Mandates, Freddy the Freeloader, and Health Care
March 18, 2012
Santorum has been beating Mitt Romney over the head with the proverbial
over his support for Romney Care in the state of Massachusetts during
culprit? ‘Romney’s support of ‘individual mandates’ for everyone to be
in the system.
What is an
‘individual mandate’ anyway?
individual mandate is a requirement passed by government that requires
the citizen of that governing state or nation to ‘buy’ something just
you live in that state or nation. It is the quintessential issue over
or is not, a dispersed, smaller government in the original Federalism
where most decisions are pushed down to the lowest possible entity such
city council or state legislature. Ronald Reagan ran on the platform of
Federalism’, for example, extolling the Jeffersonian virtues of ‘local
governments making local decisions, not Washington.’
‘individual mandates’ at the federal level is a very hard thing to do.
Founders wanted to make it difficult, and they did.
income tax of Civil War days was found unconstitutional by the Supreme
1895 because it was an ‘individual mandate’ in the form of a direct tax
apportioned by the state population as dictated in the Constitution.
Section 2, Clause 3 says:
and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which
included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers.’
the beginning of our Republic were fearful of the direct tax mechanism
it reminded them so much of the capricious nature of the King of
George III. Excise taxes could be avoided; you just do without the
items to be
taxes could not be avoided. Ever.
the passage of the 16th Amendment in 1913, all those concerns about
‘capricious’ taxation by a governing authority were set aside by our
grandparents and great-grandparents and we have never had any problems
overly-ambitious federal government taxing authority ever since. (in
that, the next direct individual mandate from the federal, nationwide
rear its ugly head didn’t happen until the passage of the so-called
in 2010. That is right. 2 times in over 223 years, the US government
a serious ‘individual mandate’ to ‘force’ people to do something like
directly to Washington, not based on the apportionment clause.
was rectified by the passage of the 16th Amendment through the
amendment process. Perhaps that means that Obama Care will need a
constitutional amendment as well to be, well, ‘constitutional’.
states, as in Massachusetts where Governor Romney served as chief
they are not beholding to the same restrictions on ‘individual
mandates’ as the
federal government supposedly has been until Obama Care was passed.
‘car insurance’, don’t you? Well, that is an ‘individual mandate’ at
level that says: ‘If you want to own and operate a car and get a
license within the borders of this state, you have got to buy car
from Geico or that annoying ‘Flo’ from Progressive or else, you can not
operate a vehicle here’.
We are sure
there are other examples. We just don’t have them handy this morning.
do that sorta thing. The federal government can’t. Supposedly. Unless
in the Obama Administration or were in Nancy Pelosi’s office when she
said: ‘We have to pass the bill to see what is in it’ as if it was some
jack-in-the-box from which she didn’t even know what would pop out when
Back in the
early 1990’s, when we were still on Capitol Hill, former Congressman
McMillan was a key player on health care reform on the House Health
Subcommittee, the Budget Committee and the Leader’s Task Force on
Reform. Mainly because he understood the basic differences between
Medicaid, and then some, along with others such as Bill Gradison of
Hobson of Ohio and John Kasich of Ohio. (How come so many Ohioans knew
they were doing on health care?)
met with First Lady Hillary Clinton and her Hillary Care team many
time most famously in the backyard of now-Ohio Governor John Kasich for
dogs, hamburgers...and plenty of beer. Now that was some kinda cookout!
in bringing all this up is that we can not remember one single
then opposing any form of ‘individual mandates’. Why?
Republicans were more concerned about the ‘free rider’ issue or the
Freeloader’ case where people don’t pay for their own health insurance
up at the hospital emergency room with Stage 4 cancer and then the
others who do have insurance wind up paying for that person who has
for their health care insurance. Just like what hapens today, as a
And they were
mostly the young, healthy people we were most concerned about. You
strong healthy young strapping male of 25 years of age all full of vim
vigor who think they are immortal and invincible so they would never
insurance if not mandated to do so and somehow they get into a car
and then spends 10 years on life support, all supported by someone else.
deal: ‘Why not start all over and find a way to help every man, woman
buy catastrophic health insurance coverage with the existing resources
today in Medicare, Medicaid, VA, federal military health care and tax
Coverage’ we could call it and it is far, far, far less expensive on a
person basis than the current system that pays every billing for a
then assumes you are committing attempted fraud if you file for it.
everyone against the truly disastrous financial outcomes from cancer,
car wrecks and gun shootings and then figure out private sector
covering the other costs during the year.
percentage of people every year who have such catastrophic bills are
comparison to the general population which is predominantly healthy
for the most part.
That is the
way to go. Do it such that the individual mandates happen at the state
where states have the flexibility to do such things, not at the federal
where it becomes ‘constitutionally problematic’ to say the least.
FamilySecurityMatters.org - Frank Hill ran for Congress at the age of
served as chief of staff for former Congressman Alex McMillan (NC-9)
Senator Elizabeth Dole (NC). He was a budget associate on the House
Committee for 4 years and worked on the 1994 Commission on Entitlement
Bright Knight: That’s basically my idea if it comes to health care, but
wouldn’t give it for free to everyone.
should be a basic health insurance such as the “cat-coverage” and this
be, as the author said, pretty cheap for everyone. IMO, that’s what a
insurance is for. For the “catastrophes” in your life. Anything else
paid out of pocket or, if you want, covered by an additional insurance.
companies should offer modules, such as: dental, sports injuries
(should not be
in the basic plan), family planning (pregnancy, contraception - no, I’m
against contraception per se, it just should not be free and paid by
but within a plan, those pay for who need it), etc. - all plans should
same benefits, independent which insurance company offers the plan, so
compare the premiums - similar to the medigap-insurances...
be one piece of the big puzzle, called “Health Care Reform”.
and other articles at Mail Magazine 24