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Do you think Obama's health care law is unconstitutional?

A federal judge in Virginia ruled Monday that a key provision of the nation's sweeping health-care overhaul is unconstitutional, the most significant legal setback so far for President Obama's signature domestic initiative.

U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Hudson found that Congress could not order individuals to buy health insurance. Read the full story.

By Abha Bhattarai  |  December 13, 2010; 12:31 PM ET  | Category:  National Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Single Payer/public option is entirely within the government's authority. The individual mandate is not. It's really shocking that the Administration tried to refute this, at the risk of the entire reform measure tanking.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | December 13, 2010 1:01 PM

If they can force us to buy car insurance, why not health insurance? Plus if you don't have health insurance the government or taxpayers end up paying for you - how is that fair?

Posted by: tricia_will | December 13, 2010 1:03 PM

I'm sure the government can tax us all it wants and pay for whatever it wants (just about). But it can't tell us we have to buy health insurance.

I'm glad to see the right answer winning in court.

.

Posted by: ZZim | December 13, 2010 1:05 PM

We already have mandatory participation programs, like Social Security and automotive insurance that have passed the test of legal analysis. This Judge has exceeded his authority and will accelerate the coming constitutional crisis regarding the role of the judiciary. Since 1994, the judiciary (despite increasingly conservative justices) has become "activist". The definition of "activist" is: overturning existing legislation or previous precedent. We can no longer associate liberal or conservative tags to activist courts – unless we acknowledge that it is the conservative judges that are the most active.

You can debate the policy but not the right of Congress to make law. This political stunt will be overturned, if not, then soon we will see judges overturning social security and mandatory auto insurance. Then you will have riots in the streets of America.

Posted by: NewThoughts | December 13, 2010 1:07 PM

"If they can force us to buy car insurance, why not health insurance?"

Because you're not "Forced" to buy car insurance and you don't have to ever buy a car (and many people do not). You are "forced" to buy health insurance, whether you want to or not. The first is just regulation imposed once a citizen makes a choice to participate in a market activity.

Posted by: wahoo_Mike | December 13, 2010 1:07 PM

Ok...and by that logic, people do not need health care insurance until they want to go to the doctor. Let's just turn them away and deny them care till the paperwork goes through? You may want to sign up for that system, but I'm not interested. Everyone ends up participating in the "market activity" of healthcare eventually whether thy like it or not.

Posted by: hcsbbm | December 13, 2010 1:17 PM

Time is changing America - one can no longer go to the doctor's office for free. America does not have any more money to pay for those people who does not have the money for their health care. Those were the days people. Who do you think will pay for the health care of those people who does not have any health insurance? NOT ME, NOT MY CHILDREN. Maybe CHINA! Oh yeah, the Chinese people in China will pay for the bill.....they have a lot more money now than the American people but no one wants to see this fact.

Posted by: nina99 | December 13, 2010 1:21 PM

Who do you think will pay for the health care of those people who does not have any health insurance?

= = = = = = = =

Umm... THEY will.

.

Posted by: ZZim | December 13, 2010 1:24 PM

What nonsense. A dubya stooge declares something unconstitutional. Unfortunately for the United States the court is stacked with dubya stooges.

If this is struck down then when Democrats retake control in 2013 we get a single payer system. Better anyway. Cut out the useless insurance leeches completely.

Posted by: John1263 | December 13, 2010 1:27 PM

Earth to ZZIM: no, actually YOU will. They go to hospital emergency rooms which by law cannot turn them away and those costs get added to the costs that paying/insured are charged. NOW do you get it?

Posted by: commonsense101 | December 13, 2010 1:28 PM

Time to tar and feather this so-called judge (A Bush appointee by the way).

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | December 13, 2010 1:29 PM

Why is it "Time to tar and feaather this so-called judge"? That he's a "Bush appointee is irrelvant.

It seems that it's his interpretation of the law and the ability of Congress to make laws under the Constitution. As can be seen from the earlier posts, intelligent people can have different interpretations of the legality of the legislation.

Posted by: Dungarees | December 13, 2010 1:37 PM

Great ruling!
Guess there's no individual mandate for the government forcing me to kill or be killed by serving in the Army, so you can kiss the draft goodbye...
Heck, national defense is nothing more than stopping foreigners from coming over here and harming the health of the public.

Posted by: Butteoid | December 13, 2010 1:37 PM

Massachusetts has such a requirement. How did that law pass muster? Or did it? Or is it protected by the 10th Amendment?

Posted by: jv26 | December 13, 2010 1:38 PM

The question of the constitutionality of a government action is irrelevant. The U.S. Constitution didn't allow women or black people to be full citizens, i.e., to vote, previously. The U.S. Constitution didn't stop the Supreme Court from overriding the Florida recount in the 2000 election. The U.S. Constitution is a dynamic document that contains...Amendments.

Posted by: rx7evol | December 13, 2010 1:41 PM

If it's unconstitutional, then we have 3 choices: Single payer, change the Constitution, or, like car insurance, deny service to those who can't pay the full cost out of pocket. I don't think people understand how expensive medical care is. Example: 1 day hospital cost for my daughter, room and board only not including any treatment costs: $12,000.

Posted by: bugbuster1 | December 13, 2010 1:47 PM

Is the law unconstitutional? Only if Medicare and Social Security are.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 13, 2010 2:00 PM

Federal authority to legislate on health care may not be unconstitutional but the provision in question mandating the purchase of a product certainly exceeds the scope of Federal Powers. The concept of the Federal government mandating individuals to purchase a product in the private market is in its own way a federal deprivation of "property" without due process. Had the Congress legislated a National Health Insurance Program as a unction of its taxation powers we would not be having this controvery. It did not and no argument premised on the Commerce Clause could pass muster. Now one might blather that states mandate motor vehicle insurance but such is bolstered by the understanding that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right, and insurance is a function of ownership. Further, the complication that also arises from mandatory insurance that ignores actuarial realities is a formula for bankruptcy all around. Nor is the "argument from Medicaid" a valid one given the nature of that legislation. Public health i one thing private health entirely discretionary. Now had the Federal Government legislated the equivalent of "nationalizing" health care and put private insurors out of business entirely...oops that would be socialism. Let us say the pettyfogging lawyers that populate Capitol Hill and the federal bureaucracy have just received a hoist on their own petards.

Posted by: drivero | December 13, 2010 2:06 PM

Federal authority to legislate on health care may not be unconstitutional but the provision in question mandating the purchase of a product certainly exceeds the scope of Federal Powers. The concept of the Federal government mandating individuals to purchase a product in the private market is in its own way a federal deprivation of "property" without due process. Had the Congress legislated a National Health Insurance Program as a unction of its taxation powers we would not be having this controvery. It did not and no argument premised on the Commerce Clause could pass muster. Now one might blather that states mandate motor vehicle insurance but such is bolstered by the understanding that operating a motor vehicle is a privilege and not a right, and insurance is a function of ownership. Further, the complication that also arises from mandatory insurance that ignores actuarial realities is a formula for bankruptcy all around. Nor is the "argument from Medicaid" a valid one given the nature of that legislation. Public health i one thing private health entirely discretionary. Now had the Federal Government legislated the equivalent of "nationalizing" health care and put private insurors out of business entirely...oops that would be socialism. Let us say the pettyfogging lawyers that populate Capitol Hill and the federal bureaucracy have just received a hoist on their own petards.

Posted by: drivero | December 13, 2010 2:08 PM

Mandatory Government mandate? Hmmm, sounds a lot like car insurance and other mandatory fees we have to pay compliments of state and federal Governments. What makes this any different?

Posted by: jdhenry2 | December 13, 2010 2:22 PM

Until the day emergency rooms can and will, turn away people without health insurance; everyone should be required to have it.

Posted by: MarilynManson | December 13, 2010 2:23 PM

Seriously? Why does the Post ask readers to decide if something is unconstitutional? What exactly does the average citizen know about the commerce clause or how it is interpreted? Most citizens couldn't name their Representative or Senator in Congress, let alone their Governor.

Posted by: B-rod | December 13, 2010 2:25 PM

to tricia_will - car insurance is a LIABILITY insurance. You have to have it to cover potential damage you might cause to other person's property/life.

Apples and oranges.

Posted by: voiceinthedesert1 | December 13, 2010 2:30 PM

a common misconception is that the law forces people to purchase health insurance - it does not. But if you do not have health insurance you get taxed more - as you should be.

If someone can afford health insurance but does not get it, and then gets health care bills they cannot afford, everyone who pays taxes has to cover their costs.

It seems to me the only Constitutional question is whether Congress has the power to tax, and whether taxing people without health insurance more violates due process.

Posted by: johnhunsaker4 | December 13, 2010 2:36 PM

Unconstitutional or not, repealing this provision makes the whole thing unworkable.
It is impossible to require insurance companies to stop denying coverage for preexisting conditions while making the purchasing of insurance voluntary. Most people who feel are in great health will not sign up for insurance until they need to pay for some illness. The whole insurance business becomes a farce. Even those that already have insurance can now drop out and sign back if they get sick.
If this provision is taken out and the rest remains you can see insurance rates go through the roof. Since Medicare is not unconstitutional the only solution for expanding coverage is then to expand Medicare to all.

Posted by: serban1 | December 13, 2010 2:38 PM

Here is the difference people…

Mandating Car Insurance – You can choose to own a car or not. Not every living person is required to have car insurance.

Mandating Health insurance – You have no choice… if you are alive, you must purchase.

See the difference????

I agree the reason health care is so expensive is because of the uninsured. That still does not give the federal government the right to FORCE every individual to purchase health care. And guess who pays for the people who can’t afford it anyways??? WE DO! So basically we are taking our money that we pay to doctors and hospitals and are going to transfer it to the federal government to give to people. For those of you who believe our taxes will not go up because of this are wearing blinders. Nancy Pelosi saying the health care bill saves us money is a joke… This was based on Bush tax cuts expiring in 2011 along with the same amount of people working. Now neither is true.

Why does the government think they can spend our money better than we can?? The whole thing disgusts me.

Posted by: chof | December 13, 2010 3:24 PM

First we had mandatory car insurance; then we had the uninsured motorist fee that I have to pay for people who don't have mandatory car insurance. How can that be? So health care would probably work the same way.

Posted by: mbrumble | December 13, 2010 4:09 PM

Social Security is a bad comparison--SS premiums are collected and benefits administered by the government. Again, those actions are clearly within the government's authority.

Yet you will notice that despite the mandatory nature of SS, it has not displaced private retirement savings; in fact the government still encourages this through the IRA deduction and other tax shelters.

So there is precedent for a universal, single-payer system. In the case of SS, one which is popular and successful. There is no precedent for the notion that a universal public system would eliminate any of the choices offered by the private sector. The "government takeover" thing is a myth.

What's clear is that the individual mandate amounts to a much greater and more egregious federal intrusion than a universal system or public option would, and I think that was affirmed by the court's opinion.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | December 13, 2010 4:10 PM

I see a good number of people using the car insurance argument. This is not a valid argument. You only need car insurance if you OWN a car. If you do not own a car, you do not need nor are you required to carry car insurance.

This law requires that you have health insurance, period. If you do not have health insurance you will be penalized. This is the part of the law that has been found to be unconstitutional.

Federal government is extremely limited by the Constitution. There is nothing that gives the federal government to power to force citizens to buy any product.

The argument using Social Security is an interesting one. The federal government argued that the payment for Social Security was not a premium, as most people saw it, but a tax. The majority of the Supreme Court bought that argument and allowed Social Security to stand. And, as some might say, the sham that is Social Security began.

It has been shown that this bill will never pay for itself, by agencies within the government itself, and will cast America deeper into debt which is currently as such a level from the reckless spending of the government that we are likely never to be able to get ourselves out from under it.

Let us jettison this law before it has much chance to do any real damage and take a realistic view of how the cost of health care can be reduced.

I do not know where that $12,000 figure comes from that was mentioned by bugbuster1
for emergency room and a one day stay in the hospital, without treatment. I do know that my wife spent a few days in the hospital and the bill, including treatment, was less than $12,000. Way less. Now I do know that costs have risen since then, but I doubt that would be the charge for such a stay today.

Posted by: LynnesHoney | December 13, 2010 4:48 PM

"If they can force us to buy car insurance, why not health insurance? Plus if you don't have health insurance the government or taxpayers end up paying for you - how is that fair?
Posted by: tricia_will"

Your state may require you to hold some kind of insurance to operate or register a car. That's one of the many powers a state has. The federal government on the other hand is limited in its powers by the Constitution.

How is what fair? That the government subsidizes the poor? I thought that's what progressives wanted. Or maybe it's that we aren't subsidizing enough people. Of the medical spending by the uninsured is much less than the insured (and estimated to be $124 billion in 2004 by the Kaiser Foundation). The cost is assumed roughly equally by the uninsured person (35% - a plurality), the private sector (a catch-all inc. charity and higher charges and premiums) and local, state and federal government subsidies.

The new health care law not only seeks to rise medical spending by the previously uninsured but also to assume more of its costs by reducing the required out-of-pocket costs and expanding the number of people who may be classified as unable to afford care. The new law does not control spending, it seeks to control the industry and medical choice. Nothing more.

Posted by: cprferry | December 13, 2010 4:50 PM

You are all missing the main distinction between mandated health insurance and madated auto insurance: The only part of auto insurance that is mandated is LIABILITY! You are required to show proof of financial responsibility, or otherwise show that you have the means to pay for the damage you do to others, but you are not required to maintain insurance that pays for the damage you do to yourself or that others may do to you. There is an enormous difference between being required to pay for the damge you cause as opposed to the damge you sustain.

Posted by: josh27 | December 13, 2010 5:12 PM

Let's cut to the chase: For example, I am a self-employed business man who pays a monthly premium of $1,500 for just me and my wife. Since I am the "company" there is no insurance "benefit;" I pay 100 percent. A friend of mine who is a Walmart pharmacist pays $25 a month in health insurance premiums. He's a republican and wonders why everyone else can't cough up their 25 bucks, while I'm a democrat headed for the poorhouse. Just another reason it needs to be "fixed." By the way, my insurance premium increased by over 60 percent during the past year--not because of Obamacare or the insurance companies or whatever, but due to medical inflation. I know because I serve as a trustee on a state insurance trust and see the bills that are paid. Something has to be done to bring costs under control. Unfortunately, the only one who can do that is the federal government.

Posted by: alfalfabill | December 13, 2010 5:45 PM

As the judge in the current case pointed out, by only finding the invidual purchase mandate unconsitutional, the law is partly consitutional and partly unconsitutional. As the clauses are severed, the rest of the law has not been determined to be constitutional or unconstitutional.

Posted by: krush01 | December 13, 2010 5:53 PM

As the judge in the current case pointed out, by only finding the invidual purchase mandate unconsitutional, the law is partly consitutional and partly unconsitutional. As the clauses are severed, the rest of the law has not been determined to be constitutional or unconstitutional.

Posted by: krush01 | December 13, 2010 5:54 PM

"Earth to ZZIM: no, actually YOU will. They go to hospital emergency rooms which by law cannot turn them away and those costs get added to the costs that paying/insured are charged. NOW do you get it?
Posted by: commonsense101 | December 13, 2010 1:28 PM"

the insured also pay for the health care for the third world...
for every mri you pay for a bunch of mri's in the third world...

Posted by: DwightCollins | December 13, 2010 5:57 PM

The question here really, in my opinion, is not whether the health care law is unconstitutional, but rather, if it is unconstitutional, should it be? Healthcare is unlike almost any other social contract; so much of human health is genetic that many conditions are already predetermined from the time of birth. If the government is bound to maintain public safety and security, why does it get a reprieve when a patient dies of (genetically predetermined) breast cancer? Illness is a public safety issue in my mind.

Furthermore, the state of healthcare has changed so completely from when the Constitution was written, 250+ years ago, that it would be have been impossible for the authors to imagine a country of over 300 million people spending trillons of dollars per year in such an industry as vital as the maintenance of a healthy population. Perhaps they would have argued that a country where citizens die because they can't afford life-saving treatments available to others isn't what the US should be. The Constitution may be a vital and almost sacred American document, but times change. Maybe our basic text needs to change a little too...

Posted by: kchasel | December 13, 2010 6:09 PM

The issue here is State vs. Federal Government. It's a fairly narrow slippery slope, in that IMHO, they're both governments. Insurance regulation is a state issue, and isn't a federal one. Check out US vs. Southeastern Underwriters and McCarran-Ferguson Act for the full poop.

Posted by: MichelleKinPA | December 13, 2010 6:31 PM

"Unfortunately, the only one who can do that is the federal government.
Posted by: alfalfabill"

You're right. By having the federal government reduce its interventions in health care.

By eliminating the bullying of doctors and hospitals into low Medicare reimbursement rates that raises prices on the private sector.
By cutting public sector jobs or at least decentralizing the health insurance pools that civil workers (and often social service programs) belong to. These centralized pools are limited to a handful of companies and create mini-monopolies or oligopolies in every state.
By states simplifying and relaxing expansive regulations to allow health insurers to operate plans more efficiently potentially even across state lines.

Posted by: cprferry | December 13, 2010 7:27 PM

"As the judge in the current case pointed out, by only finding the invidual purchase mandate unconsitutional, the law is partly consitutional and partly unconsitutional. As the clauses are severed, the rest of the law has not been determined to be constitutional or unconstitutional.
Posted by: krush01"

Which is a crucial ruling because the law lacks the typical severability clause that would isolate and protect other parts of the legislation. House Democrats stripped it early, expecting it to place a significant burden upon judges to potentially rule against the whole law.

Without the severability clause this judge could have ripped into other portions of the law and even the entire law. In fact, future judges can still do so. However, that this judge did not is a minor blessing to those that want to keep the law. It's far from permanent though. Other judges will have their say, and the lack of a severability clause leaves the entire law unprotected.

Posted by: cprferry | December 13, 2010 7:42 PM

It must have been a slow news day. Let's see how many times such a lawsuit has been rejected, from the White House via dailykos:

Sollars v. Reid -dismissed 4/2/10
Taitz v. Obama - dismissed 4/14/10
Archer v. U.S. Senate - dismissed 4/12/10
Heghmann v. Sebelius - dismissed 5/14/10
Mackenzie v. Shaheen - dismissed 5/26/10
Fountain Hills Tea Party Patriots v. Sebelius - dismissed 6/2/10
Coalition for Parity Inc. v. Sebelius - dismissed on 6/21/10
U.S. Citizens Association v. OMB - dismissed 8/2/10
Baldwin v. Sebelius – dismissed 8/27/10
Burlsworth v. Holder - dismissed 9/8/10
Schreeve v. Obama - dismissed 11/4/10

Cucinelli's grandstanding is pathetic.

Posted by: cile92 | December 13, 2010 7:42 PM

We'll find out whether it's constitutional or not, so my wish/opinion is beside the point. But, I suggest that the law be amended to allow individuals to opt out if they wish--with the proviso that it is a lifetime decision, not retractable.

And, in a companion amendment, I'd make it absolutely fobidden for hospitals and other health care providers to pass along the costs of treating the uninsured who have opted out. Without that provision, we will all continue to pay for the health care costs of those who refuse to get coverage.

Draconian? Yes. Let's call it thought provoking.

I'd like to hear why my health care premiums should be raised continually to pay for care of individuals who could be covered but choose not to be.

Posted by: Socrates2 | December 13, 2010 8:30 PM

The Health Care Bill is a JOKE!

Nancy Pelosi ought to be ashamed of herself to pass a 2,000 bill that no one in the Senate or Congress read.

It's loaded with pork barrel project, and doesn't offer the US citizen an affordable health care insurance.

The congress should provide all LEGAL US citizen the same cadillac health insurance coverage they receive, and at the premiums they pay ... $500/year!

Posted by: mi6-007 | December 13, 2010 8:41 PM

This poll question is really badly phrased. No one seriously contends that the entire health care law is unconstitutional, least of all Judge Hudson. He ruled that one provision of the statute, the individual mandate, was unconstitutional, but also held that the individual mandate provision was severable. The big losers of today's ruling are insurance companies, since it appears that mandates against rescission, against denying coverage for preexisting conditions, etc. remain, even if the individual mandate falls.

Posted by: dwells3 | December 13, 2010 9:08 PM

I was asked to say whether the Obama health care law was unconstitutional.

But in fact the judge found ONE particular part of that law unconstitutional - and I angry with the judge on that part.

People should not be asked to choose between a blanket yes and a blanket no.

WaPo should devise its polls more intelligently.

Posted by: rjpal | December 13, 2010 9:08 PM

Mandatory Government mandate? Hmmm, sounds a lot like car insurance and other mandatory fees we have to pay compliments of state and federal Governments. What makes this any different?
Posted by: jdhenry2
------------------------
You did not mention the "other" mandatory fees. But as for car insurance, it is governed by STATE law. The commerce clause, which Obama and Pelosi used for their health bill, is not involved when a state requires car insurance.

So the health bill and the requirement of car insurance are NOT analogous as far as the legal point is concerned.

Posted by: rjpal | December 13, 2010 9:12 PM

This whole argument about people don't have to buy a car and therefore the car insurance requirement isn't the same as the health insurance requirement is just a smoke screen. Due to the fact that the majority of people in this country live in areas that either have no good public transportation system at all or one that is so inadequate that if you want to be able to find and keep a job you must have a vehicle. I live in Knoxville, Tn and we have public transportation but unless you live in certain areas you can't get a bus on Sundays. Ever try to work in a restaurant, retail store or the health field and not have to work on Sundays? If you can require a citizen to buy auto insurance then I guess you can require a citizen to buy health insurance.

Posted by: raymondec17 | December 13, 2010 9:23 PM

Time to impeach as many Bushie judges as possible - what a crock!

Posted by: staussfamily | December 13, 2010 10:13 PM

It is true that not everyone has to buy a car and thus is forced to buy insurance after owning one, but, do not be deceived.....there are very few people in the US who will not need a doctor or emergency treatment at some point in their lives and those of us with health ins. end up paying for them.........so why not have everyone insured....some subsidized....according to their income....rather than these millions who cannot afford health ins. It seems to me far more humane to all the citizenry because they will eventually be needing that product........health care.

Posted by: talkalotgal | December 13, 2010 10:48 PM

so now the rich will have health care and the poor will have no care. Great.
We already rank lower in health care than many many modern nations. I thought we were better than this. Apparently not in the eyes of this judge.

Posted by: bozhogg | December 13, 2010 11:27 PM

NEWTHOUGHTS ~ Yes, we can debate the right of Congress to pass laws.

Just what do you think you are dealing with, Parliament?

This is not Parliament ~ this is the US Congress. It is part of a limited government.

It's the states where you have a problem regarding limitations. They can do pretty much what they want unless it's been delegated to the federal government.

So, say, look, we let you people come here from Europe and so forth, but you eventually have to learn what the federal government is about.

It was formed by SOVEREIGN NATION STATES ~ and that's all it is ~ a tool for the purposes of the states and the people living in them.

It's NOT a nation state in and of itself ~ just a structure that can act like one.

Posted by: muawiyah | December 13, 2010 11:28 PM

I personally experienced being in a reputable hospital with a serious health crisis while those who had no insurance used it for their regular non-emergency visits. I had to wait too long before being attended to and the situation became even more dire. As mentioned in other comments, we all pay for those without insurance and we all are required to have Social Security insurance. If everyone has health insurance (and the President's plan makes it affordable for everyone from what I can see) others won't find themselves in situations such as I experienced.

Posted by: snoopsmom | December 13, 2010 11:51 PM

It's an open question how the Supreme Court will ultimately rule, but I would be very, very surprised if the Court struck down the individual mandate. The grounds for the mandate can be justified under either the Commerce clause, or based on Congress's broad authority to tax. Given that private health insurers are national in reach it's hard for me to see how their actions don't in some way impact interstate commerce.

Having said that it wouldn't be the end of the world if the Courts eliminated the mandate since this would open the door for a single-payer approach (which would be more effective anyways).

It is a little bit odd though that the Virginia judge didn't recuse himself in this case -- especially since he has a financial stake in a lobbying firm that was opposed to the health care legislation. At a minimum his failure to recuse was unethical given his clear financial conflict of interest. However, that's a side issue.

Posted by: JPRS | December 14, 2010 1:45 AM

The "judge" who ruled that it is unconstitutional is as dumb as a stump. He was that dumb when I encountered him when he was a prosecutor in Arlington in the mid 70's and he's that dumb now. Anyone handicapping this silly ruling on appeal would call it an automatic reversal on appeal. Now if it reached the Supreme Court, who knows what the intellectually dishonest political hacks who control the Court would rule -- but they would all know that if they didn't overrule this they were just acting for political and not judicial reasons.

Posted by: dolph924 | December 14, 2010 2:05 AM

It's completely constitutional, and there's nothing wrong with it either. Agreement about the wisdom of the law is a separate issue.

This is a legal case that has all the appearances of corruption about it. In fact I'm wondering if people have wads of cash stored in odd locations to go with it. Not that there was any corruption, just that it would appear to be blatantly corrupt to most reasonable observers by basic definition of the word.

They're going to get crushed. I can not fathom what they were thinking to pretend to bring this case in this manner.

Posted by: Nymous | December 14, 2010 4:01 AM

No one is forced to buy car insurance. No one is forced to drive. People can make choices about that.

You can't make choices about disease, injury and illness in the same manner. The mistake is to ignore biology as though it were optional. It's not, and that's part of the immorality of this action.

This is all about protecting middlemen's right to profit at the expense of public health. Trying to pretend otherwise is just ludicrous on it's face.

Posted by: Nymous | December 14, 2010 4:12 AM

My wife and I have had full time since we were 16 years old. Except for four years of military service I have had medical coverage since I was 18 years old as has my wife. We have been both down sized and lost health insurance. My wife now has diabetes and I had to have life saving emergency surgery in October. One hour of operating room time at Maryview Hospital was $26,000 not including the surgeon bill, tests, MRIs etc. We are both 60 years old,
Our home is now worth less then our mortgage and what we have put into it. In this morning's newspaper there were five job ads. Our 401K that was looted by Wall Street is now worth less the half of what we put into it for retirement. Our real estate and property taxes have remained the same even though home values have declined significantly...and those decades of paying into heath insurance have meant nothing at all...so now what suicide so some damn 20 illegal aliens can move into my foreclosed home that will be sold to some Wall Street investor group who were bailed out with stimulus money? The Obama health care bill is not only not Constitutional but in fact does nothing...just like I feel about our government and Wall Street....nothing. From a disillusioned citizen and veteran without much hope but still trying for now.

Posted by: 123Njord | December 14, 2010 7:31 AM

The driver's license and auto insurance questions have been answered several times (those are not mandatory because nobody is forced to drive) but what about these: if the federal government can force you to buy health insurance for ECONOMIC reasons, what else can it force you to buy? Answer: anything and everything.

Posted by: Compared2What | December 14, 2010 7:32 AM

For those who don't get it let me explain how you are not forced to own car insurance or home insurance.

1) Cars - you are not required to own one. Millions of people are car free in American and thus are not required to own car insurance.

2) Homes - Home owners insurance is only required by mortgage holding corporations/banks. If you rent or outright own your own you have no government requirement to have insurance.

To sum up, this would be the first and only insurance you could not avoid, an penalty for just living. which is why it is unlikely to stand with the current Supreme Court.

Posted by: flonzy1 | December 14, 2010 7:39 AM

PS...I meant to say that my wife and I have had full time employment since we were 16 years old, never collected unemployment or welfare of any kind, never declared bankruptcy, paid our student loans in full, never missed a mortgage or debt payment, worked hard and long and saved for retirement not needing Social Security...but need it now, did my duty during Vietnam...did not take a draft deferment which I could of like Cheney or hide in the National Guard or go to Canada...So with $40,000 in medical bills which are growing, no health insurance for the first time in our lives, have kept COBRA on wife which we cannot afford now and will end in two months...my wife collects unemployment...I am too proud to do so and will not...so with my home's value declining, my savings for retirement reduced by more the half by Wall Street looting and scam-that will now not last... and bill collectors calling me day and night, one called last night at after 9:00 PM three times....and with what I think of our government and Wall Street and our country's future... and the very low opinion of some of my fellow citizens...suicide is not out of the question, it's a matter of honor and not suffering, the park is now full of homeless citizens...ex workers at night...even the vermin and filth Madoff's son did the right thing.

Posted by: 123Njord | December 14, 2010 7:47 AM

There is no comparison between states requiring insurance for LICENSED DRIVERS and forcing EVERYONE to buy health insurance willy-nilly.

Driving is not something we have a "right" to do. It is something for which the state licenses us. If we want to drive on public roads, we need a public license and the public can therefore require that we fulfill certain requirements to acquire that license.

NO ONE in this country is EVER forced to buy auto insurance. If one doesn't want the insurance, one need not have a license. There is no legal requirement for people to drive and no legal "right" to do so.

Individual mandates for health insurance are a very different thing SPECIFICALLY because one cannot opt out of them. This is a burden being put on individual citizens SIMPLY because they are citizens NOT, like auto insurance, as part of a licensing requirement.

It's really not that hard to see the vast logical gulf between requiring people to buy insurance for a LICENSE and requiring people to buy insurance simply because they are.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | December 14, 2010 8:19 AM

If the mandate to buy insurance is unconstitutional then the requirement that emergency rooms accept all comers (that we pay for) must be unconstitutional.

FWIW I (my insurance)paid over $12000 for me to spend less than a day in the hospital for prep, arthroscopic knee surgery, and recovery not including the doctor's fees.

Posted by: bhcva | December 14, 2010 8:45 AM

Not unless Medicare and Social Security are also unconstitutional. This is an attack on all these programs.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | December 14, 2010 8:56 AM


HCR is only "unconstitutional" for those who practice white supremacy, and do not want non-whites to have the same level of health care as whites...

Posted by: demtse | December 14, 2010 9:00 AM

For those who voted that this law is consitutional: PLEASE,, PLEASE pick up a copy of the US Constitution and READ it.

I know you want something for free and that is your motivation for "thinking" this law is constitutional. But think of the consequences when you hand over your rights to an all powerful Federal Govt. If this law stands, there is NOTHING to prevent the Govt in the future to force you to buy products of all types under the false premise that it's "good for the people". That is called "Communism" or maybe even "Fascism". Either way - you lose.

Posted by: NO-bama | December 14, 2010 9:12 AM

PS - Medicare and Social Security are also unconstitutional. Again, read the US Constitution and tell me where it gives the Federal Govt the power to institute these programs?

Posted by: NO-bama | December 14, 2010 9:13 AM

If the law requiring health insurance is unconstitutional then so are the state laws requiring auto insurance. Furthermore, what about the business world requiring home owners insurance and malpractice insurance. Are they unconstitutional as well?
The judge's logic in the ruling is flawed and, I believe, is being influenced by his own personal view of the issue.
You can't have it both ways. If one law requiring insurance is wrong then all laws are wrong.

Posted by: wdalton1us | December 14, 2010 9:22 AM

The congress should provide all LEGAL US citizen the same cadillac health insurance coverage they receive, and at the premiums they pay ... $500/year!
Posted by: mi6-007
-----
So what do we do with the ILLEGAL US resident? Just let them die in the streets? What kind of country are we? Certainly not Christian. And certainly nothing to admire.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | December 14, 2010 9:36 AM

It's hard to imagine a more pointless exercise than taking a poll on a question of law.

Posted by: douglasfactors | December 14, 2010 9:38 AM


"All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." Marbury vs. Madison

"No one is bound to obey an Unconstitutinal law and no courts are bound to enforce it." 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d. Sec 256

"An Unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed." Norton vs. Shelby County

"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislaion which would abrogate them." Miranda vs. Arizona

Posted by: dottydo | December 14, 2010 9:47 AM

I have not read the decision - just the news article. But, Judge Hudson was quoted to say " "an individual's personal decision to purchase - or decline to purchase - health insurance from a private provider is beyond the historical reach of the Commerce Clause" and that the mandate "is neither within the letter nor the spirit of the Constitution."

Did not most if not all previous Commerce Clause challenges (to reach the SCOTUS) inevitably hinge on impact on inter-state commerce rather than on this concept of "historical reach"? The thing was written in or around 1786... so historical reach would seem to stifle any legislation about anything that was yet to exist then... Similarly, there are many requirements in law dealing with commerce that are not in the "letters" of the "spirit" of the the Constitution. That never seemed to matter to the question of whether the Commerce Clause applied. An individual proprieters personal decision to serve or not to serve customers the Civil Rights Act required him to serve was likely beyond the historical reach of the commerce Clause in the Ollie Barbeque case too... but that case was decided on whether it did or did not affect interstate commerce...

Posted by: mini1071 | December 14, 2010 10:28 AM

The question is, should hospitals be allowed to turn away people who do not have health insurance?

If a hospital cannot turn away people, than the government should be allowed to mandate everyone having health insurance.

If a hospital CAN turn away people, than government should not be allowed to mandate health insurance.

Personally I think the hospital should treat everyone who comes in, especially if it's a life or death issue. However, if you say government should not mandate health insurance, than hospitals will lose money and will have to shut down. Therefore, we need to ensure they get paid, which means mandating health ins.

However, if you don't mind people dying, than let's allow people to not get covered and than have the hospital turn them away. Because that's what's going to happen.

Posted by: ReallyThinkAboutIt | December 14, 2010 10:35 AM

This is a ridiculous debate. Those who say the requirement to get health insurance is unconstitutional are just screaming, irrational brats. I'll make them all a deal: if you want to forgo health insurance, that's fine; just agree to not be treated at your local ED when you get t-boned in your car at a traffic light--just agree to be pushed over to the side of the road and allowed to die. You can't have it both ways--to go the hospital and get free care that the hospital will have to write off means that you are just pushing the cost to others. How pathetic you Tea Party/Right Wingers are. You rant against welfare abuse and the problems of free riders, and this is exactly what you are allowing to happen here.

Posted by: sheltow | December 14, 2010 10:41 AM

1) Automobile insurance is a poor analogy. I am not required to buy that insurance unless I drive a car. I can choose not to drive and the state does not force me to buy even a cheap policy anyway.

However, under the terms of the individual mandate, I am required to buy insurance - from a private vendor to boot - if I am breathing.

I get the "it's not fair" argument. Constitutionally, fairness does not matter.

2) Someone said "Hey, women and blacks couldn't vote under the Constitution!" For pity's sake, did you miss that it took Constitutional amendments to repair those deficiencies? They were not enacted by normal legislative processes (not to mention the Civil War, which led up to the 13th through 15th Amendments).

3) Military conscription falls under the Legislative and Executive branches' authority to provide for national defense. Social security is a specific tax, and while there have been challenges to its Constitutionality from the strict constructionist sides of various political spectra, it is certainly a tax levied directly by the state to fund a program administered by the state. It is NOT a requirement that citizens enter into a private contract with a commercial vendor.

I approve of improving health care availability in the US, but must admit the individual mandate smelled unconstitutional to me when the bill was passed (whereas single payer, anathema that it is to many, would be perfectly legal).

But it is all posturing until it gets to SCOTUS.

Posted by: paulhume | December 14, 2010 10:46 AM

It's dangerous for our country that so many commenters know so little about our constitution. Car insurance requirements are entirely irrelevant to the discussion; they are products of the states, which have far more power to regulate our daily lives under the constitution than the Federal government.

Technically, Social Security IS unconstitutional. There is no power in the constitution granted for such a program. And technically, the Wickard v Filburn decision that undergirds so much of subsequent laws, like the health care act, was also unconstitutional, as it fundamentally changed the constitution without the normal process of amendment and ratification.

At this point the debate is whether or not there is ANY limit on Federal authority. If Congress can compel the individual purchase of specific products by law, there is NO LIMIT on Congress whatsoever. To me, that is too scary to contemplate.

The "living constitution" argument is pure bunk. Thomas Jefferson advocated that the constitution be changed as much and as often as need be to meet the contemporary needs of the day. We should live within the constraints of the constitution as written, until we agree to amend it to allow Congress additional powers - such as creating programs for social security, unemployment, health care, etc.

Posted by: _BSH | December 14, 2010 10:48 AM

Given the left wing orientation of the Post and its subscribers, I find it interesting that 47% of respondents recognize that the constitution exists to limit the scope of government, not expand it. If the government can use the commerce clause to force people to purchase something they don't want (or alternately penalize them) then we are trashing an essential element of our founding documents. As has been noted, this is not car insurance (a condition for the privelege of driving), it's not a condition for doing business, or a tax. It is an overreach by a socialistically inclined administration about to have its leash yanked by the Supreme Court.

Posted by: TRex3 | December 14, 2010 10:48 AM

Douglas:
"t's hard to imagine a more pointless exercise than taking a poll on a question of law."

You must detest the concept of trial by jury ;-)

Moreover, laws are created by elected representatives who (in theory) spend a good deal of sweat over the opinions of their constituents, whether obtained by polling or other means - though a large number of disaffected citizens seem to think this is smoke and mirrors.

Posted by: paulhume | December 14, 2010 10:53 AM

Whether you think it is constitutional or not, I think the following exchange from an interview with former Swiss health minister Thomas Zeltner (published in Health Affairs) sums up pretty well how twisted our sense of "individual freedom" has become in this country. (NOTE: Switzerland has a health system that provides universal coverage entirely through a private health insurance.)

Interviewer: Many Americans bristle at the idea of being mandated to purchase health insurance and see it as a violation of their individual freedom. The Swiss are known for jealously guarding their individual freedom, too, yet they accept their own mandate to have adequate health insurance. As one such freedom-loving Swiss individual, would you defend the Swiss mandate?

Zeltner: That’s easy. We will not let people suffer and die when they need health care. The Swiss believe that in return, individuals owe it to society to make provision ahead of time for their health care when they fall seriously ill. At that point, they may not have enough money to pay for it. So we consider the health insurance mandate to be a form of socially responsible civic conduct. In Switzerland, “individual freedom” does not mean that you should be free to live irresponsibly and freeload from others, as you would put it.

Posted by: dwaldman | December 14, 2010 10:56 AM

I'm sure that you didn't plan on getting cancer or diabetes when you decided not to buy health insurance. Or perhaps, you were turned down for insurance by private insurers because you had a nose bleed when you were 15 yrs old. But don't worry, the taxpayers will pay for your health care, one way or another. If not, your hospitals will close, as many are now, and health care will no longer be available for all but the very wealthy. Without a public option or mandatory insurance, there will be no health care industry as we know it. So go whine about the mandates, Constitution, and other political pettiness. And enjoy your trip to India for health care...if you can afford the plane fare.

Posted by: clairevb | December 14, 2010 11:03 AM

It's only reasonable to require everyone to participate. That is the only way health care can work for any of us. Right now, we who do have health insurance and pay taxes already pay for those who are not insured, when they show up at emergency rooms. We also pay indirectly for a society that is unhealthy (because of lack of preventive care) and insecure (because people won't leave jobs if they will lose their health insurance, people won't start businesses because they can't risk going without health insurance or paying for private insurance). Even at the corporate level it is recognized that our economy is falling behind in competitiveness because of the health insurance burden on companies. From an economic point of view, this has to work this way. It's hard for me to see those who insist on the freedom of others to be stupid, as anything but ignorant themselves.

Posted by: catherine3 | December 14, 2010 11:04 AM

If they can force us to buy car insurance, why not health insurance? Plus if you don't have health insurance the government or taxpayers end up paying for you - how is that fair?

Posted by: tricia_will
===========================================
Another confused citizen who shouldn't be allowed to vote until she is educated about insurance.

You are forced to buy auto insurance to protect the rest of us when you go careening down the freeway under the influence of your medicinal mary jane.

That is why most states have set minimum "financial responsibility" laws.

Now, if you lease or buy a new car your lender will want protection so they require you to purchase collision coverage, etc.

But in the end no one "forces" you to buy auto insurance. You can simply choose to not buy a car and not drive.

Not so with the unconstitutional HC bill. Every citizen is forced to purchase coverage whether they want to or not. And if Congress can force you to purchase HC now what's next? Every citizen with a Chevy Volt?

It's time to put an end to Democratic Party tyranny. Restore the Constitution and Restore the Republic.

Posted by: krankyman | December 14, 2010 11:07 AM

If they can force us to buy car insurance, why not health insurance?
------------------------
They can only make you buy car insurance (or post a bond in the state insurance fund) if you drive a car, and they can't force you to buy a car. No car, no insurance. The only way they can't force you to buy health insurance (or pay a tax penalty) is if you're dead. But a better argument would be, if they can't force you to buy health insurance, how can they force you to pay Social Security or Medicare?

Posted by: pswift00 | December 14, 2010 11:11 AM

Depends on what one means by "unconstitutional". If you mean "unconstitutional" according to the conservative definition of "unconstitutional"--which is "unconstitutional"--then it is unconstitutional. If you mean "unconstitutional" according to the lib definition of "unconstitutional"--which is "something that does not agree with the lib agenda"--then no, it is not "unconstitutional".

Posted by: kbarker302 | December 14, 2010 11:12 AM

Polls like these are absurd. "Is the law constitutional?" Well, luckily constitutionality isn't up to public opinion. It's up to constitutional law scholars and judges- people that have likely read the constitution and relevant court cases. Certainly everyone can have an opinion but publishing results of a survey like this is ridiculous.

Posted by: rachfiles | December 14, 2010 11:18 AM

When Republicans used to actually have health care proposals, instead of just sabotaging everybody else's, they pushed for the so-called "individual mandate" themselves. It was the only way to keep the insurance industry, which pays a lot of money to the Republican Party, in business without letting them cheat. Of course, this is all forgotten now with the ignorant mobs terrified of 'tyranny' and 'socialism'. Any intelligent discussion of this subject will be shouted down by the Republican demogogues and their debased followers.

Posted by: DaveHarris | December 14, 2010 11:23 AM

PaulHume: "You must detest the concept of trial by jury ;-)"

Issues concerning the scope of the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause are seldom resolved by juries, much less public opinion polls.

"Moreover, laws are created by elected representatives who (in theory) spend a good deal of sweat over the opinions of their constituents, whether obtained by polling or other means - though a large number of disaffected citizens seem to think this is smoke and mirrors."

The constituents do not decide whether those laws are constitutional.

Posted by: douglasfactors | December 14, 2010 11:25 AM

Wake up, people! And stop using the comparison of health/car insurance. There IS no comparison. You can choose to purchase a car or not. You cannot "CHOOSE" to be eternally healthy and never require healthcare.
As a Canadian, I pay for my healthcare through my taxes, which is exactly what should have been in the ACA -- except that you Americans just HATE the word "taxes". Did you know that a full 1/3 of your healthcare expenses have NOTHING WHATEVER to do with actual healthcare? It's spent on administration. Our single-payer administrative system uses less than 3% of healthcare costs.
Countries everywhere are struggling with how to pay for continually rising healthcare costs -- thanks to new drugs, new diagnostic systems etc. But by any measure, the U.S. is in the deepest doo-doo, and why? Because those who profit the most in healthcare have scared the pants off you with nonsensical terms such as death panels and, oh yes, the worst of the worst, socialism. For those of you against single-payer, I hope you value your nose, because you keep wanting to cut it off to spite your face.

Posted by: abbycan | December 14, 2010 11:26 AM

Unlike most other conservative tantrums, the question on the Constitutionality of this part of health care bill is reasonable and fair. Anyone who objects to loss of civil liberties in this society should take seriously the extent to which government can compel citizens to purchase goods and services.

Also, this aspect of the bill was put in at the insistence of the insurance industry. That alone should tell you to take a real close look at it. Corporations never push for legislation that doesn't benefit them far more than it benefits the populace.

Posted by: karlmarx2 | December 14, 2010 11:33 AM

Is it beyond the capability of a newspaper of the quality of the Washington Post to point out that two federal judges have already ruled that the statute IS constitutional?

Is there anything that affects interstate commerce and has a greater impact on our national economy than the cost of health care?

Posted by: fmjk | December 14, 2010 12:20 PM

You can buy a car...No one forces anyone to buy insurance on it...If you don't want to insure a 100.000 dollar car and take the risk that it might be totaled in a accident..thats your business....

Posted by: corebanks1940 | December 14, 2010 12:49 PM


The simple cure (hahhha) is to add a 2 dollar a pack tax on cigareets,a 1 dollar tax on a six pack, and deny free care in ER, without a full financial worth sheet (house, car, tv, cell phones etc). Deny any ilegal healthcare such as maternity or SSI for mental issues for babys of babys. The country is in a free fall and will be in civil war, if americans (working) dont come first in health care, and ilegals and criminals dead last.

Posted by: davidtrottier2002 | December 14, 2010 1:23 PM

Beware!! The only people who make out are the trial lawyers. Big "o" makes out both ways. The lawyers vote in lock step with the libs.Millions of bucks involved here.
Oh ,I forgot.It will take years to get this take over recinded. Read that more money.If they actually feel for the common man , they would do what's right and get the government off their backs to run their own lives.But that's not their plan.Is it?

Posted by: 1propman | December 14, 2010 1:45 PM

Having to buy insurance is the only part of the healthcare program the judge ruled on. And, two other judges have found in favor of the stipulation. This ruling is hardly the death knell the Right is making it out to be.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 14, 2010 1:48 PM

We should adopt Sharon Angle's plan: barter. One chicken for the flu. Twenty-five horses, three pigs and a cow for open heart surgery.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 14, 2010 1:50 PM

Real arguments about the constitutionality of the law are out there. They will be heard. Both from a commerce clause and a 10th amendment perspective, this is a very large open question, so it would be nice if this was straight shot past the Court of Appeals, along with any other pending case, that addresses those issues.

Posted by: Gooddogs | December 14, 2010 1:53 PM

Actually the outcomes for people not having car insurance and not having health insurance are the same. If an uninsured motorist hits you and causes damage and injury, your uninsured motorist coverage kicks in and pays for the damage they did to you, and YOUR rates go up. When uninsured people go to the ER and get FREE treatment because they can't pay the bills the costs for EVERYONE go up because the ER has to recoup those costs somewhere. I am tired of paying for other people to be irresponsible. I did not sign up for that.

You may get to "choose" to drive a car or not, but you WILL get sick and require care at some point in your life. I shouldn't have to pay for it and neither should anyone else.

Posted by: drmammal1 | December 14, 2010 2:09 PM

Car insurance is regulated and/or required by State governments, not the Federal Government! Having a car is personal choice and a privilage not a requirement. No car = no insurance.

Posted by: dingels75 | December 14, 2010 2:10 PM

Who must pay for the illegals who come back and forth over the border everyday to enjoy our great healthcare? You sons, daughters and grandchildren, that's who will pay, it won't be just the rich people.
The government of the people, by the people,and for the people should not force mandatory conditions for purchasing something most of the people don't want!

Posted by: whineridentifier | December 14, 2010 2:13 PM

It sounds fine to declare that I shouldn't have to buy anything I don't want to, but if I become unwell, have an auto accident, or anything that requires the care of doctors and hospitals, and I don't have insurance, I will most likely become a financial liability to the rest of you, whether I get sick in my home state or across state lines. As with "social" security, if we all pay something, there's a greater safety net there that better protects many from becoming burdens to state and federal governments.

Posted by: jujones1 | December 14, 2010 2:26 PM

Is witholding health care services because a person cannot pay for it, unconstitutional?

If a person arrives at an ER but is unable to pay, should they then be denied services?

If the expectation of a person is that they are entitled to the health service. Then the manner in which the government bills them for that service is moot.

Posted by: SpecTP | December 14, 2010 2:36 PM

Of course the law is constitutional, but is it wise? This is a heaven-sent opportunity to let the crazies see the consequences of their freedom agenda. We should repeal any law requiring anyone who refuses to buy insurance to renounce any medical help in the event of sickness or injury unless he/she pays cash up front. A few dozen deaths will shatter their will to resist common sense laws.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | December 14, 2010 4:54 PM

Negative words will bring worthless results

Posted by: pauhana1 | December 15, 2010 10:34 AM

Raise your hand if you're enrolled in Medicare.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 15, 2010 1:42 PM

If Required, It should be Non-Profit.
For-Profit Insurance Companies equal exorbitant Costs.
Example; My annual checkup costs over $5K annually in insurance!
I would willingly forgo all personal health-care, in exchange for non-funding extraordinary care given to so many. Example: The legal-action required to override both Dr. & Insurance Co's attempt to drain my family financially by keeping my father on life-support, despite his legally documented wishes.

Posted by: West11 | December 17, 2010 1:05 AM

If this decision holds, I want to challenge social security and medicare on the same grounds. Stop taking deductions from my check for both FICA SS and HI and refund everything I've put into them (i.e. wind them down like any other ponzi scheme). You can even keep the matching amounts my employers have put up over the years... just give me back what I put in so I can invest it myself, and I'll sign off on ever getting a single penny from SS or medicare.

Posted by: Darr247 | December 21, 2010 1:37 AM

What we really need is a mandate for health. This isn't about health, anyway, it's about disease, and this leaves people vulnerable. I buy car insurance to protect me and other people because cars are lethal weapons. Health is not a lethal weapon. It seems to me this is more about mandating AMA style medical intervention than promoting health, or addressing the issue of why are so many so sick and unable to afford medical care. There's an imbalance going on and the mandate is not addressing it.

Posted by: Nimue1 | December 24, 2010 12:52 PM

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