Jump to content

Healthcare compared to mandatory purchase of a gun


CaptainPanic
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was quite surprised to read the following news article (from which the text below is a quote).

 

"Never before in our history has the federal government ordered Americans to buy a product under the guise of regulating commerce. Imagine if this bill were that in order to protect our communities and homeland security, every American had to buy a gun. (Source.)

I wanted to know if, especially according to Americans, there is any fundamental difference between:

1. Taxing everyone, then using the money for everyone's benefit

2. Forcing everyone to spend money on something that will benefit everyone

 

To me, the 2nd point sounds just like the 1st, with the only exception that they took out the middle man (the government's tax office in this case).

 

How about this one:

"Never before in our history has the federal government ordered Americans to give money to the state to buy a product under the guise of regulating commerce. Imagine if this bill were that in order to protect our communities and homeland security, tax was increased to buy a gun for every American. (Source = myself)

 

In summary: I think that it's just a flawed argument to make people think that this is somehow fundamentally different from other things paid with tax money.

 

Can someone explain me the outrage?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't automobile insurance mandated if you own a car?

 

 

It is in my state. Evidently it is required in every state now except Florida and New Hampshire. Liability coverage that is.

 

insure.com

 

I'm personally not a fan of the recent healthcare legislation for fiscal reasons but any challenges to the legislation based on constitutionality issues are very weak arguments and require an unrealistically strict interpretation of the constitution. I can see the commerce clause issue a bit. However, the fact that we are already mandated into purchasing other insurance products kind of marginalizes that argument.

Edited by mississippichem
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the right to bear arms is actually a remnant of an old British law requiring people to own weapons are participate in militias. It was not that long ago that military service was required for everyone (or at least all males). Why shouldn't "we the people" identify certain basic needs that require labor and ensure that such labor is provided? Instead of mandatory military service, maybe everyone should be required to serve a certain amount of time performing mandatory medical service. I have already thought for a while that there should be some kind of agricultural corps where everyone has to serve a certain amount of time farming instead of hiring this labor out to non-citizens. I understand the logic that if the free-market can provide a service more efficiently, it makes sense to let it do so instead of doing it via government, but private business doesn't seem to be providing adequate medical care or people wouldn't be complaining. Actually, it is and what people are complaining about is the fact that they get saddled with high bills if they consume medical services. If people would join the military, they would receive VA benefits but many don't want to participate in military activities. So why not simply have a universal health-care corps and determine how much time people have to serve to receive unlimited free medical care for life?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was quite surprised to read the following news article (from which the text below is a quote).

 

 

I wanted to know if, especially according to Americans, there is any fundamental difference between:

1. Taxing everyone, then using the money for everyone's benefit

2. Forcing everyone to spend money on something that will benefit everyone

 

To me, the 2nd point sounds just like the 1st, with the only exception that they took out the middle man (the government's tax office in this case).

 

How about this one:

 

 

In summary: I think that it's just a flawed argument to make people think that this is somehow fundamentally different from other things paid with tax money.

 

Can someone explain me the outrage?

 

One major distinction is in the participation. When you are taxed, you are giving money to the government. The government then pays that out as decided on by the elected officials. There is a distinct disconnect between your willingness to pay for the services, and the services being provided by tax money.

 

When you are forced to purchase something, you yourself must acquire these things. Some people may be morally, or just plain against the acquisition of the forced purchase. If the government taxed citizens to provide everyone with a firearm, those people can refuse to accept the item. If the government forces you to purchase a gun, you are obligated to purchase one, or face the consequences of noncompliance. The difference being that in the former you save the government money by opting out, in the latter, you benefit only yourself by opting out. Although in an economic sense, taxing and paying is similar to forced payment, it is the subtle difference in the positioning of who benefits/loses from performance that makes one less desirable to the people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can someone explain me the outrage?

I think this particular outrage comes from a general anger. Some people are angry so they look for something to rage about. If the law had been written such that everyone would be taxed and the government would choose what healthcare people received, the rage would be that "the government has no right to make that decision for me! I should be allowed to buy the insurance myself!".

 

It's amazing how acceptable some things are when 'my' political party does it, but it's an outrage when 'your' political party does the same thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One issue here is that the provision of not disallowing insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions cannot happen without mandatory coverage. What would prevent you from waiting until you got sick or injured and then signing up for insurance? Why wouldn't everyone do that? Insurance companies would go bankrupt pretty quickly and poof, no health insurance at all, for anyone.

 

As with my rhetorical question above, the outrage isn't about mandated insurance purchase, because we already have that without much complaint, so there's an element of hypocrisy in the indignation. Which makes me think it's mostly manufactured outrage, starting with partisan rhetoric (if they other side does it, it's evil) and fed by lies from politicians and the media. It's also likely it's a very vocal minority, getting amplified because these days, controversy=news

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's an additional slight difference that this requires you to act, rather than pay your taxes as usual and have the government act on your behalf. As to the comparison to car insurance, you "can" decide not to purchase a car nor the insurance that goes with it, even if it is exceedingly impractical to do so. As for the comparison to mandatory gun ownership, I haven't heard much complaints from the citizens of Kennesaw, Georgia about that requirement being unconstitutional.

 

Anyways, it seems to me that to forbid the use of the "pre-existing condition" would require people be covered, otherwise I would certainly wait until I got sick to get insurance, then everyone else (either tax payers or those who buy insurance from that company) can pay for it, and of course I can drop the insurance when they're done paying my bills.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting analogy. I used to live near Kennesaw, and I remember when they enacted the gun law, back in 1982. It's a bedroom community for Atlanta, and chock full o' BMW-driving yuppies, so it's probably one of the most ignored laws in the country. There is a down side here for Obamacare fans: Evidence that the gun law reduced crime in Kennesaw is equivocal at best. But the reasoning differs tremendously, so the analogy kinda fails at that point.

 

I don't know why this particular judicial decision is making such a fuss, though. I heard on the news that 14 previous cases over the exact same argument were thrown out. It doesn't really sound like a strong case.

 

Jon Stewart's argument the other night that it turns the tables on conservative ideologues was interesting/amusing. Usually they're the ones complaining about "activist judges". Kind of a "Bottom rail on top, massa!" moment.

 

I'm not a big fan of Obamacare, but I don't think this is the battleground. IMO this'll continue to be a congressional fight. I don't think they'll throw the whole thing out, I think they'll find a compromise, but this provision will fall and others as well. And health care will become more expensive for no more reason than additional layers of lawyers and bureaucracies, and voters will be outraged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Anyways, it seems to me that to forbid the use of the "pre-existing condition" would require people be covered, otherwise I would certainly wait until I got sick to get insurance, then everyone else (either tax payers or those who buy insurance from that company) can pay for it, and of course I can drop the insurance when they're done paying my bills.

You could look at health insurance like a source of money people pool together to be able to lend it to someone when they get sick. If someone waits until they get sick to seek coverage, a plan could take them but allow them to pay-off the expenses they incur over a number of years. So if you needed expensive medical treatment, you could shop around for which insurance offers you the lowest monthly payment, the way you might shop for a car or house. You wouldn't expect a car dealer or real estate agent to price-gouge you just because you waited until you needed the car, house, or apartment. You would just expect to be able to buy it at the going market price and pay according to the going rate of payments. Why couldn't health insurance do the same thing for people in need of care?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because lending money to sick people does not give enough profits and especially in case of critical medical treatments it is not clear whether it will be paid back at all (if the patient dies, for instance). A car can be impounded. It is slightly tricky with livers, for example.

Edited by CharonY
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you got the insurance when you became ill, someone in need of a $50,000 procedure is going to find that the insurance costs (at least) $50,000. The whole idea behind insurance is that you spread the risk around in population as well as in time. On average you pay in what you get out, but paying in a $1,000 a year is easier to manage than coming up with it all at once.

 

You wouldn't expect someone to gouge you on prices if they had the advantage? Why would people stop doing this all of the sudden?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Because lending money to sick people does not give enough profits and especially in case of critical medical treatments it is not clear whether it will be paid back at all (if the patient dies, for instance). A car can be impounded. It is slightly tricky with livers, for example.

Well, if the person has life-insurance, you could cover the procedure costs against the value of the insurance. On another level, though, the point is that if a procedure is expected to prolong someone's life significantly, it also prolongs their ability to make money. So you as a health care provider can exploit the extension of the patient's life. Ideally, health care would extend lives for the benefit of the patient, but why shouldn't it be used to transform people into slaves?

 

If you got the insurance when you became ill, someone in need of a $50,000 procedure is going to find that the insurance costs (at least) $50,000. The whole idea behind insurance is that you spread the risk around in population as well as in time. On average you pay in what you get out, but paying in a $1,000 a year is easier to manage than coming up with it all at once.

Right, but by spreading it around you create a pool of money that stimulates inflation in medical procedure prices, no?

 

You wouldn't expect someone to gouge you on prices if they had the advantage? Why would people stop doing this all of the sudden?

I don't follow what you're saying here. I think health care already gouges on prices to compensate for getting gouged by non-payment of bills. I don't like it nor do I think it's right. Why should those who pay be asked to overpay because others don't?

Edited by lemur
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't automobile insurance mandated if you own a car?

Non sequitur for two reasons. One is that it is the individual states rather than the federal government that mandate automobile insurance. The Constitution is moot on what states do in this regard. The Constitution would be anything but moot if the federal government to mandate nationwide automobile insurance. The 10th amendment would get in the way were it not for the commerce clause.

 

The other reason is that I can opt out of mandatory automobile insurance by the simple expedient of not driving a car. The only way to opt out of mandatory health insurance is to die.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Non sequitur for two reasons. One is that it is the individual states rather than the federal government that mandate automobile insurance. The Constitution is moot on what states do in this regard. The Constitution would be anything but moot if the federal government to mandate nationwide automobile insurance. The 10th amendment would get in the way were it not for the commerce clause.

 

The other reason is that I can opt out of mandatory automobile insurance by the simple expedient of not driving a car. The only way to opt out of mandatory health insurance is to die.

 

It's not a non-sequitur in the context of outrage of the government making you buy insurance. As far as the federal government goes, that's a fair point, and I tend to agree (I haven't fully made up my mind). But I wonder, what power do the states have to make you buy insurance?

 

I think there's some precedent here, too. Military service has been mandatory in the US, is not an enumerated power (though has been found to be constitutional), and in the Civil War you could get out of it by paying $300 in "commutation."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Non sequitur for two reasons. One is that it is the individual states rather than the federal government that mandate automobile insurance. The Constitution is moot on what states do in this regard.

 

I thought the constitution applied to the federal and state governments? So each state was bound by their own and the constitution? iow, I wouldn't have thought that the federal government couldn't mandate auto-insurance, but every single state could.

 

Is it the case that states can outlaw guns? Or do some parts of the constitution apply to state, and some to federal, government?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

T

I thought the constitution applied to the federal and state governments? So each state was bound by their own and the constitution? iow, I wouldn't have thought that the federal government couldn't mandate auto-insurance, but every single state could.

 

Is it the case that states can outlaw guns? Or do some parts of the constitution apply to state, and some to federal, government?

Answered a bit out of order,

 

I thought the constitution applied to the federal and state governments? Or do some parts of the constitution apply to state, and some to federal, government? While some parts of the constitution do pertain to all governmental bodies, other parts pertain to the federal government only. While there are a small number of constraints on the states in the main body of the constitution, most of main body describes the federal government. The first nine amendments without a doubt are constraints on all governmental bodies, thanks to the 14th amendment. The 10th amendment doesn't apply to the states at all. It is a constraint on the federal government only.

 

Is it the case that states can outlaw guns? This one is easy: No. The 2nd amendment coupled with the 14th precludes states from outlawing guns.

 

I wouldn't have thought that the federal government couldn't mandate auto-insurance, but every single state could. That is exactly what I said. Driving is a privilege, not a right. If a state wants to require insurance to maintain that privilege? The constitution is pretty much moot so long as the state does so openly and equitably, and doesn't restrict mobility to and from other states. The federal government on the other hand would have to find some enumerated power that somehow says they can mandate insurance nationwide.

 

 

 

That is exactly what the federal legislature did with mandating health insurance. They found reason for the law in the commerce and tax clauses of the constitution. Without such a justification the law is unconstitutional. What this judge found was that this justification is not valid. Whether that finding holds up, we shall see. This case is almost certainly going to be appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.

 

 

 

Edited by D H
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I wouldn't have thought that the federal government couldn't mandate auto-insurance, but every single state could. That is exactly what I said. Driving is a privilege, not a right. If a state wants to require insurance to maintain that privilege? The constitution is pretty much moot so long as the state does so openly and equitably, and doesn't restrict mobility to and from other states. The federal government on the other hand would have to find some enumerated power that somehow says they can mandate insurance nationwide.

 

 

I would think that a state not allowing you to drive in it without insurance would inhibit your ability to travel between states. There's also the question of whether access to healthcare is an unenumerated right of the people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The US was set up by people believing STRONGLY in the sovereignty of the individual States, each having their own way of life, economic/domestic policy and set of laws. In order to come up with an agreeable "Central Government", which all 13 States would relinquish SOME their individual rights, in the interest of the total, they first agreed to the "Articles of the Confederacy" in 1777, one year after Declaring Independence and while the "War for Independence" was being fought sending it to the States for Ratification which under that agreement meant by ALL 13 States.

 

The ratification process was completed in March 1781. Under the Articles, the states retained sovereignty over all governmental functions not specifically relinquished to the national government.[/Quote]

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation

 

In 1887, the War over and a need for joint voice in International Affairs, a Federal Convention was set up, first to amend the Articles, later deciding to write a completely new Constitution, in short to give more authority to that Central Government. While you can see the Articles of the Confederation, in the New Constitution, the notable difference was a 3/4th agreement of the States being the needed majority, a further explanation of Federal OBLIGATION, simultaneously explaining the limitations of the Federal over the States.

 

Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected--directly by the people or by the state legislators. The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.[/Quote]

 

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html

 

 

Sections 9 and 10, list those limited powers and they are limited, followed by the 10th Amendment (so called bill of rights of the States/People protection from a Federal)

 

10th Amendment;

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.[/Quote]

 

http://www.usconstitution.net/const.html#A1Sec9

 

When arguing these issues, I liken People/States as one in the same when referenced by the entire Federal Government, long lost in political discussion or the US Judicial System.

 

 

In summary: I think that it's just a flawed argument to make people think that this is somehow fundamentally different from other things paid with tax money.

 

Can someone explain me the outrage? [/Quote]

 

CP; I hope some of the above outline explains the "outrage" or where some feel the Federal Government has LONG gone past their Authority over the States. If the Federal can force the person to buy any service or the State to provide any service, what meaning would that Constitution have? To extend this and currently trying to be made law are both forcing States to make Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner meals available to all children, where public funding is accepted, but exactly what those meals will consist of...

 

 

To the thread;

Technically driving is a privilege; You don't require a license in any State (I'm aware of) to drive around a farm or even take part in the Indianapolis 500. What's used to collect taxes and maintain control over individuals is the use of public roads. Liability Insurance, protects the policy holders assets or substitutes funding legal obligations of those with little or no means to pay damages from an accident. Many home owners and most all Business Owners have different forms of an umbrella policy, NOT required (unless financed), but serves the same purpose.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remain puzzled.

If the president were to pass a law saying that everyone had to wear a clove of garlic round their neck to maintain homeland security, people would be outraged because the idea is just plain stupid. It wouldn't work.

 

Nobody has answered my question about how making everybody carry a gun would help maintain security. I presume that's because there is no way it would help.

Perhaps that's why people would be upset by a silly gun carrying law.

 

Now, I happen to live in a country where mandatory payment into an insurance scheme for healthcare works quite well.

Many of the problems with it arise from the current and previous government's attempts to make it more "businesslike".

 

Why are so many Americans upset about this idea, while they are happy to accept a system which actually costs more (as % GDP) and which offers no help to those who cannot afford to pay?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Works both ways -- prove that carrying a gun won't reduce crime. In your opinion it's "silly", but others feel differently.

 

Also, they're NOT "happy to accept a system which actually costs more". They're actually quite upset about it, which is why health care reform is a top campaign issue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Works both ways -- prove that carrying a gun won't reduce crime. In your opinion it's "silly", but others feel differently. "

I thought it worked in this way; if you can prove that a change is (at least probably) worth making then we make it, otherwise we maintain the status quo.

So, if there's anyone out there who really thinks that giving every loony in town a gun is a good idea, lets here why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Works both ways -- prove that carrying a gun won't reduce crime. In your opinion it's "silly", but others feel differently. "

I thought it worked in this way; if you can prove that a change is (at least probably) worth making then we make it, otherwise we maintain the status quo.

So, if there's anyone out there who really thinks that giving every loony in town a gun is a good idea, lets here why.

 

Well I doubt anyone thinks giving a "loony" a gun is a good idea. Law abiding citizens, though, hell yeah. Give every law abiding citizen a gun and you'll effectively equalize the power between the innocent and criminal element, at least as long as they're carrying their gun. Another reason why is because police can't be there for your emergency. They can only be there to take notes after your dead. It's immoral to deny anyone the means to protect themselves.

 

There's a couple of reasons "why" giving every law abiding citizen a gun is a good idea. No loonies though, that one won't work very well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.