Question about the alleged health insurance "mandate

Robert Sheridan rs at robertsheridan.com
Wed Mar 24 13:11:46 PDT 2010



Sean Wilson wrote:

"...Imagine a situation where commanding citizens into farming greatly 
enhanced the general welfare. For example, imagine a possible country 
just as ours, only with a food shortage. If the government needed food 
growers, it surely could command this activity as a matter of 
powers-logic, so long as it did not infringe upon the 
liberty provisions. Government would have jurisdiction to act even in 
such a circumstance. The protection here comes from the fact that the 
government is checked, balanced, hard to capture, preserves liberty, and 
enacts the requirement for the general welfare. So, as long as 
your liberty protections are not violated, yes, one could imagine a 
situation where people were forced to farm.   

***

Don't we have a similar situation in which the government wishes people 
to work?  For their individual welfare and the general welfare?  Such as 
people receiving general assistance?  Didn't Clinton initiate a program 
to encourage/force able-bodied welfare recipients into the job market?  
Any constitutional deficiency there?

rs






> (regarding the points of David Nordquest)
>
> ... the points about forced grain-growing or "omissions that rely upon other activities" misses the point. The point is this: the activity in question is betting. We're all in the industry. We all bet one way or another on our health. If we bet to cover, we pay money to "the house." They pay if disaster strikes. If we bet on beating the odds, we cheat the house and take the consequences. This has nothing to do with making people farmers. It has nothing to do with an omission that relies upon another market supplier. The issue is exceptionally straight forward. 
>
> The picture that you have in your mind of the public being passive little bench-sitters who are suddenly commanded into the service of the insurance industry is wrong. The public is not passive bench sitters here. They are already involved in the betting industry, one way or another. If they aren't purchasing, they are trying to beat the odds. That is a choice. Every adult faces this choice. All that the government is doing is structuring the odds game so that the choice of cheating odds is appropriately factored into the consequences. If you don't buy, there is a penalty that tries to account for the costs you have dumped into the system. (It actually promotes good free will because it promotes responsibility).
>
> This is more about accounting than it is farming.
>
> Also, let's consider your other premise. Imagine a situation where commanding citizens into farming greatly enhanced the general welfare. For example, imagine a possible country just as ours, only with a food shortage. If the government needed food growers, it surely could command this activity as a matter of powers-logic, so long as it did not infringe upon the liberty provisions. Government would have jurisdiction to act even in such a circumstance. The protection here comes from the fact that the government is checked, balanced, hard to capture, preserves liberty, and enacts the requirement for the general welfare. So, as long as your liberty protections are not violated, yes, one could imagine a situation where people were forced to farm.    
>
> Regards and thanks.
>  
> Dr. Sean Wilson, Esq.
> Assistant Professor
> Wright State University
> Personal Website: http://seanwilson.org
> SSRN papers: http://ssrn.com/author=596860
> Discussion Group: http://seanwilson.org/wittgenstein.discussion.html 
>
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: "Nordquest, David A" <NORDQUES001 at gannon.edu>
> To: "Pohlman, Harold" <pohlman at dickinson.edu>
> Cc: conlawprof at lists.ucla.edu
> Sent: Wed, March 24, 2010 12:55:10 PM
> Subject: RE: Question about the alleged health insurance "mandate
>
>
> On 3/24/2010, Harry Pohlman wrote: 
>  
> “That is why I think NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin is relevant.  ‘Not buying’ health insurance of a certain type (one that meets the standards of the health care legislation) is quite comparable in character to ‘not buying’ labor of a certain type (the labor of union members).  NLRB held that the federal government could prohibit the latter under the commerce clause, thereby implying that inactivity of this type can be economic in character.”  Prof. Pohlman went on to refer to Wickard and other cases as containing similar reasoning.  
> Aren’t there degrees of inactivity?  Not to buy marketed grain or organized labor because you are relying  on home-grown grain or unorganized labor is an inactivity that is possible only because one is relying on a different but related activity.   But what if one were not farming at all and a law were passed requiring everyone to grow grain?  Would Wickard imply that by doing nothing one would be affecting the interstate market in grain and could therefore be compelled to grow it – that non-farmers could be made to grow grain?
> David Nordquest, Assistant Professor
> Philosophy Program
> Gannon University
>
>
>       
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