As the attorneys general of 21 states debate the constitutionality of Obamacare in court, a discussion of other compulsory insurance measures is necessary. The Obama administration argues that the federal government has the authority to enforce the individual mandate through the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Moreover, the administration claims that individuals should be required to purchase health insurance due to the risk that uninsured individuals will not be able to afford the cost of unexpected catastrophic injuries and illnesses.
The administration, however, is failing to adequately protect its citizens from other potential dangers. As Chris Matthews so perceptively points out, Tea Partiers are so consumed with rage that they often are incapable of controlling their behavior. Recently, Matthews speculated about what would happen if Tea Partiers were stuck in the Chilean mine and concluded that “they would have been killing each other after about two days.”
With all these angry people committed to killing, shouldn’t we mandate murder liability insurance? It is important to solve this problem before the cost curve of deaths attributed to Tea Partiers explodes to unmanageable levels.
Before we begin crafting such legislation, we should qualify one issue. Only conservatives should be mandated to purchase murder liability insurance. As the protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the political activity of the Students for a Democratic Society, Black Panthers, and Weather Underground prove, liberals express their opinions in a peaceful manner and never resort to violence.
Murder liability insurance would ensure that conservatives are covered in the event that their temporary psychopathic rage results in the demise of innocent victims.
Perhaps I am being sarcastic, but let’s ponder the overlooked effects of the liberals’ argument. In the best case scenario, the individual mandate is an example of paternalistic politicians attempting to protect people from every possible threat. Can the federal government protect us from life’s dangers better than we can? Should it act like our parents and coerce us to act in a way that they deem appropriate? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves.
Sometimes there are bad situations in life that no amount of government action can protect us from. Enacting legislation to shield us from every possible danger results in the loss of our liberty and usually does not protect us from the reported problem.
Paternalism aside, the more cynical view of the government’s reasoning holds that it is an attempt to force individuals who would normally opt out of health insurance to pay into the system in order to ensure Obamacare’s solvency.
Whatever the true reasoning behind Obamacare, its individual mandate is a gross overreach of federal power. The Constitution declares that the federal government has the authority to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” Using this language to force individuals to engage in commerce rather than regulate it is unprecedented and, if the individual mandate is upheld, will subject Americans to further tyranny and oppression at the hands of dictatorial politicians.
Americans who still believe that the Constitution is the law of the land need to speak out against this egregious misinterpretation. The nation that we love and cherish cannot survive in its current form if we allow liberals to disregard our laws. Individual liberty is at stake and if we lose, liberals will take us back to an archaic era when individuals were expected to submit to their rulers. If the government is able to regulate our inactivity, what freedoms do we expect to retain?
J.D. Thorpe has worked at The Patrick Henry Center for Individual Liberty and at George Mason University’s Institute for Humane Studies.