ObamaCare Justice….Forcing Those “Freeloaders” To Pay One Way Or Another

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Ann Althouse brings up some great points in this trio of posts responding to another law professor’s op-ed today, but none more better than this:

Tribe’s op-ed, as I wrote in the first post, rests very heavily on misrepresenting the Supreme Court’s commerce power doctrine as referring to “commercial choices.” In fact, the cases refer to “commercial activities,” and a switch from “activity” to “choice” is immensely important in the health care litigation, in which opponents stress that the failure to buy insurance is inactivity, not activity, and therefore beyond even the broadest interpretations the Supreme Court has ever given to the Commerce Clause.

Tribe attempted to skew opinion by substituting “choice” for “activity,” and I have called him on that. But I need to go further, because someone who uses words to get things done needs to be kept honest not only about shifting from one word to another, but also about changing the meaning of the same from case to case.

Tribe’s op-ed is a case study in being obnoxious, condescending, and dishonest….and that’s only the first few paragraphs.

After those first few paragraphs he proceeds to bring out a motherly finger and begins wagging it in the faces of the Supreme Court justices while yelling “you’re an imbecile if you don’t agree with me!”

And then, as Althouse write, he brings up “choice.” You know, those people who do what they want, when they want, knowing all along that their choice can lead to some very bad results which may then cost society:

Society can, as a group, based on our idea of the good, say to that person: We are now going to require you to take responsibility at that early decision point of yours. So Tribe says.

Now, apply that to abortion. If we take a similarly broad view of choice, we could say — as anti-abortion advocates do — that women who know they may be fertile have a choice when they go ahead and have sexual intercourse with a man. They can refrain from having sex, but if they go forward, they know that if they need emergency-room care get that they can’t pay for get pregnant, the public will pick up the tab they can get an abortion.

Of course, the Supreme Court case law does not present the woman’s right to choose in terms of taking responsibility at that early point. It says:

These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

The choice that matters is an elaborate process of high-level reflection that occurs after the woman becomes pregnant — that is, when it’s too late to take the precautions that the majority might have liked her to take so that she would not show up with the demand for something it wants to prevent.

A-ha! So being free to choose NOT to have insurance means you must pay society for that right. Now I get it.

The assumption that someone who doesn’t buy insurance is intending to get a free ride is beyond absurd. It’s called calculating the risk. You may have the money to buy it but you would rather buy some extra groceries, build your savings, pay off their car. You’re young; you’re healthy….calculating the risk.

Another example:

If we follow Tribe’s logic, aren’t people who work at jobs that are low-paying enough to avoid Federal income tax “free riding” on the rest of us with regard to things like national defense, which are only financed by Federal taxes? Some people choose to try to become Broadway actors or writers or artists and don’t make enough money waiting tables to contribute to the defense department, but they still benefit by being defended.

Following Tribe’s line of argument, these people could be forced to take higher-paying jobs, even if they dislike the work, to avoid this horrible free riding. Maybe the government could decide which education and employment choices a person would be allowed to make. After all, if we prevent young healthy people from gambling on not having health insurance, shouldn’t we also prevent them from making the far more destructive choices of going into music, sports, acting or graduate study in the humanities? We should get experts to determine the optimal number of individuals in those fields and then award them to for those individuals scientifically selected at being best for them. If you leave people free to make their own choices, they might not choose the right things. Far better to plan everything for them. After all, it’s inconceivable that any young, healthy individual would in any circumstances be better off skipping health insurance payments in order to pay rent, car payments, tuition or utility bills.

Ouch…that’s gotta sting.

But this can be narrowed down to one simple question, if the government can force us to buy health insurance “for the good of society”…..where does it end?

Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

9 Responses to “ObamaCare Justice….Forcing Those “Freeloaders” To Pay One Way Or Another”

  1. 2

    Nan G

    With Wednesday’s announcement that Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., will not seek re-election in 2012, the number of pro-ObamaCare senators facing re-election in 2012 falls to 10.

    Another longtime Democratic senator who could choose to retire is Wisconsin’s Herb Kohl who will be 77 in 2012.

    And I think three of the 10 are planning to vote to repeal and/or defund ObamaCare.
    Montana’s Jon Tester and Missouri’s Claire McCaskill and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

    Is Nebraska one of the 26 states suing ObamaCare?
    Ben Nelson had gotten the entire state a ”waiver” we all called the “Cornhusker Kickback” in exchange for his being the 60th vote.
    But he gave it up. So, I would have to look it up.

    Looks like Obama’s ”shellacking” is NOT over yet.

  2. 3


    When I protested my senators vote he sent me the following:

    Stated simply, the law has four main goals: (1) it reforms health insurance market to ensure that up to 32 million more Americans have access to affordable care that meets their needs; (2) it improves the efficiency and quality of health care and does so in a way that helps contain rapidly rising costs; (3) it improves access to primary care and preventative services; and (4) it significantly reduces the federal deficit by $1 trillion dollars.

    to which I replied:

    I would restate the four points of the health care law that you have stated. 1) It reforms the health insurance market to force everybody to buy health insurance even if they do not want to have health insurance. (The 32 million Americans that you feel were not covered already had health care even though they did not have health insurance – this is America you know 2) It does nothing to contain costs but takes from Peter (Medicare) to pay Paul (illegal immigrants and others)– Of course any underpayments in Medicare will necessarily raise the costs of insurance. Economics 101. 3) It will decrease access to primary care and preventive services because the Medical profession will be devastated by this law and the length of time to get care will go out of sight. — Just look at Canada and England. 4) The reduction is an outright lie and you know it. The assumptions that you made for these estimates are devious at best and were made to perpetuate a lie to the American people. Most of us were not born yesterday and have some expertise in managing budgets even if it is just our own finances. With trickery like this last Congress has tried to play you will know that we were not tricked come 2012.

  3. 4

    Old Trooper 2

    Actually the “shellacking” will be received by Everyone who is “vested” in MEDICARE.
    “Vested” means those who have paid into it and had reasonable expectations of the Program having value and providing the care that they had a Right to expect.

    You can thank the past Congress and Senate for pulling that rug out from under those who are “Vested”.
    They were the ones that chose to spend irresponsibly and placed “Vested” Programs at risk.

    The Commerce Clause was NEVER intended to be the Ultimate Weapon of Regulators in regards to killing “Vested” Programs or extending the Powers of the Legislative or Executive Branches past the Enumerated Powers in the Constitution. You can blame the Power Players and Elitists that were Elected to Office and Appointed to Positions for that. The Judicial Branch is asleep at the switch on this as well.
    They KNEW better or were supposed to…

  4. 5


    Tribe shows his cards when he says this:

    Since the New Deal, the court has consistently held that Congress has broad constitutional power to regulate interstate commerce. This includes authority over not just goods moving across state lines, but also the economic choices of individuals within states that have significant effects on interstate markets. By that standard, this law’s constitutionality is open and shut.

    In other words, he is basing law on precedent and not upon the Constitution. By deciding only upon what has happened before in the SCOTUS, then he can see a court that will rule in his favor; in the way he wants them to rule. If however, the SCOTUS does what the founding fathers intended and rules via Constitutional interpretation, then Tribe is very likely to be upset with the outcome.

  5. 6

    Gary Kukis


    These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State.

    Are you kidding me? That was part of a Supreme Court ruling? What a load of crap! I have to admit, I had to look this up to see it with my own eyes.

  6. 7

    Gary Kukis


    My own personal problem with the healthcare law is, I have very cheap insurance, with a high deductible. The end result is, this would triple my cost or more. furthermore, I would no longer be in a position to bargain with doctors over cost (and paying by cash), shopping around, and making some attempt at remaining healthy.

    I have just one thing I would like to the see Federal government encourage and that is for heatlhcare policies to put, on the very first page, the basics of the hc policy (like a movie rating). Is this a gold policy (low deductibles, nearly everything covered); a bare bones policy (high deductibles; limited coverage); are their cost limits on the backed, are there special procedures/services included or not (sex change costs, psychiatric costs, abortion coverage, birth control coverage); flat deductible versus a percentage paid; etc. I think that we could define about 10 things we need to know about the hc policy before us, and to place these things on the front page. That would be helpful to all of us, and would not necessarily require a law. It would require the President to say, “Here’s what I would like you to do; devise some easily understood classifications for hc insurance, and clearly reveal these on the front page of every policy.” 2 months from now, that would be way of hc plans. No government cost and minimal insurance expenses.

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