Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Paging Scalia ...

If only the framers of the Constitution had weighed in on the medical insurance mandate.


William D. Adler said...

It's a good point, but see this, too:

Larry Becker said...

Right. In addition, a related point is that the Martime Acts that required the purchase of medical insurance for sailors was a limited mandate in that it only applies to persons engaged in a particular industry. This is different than the individual mandate in Obamacare because Obama's mandate is general. It does not seek to serve the purpose of regulating consumers of health care in a particular industry. It mandates health insurance for all persons.

Anyway, all of that said, the problem with Hamburger's response is that he doesn't quite disprove the commerce clause link. He claims this is part of Congress's power to raise a navy but the mandate applied to commercial seamen as well, not just navy personnel. Hamburger says there is a link between the two and that is surely true. But regulating individuals employed in a particular industry seems like regulation of interstate commerce to me.

I guess I'm the wrong guy to ask though because it seems pretty damn clear to me that individuals without insurance are still in the health care market (they get healthcare as necessary) and the mandate simply regulates that market.