Challenges by States Against Obamacare Lack Principle

This is from a press release by the Florida Attorney General on Tuesday, March 23:

Attorney General Bill McCollum today filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Labor alleging the Health Care Reform bill signed into law by President Obama this morning is unconstitutional. …

The Attorneys General from South Carolina, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Louisiana, Alabama, Colorado, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Washington, Idaho, and South Dakota joined Florida’s lawsuit … .

The complaint alleges the new law infringes upon the constitutional rights of Floridians and residents of the other states by mandating all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage or pay a tax penalty. By imposing such a mandate, the law exceeds the powers of the United States under Article I of the Constitution and violates the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution.

Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, filing a similar suit, said this:

The unconstitutional aspect is that the individual mandate on Americans that they must buy health insurance or face penalties overreaches the authority of the Congress under the commerce clause.

In short, the States object to forcing people to buy insurance policies that those people don’t want to buy. But the States don’t object to forcing people to sell insurance policies that those people don’t want to sell.

Why do these lawmakers not object to forcing insurance companies to sell policies to people with pre-existing conditions? Where have these lawmakers been for the past decades, while insurance companies have been mandated by States to include expensive coverage—for ‘illnesses’ such as drug addiction and pregnancy—that many customers don’t want?

The sad, obvious truth is that the lawmakers against Obamacare are not against coercion on principle. They are not in favor of an individual’s right to liberty—which includes his right to trade with others by mutual consent—on principle. Evidently, they think of ‘rights’ only for the largest voting group: the group consisting of patients, not insurers or doctors.

Perhaps these lawmakers would say, “No one is coercing insurance companies, because they always have the option of not selling insurance to anyone.” Of course, constraining the insurers’ liberty to such an alternative is a violation of rights, akin to saying, “Unless you will sleep with every man, we won’t let you sleep with your man.”

Indeed, under socialized medicine, if the state cannot afford to give a certain medical treatment to everyone, it gives the treatment to no one—except perhaps someone with political pull.

Yesterday, Florida Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Crist, a Republican, said this:

I think one thing that’s very important—and I think everybody agrees on this, Chris [Wallace of Fox News]—that preexisting instances should not be a discriminatory tool that’s used by insurance companies to not give people insurance.

Note Crist’s phrase, “give people insurance.” Could Crist have sustained his evasion if he had used the more appropriate phrase, “sell people insurance”? Clearly, selling health insurance to people who are already sick is a money-losing proposition. As I have noted, selling health insurance for sick people is a contradiction in terms, like selling life insurance for dead people.

If the Republicans somehow manage to repeal or overturn Obamacare, expect them to enact something else that violates individual rights almost as much. Virtually all Republicans agree with the evil notions that ‘health care’—forcing others to care for your health—is a right; that if insurance companies insure some people, they must insure all people; and that taxpayers should be forced to pay for everyone to be insured. (See my post, Republicans to the Rescue of Evil , from September 2009.)

What courses of action then remain for rational individuals? I can think of two: a strike in the style of Atlas Shrugged, and/or civil disobedience.

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