Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Understanding Of The Health Law Debate

I've been doing the best I can trying to follow the health care law arguments that have been given and heard by the U.S. Supreme Court the past few days.

I've been following the story as we drive north on the interstates. My eye on the road. My ear to the radio. Yes, I've been multi-tasking. My driving distracted by the health care story. My understanding of the health care story distracted by semis, RVs as big as Peter Pan buses driven by 80 year old men, and billboards that shout things like " Who is John Galt? " And " Truck Drivers! Cafe Risque Next Exit."

So forgive me if I don't have a handle on this big news story. Correct me if I'm wrong, but is it really all about broccoli? I heard today that one of the Supremes, Justice Scalia said, " Could you define the market? Everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food, therefore, everybody is in the market, therefore you ( The Government ) can make people buy broccoli."

First thing that came to my mind was that if " everybody is in the market, the lines are going to so long, that nobody will want to be in the market. " The express line would have a sign that read: 100 items or fewer."

Secondly. I like broccoli. But I like asparagus more than I like broccoli. If the government is going to require me to buy broccoli, I won't be able to eat as much asparagus.

Correct me if I'm wrong. The way I'm hearing it is that some people who like broccoli aren't paying for it. They're shoplifting it, which drives the price of broccoli up. In other words, I'm paying for other peoples' broccoli.

So I guess I'm all for this " Individual Mandate " idea. I shouldn't have to be paying for other folks' broccoli. What's next?  Asparagus?


Kathryn D. said...

Then cauliflower . . . . . .

Are the folks who are opposed to the "mandateZ" against Medicare and Social Security, too?


Terrence said...

Good question, KD

Li'l Em-Kel said...

Medicare and Social Security are federal programs that are designed to benefit citizens and that are paid for with federal taxes.

The individual mandate requires insurance companies to offer coverages they do not want to offer (e.g., for pre-existing conditions), at prices that they do not want to charge (nothing, in the case of birth control measures), to people who don't want them (healthy young adults).

While the government can legitimately collect taxes to pay for its services, it seems grossly unfair for it to compel individuals to enter private contracts in a specific industry, or pay a substantial fine for non-compliance.

And what if individuals don't buy the insurance AND don't pay the fine? Shall we deny them medical care? If we don't, are they not free-riders? And isn't that exactly the problem we started out trying to solve?

It is perfectly reasonable and defensible to support Medicare and Social Security and oppose the individual mandate. And lots of people do.

Terrence said...

Well argued, my friend. Much better argued than the Solicitor General last week.

collins said...

I want to say it publicly for the whole world to see.....I LOVE L'IL EM-KEL

Li'l Em-Kel said...


Terrence said...

Li'l em and Collins

Why don't you two just get a room!