

  6. Anonymous

    Peg has it nailed.

    Now, if I could only buy car insurance when I have an accident.

  7. Helsa Poppin

    I loathe the last 80 years of Commerce Clause jurisprudence. We need some more libertarians on the Supreme Court to overturn this muck, finish what U.S. v. Lopez started.

  8. PInzgauer

    Can someone explain to me in plain English how the CC can be used to force a private citizen to make a purchase from a private sector busines when I don’t want to make one.

    • Pinzgauer, I can’t remember the case (shame on me) but back in the 60s, the Supremes used the Commerce Clause to force a fried chicken place down south to serve blacks food. It was the the right result, but I remember studying the case in 1978 and thinking, “uh oh, this means the government can do anything”. I seem to have been right.

  9. Anonymous

    Pinzgauer: The law doesn’t force you to buy anything from anyone. Let’s be clear: there are absolutely no criminal penalties for failing to purchase health insurance. What the law says is that if you do not have health insurance, you must contribute in some way towards to public funds that are spent covering the medical care of people without insurance (this would include you, if you don’t have coverage). Otherwise, you go without coverage, and when you are sick or injured and can’t pay out of pocket (say if you do something really irresponsible and go out and get cancer), the public picks up that tab.

    The government already (and constitutionally) mandates that you pay for a public retirement fund (Social Security) and a public health fund (Medicare) through the FICA witholding from your paycheck. You can argue that that is a tyrannical, unconstitutional usurpation of your liberty, but, you know, good luck.

    The fact of the matter is, Congress has the right under it’s taxing power (Article I, Section 8) to levy this tax, and also its right under the Commerce Clause to regulate activity (even non-economic activity, see Gonzales v. Raich) that has a considerable material effect on the national economy.

  10. Anonymous

    And Chris, believe you’re referring to Katzenbach v. McClung, where the Court held (9-0, not some activist liberal thin majority) that the Commerce Clause gave the government the power to ban discrimination in restaurants.

    Don’t quite get how this made you shudder with the fear of tyranny and gave you the mistaken belief that “government can do anything.” The case pretty simply said that Congress can forbid racial discrimination in restaurants. It seems to me that this was a victory for liberty, not some harbinger of a scary future.

  11. Happily Retired Litigator

    Anonymous –

    Georgetown Law Professor Randy Barnett (author of at least one excellent book on constitutional law) had an extensive analysis of the unconstitutionality of the Obamacare statute on the WSJ op-ed page earlier this week. I’ll provide a link if I can.

    And while the outcome in Katzenbach may have been desirable for any number of reasons, it is rather obvious that the fellow whose liberty was infringed was the restaurant owner. The great fear among many reasonable people is the continuing erosion of personal liberty and property rights by governments at every level, from the grotesque expansion of Supreme Court commerce clause jurisprudence to local land use regulations (FAR, anyone?). At some point it must end, and Obamacare seems as good a place as any to make stand.

    • Hey, Happily retired, I did link to that Barnett article, but I guess Anonymous missed it. Was it Katzenbach’s? I remember classmates coming back to law school with tee shirts emblazoned with the place’s name but thirty years on….

  12. Anonymous

    Well, Happily retired reveals quite a bit about his views on politics, liberty and race when he claims that the 1964 Civil Rights Act infringed upon the liberty of restaurant owners, bus company operators and hoteliers to deny service to black Americans.

    Of course, Happily Retired is free to hold these views, but let’s not pretend this is a mainstream interpretation of the Civil Rights Act.

    Also, Chris, Katzenbach was the Attorney General of the United States — the restaurant was called Ollie’s Barbecue.