Can government force you to buy __________?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by fivepoint, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. fivepoint macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #1
    The court system is currently debating whether or not government can force you to purchase health insurance (a fundamental and essential component of Obamacare). Everyone here probably knows my position on the matter specifically regarding an ultra-liberal reading of the commerce clause, but I have a few questions for those of you who support this liberal reading...

    If the federal government can force you to buy health insurance...
    • can it force you to purchase a gun?
    • can it force you to buy a house?
    • can it force you to buy and consume 3 vegetables a day?
    • can it force you to buy alcohol even if it's against your religion?
    • can it force you to buy ______________? (anything, you fill in the blank)

    Do you think the government should be able to force you to buy anything, some things, nothing? Why or why not? Does the constitutionality issue concern you at all?
     
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Obamacare is ****ed. That doesn't mean I would hate a socialist medical system, but this half assed way of doing it won't work. Had republicans not been in the way the entire time spreading lies and spewing ************ we could have a real medical system. Ideally we would have a system similar to Canada's, or Cuba's, or .... hell I'd take Mexico's over ours.
     
  3. citizenzen macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    #3
    Frankly, I'm leaving this one up to the courts to decide.

    Like I'd know whether this is Constitutional or not. :rolleyes:

    The rest of you... feel free to carry on with your emotion-driven, half-baked opinions.
     
  4. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    Washington D.C
    #4
    The government isn't forcing anyone to buy anything....its just making you pay taxes if you refuses to pitch in for healthcare, which makes sense because its likely you'll end up using tax dollars to pay for emergency care you could have other wised avoided.


    (Also, does this really need a new thread? There are quite a few places this topic is already being talked about on this site and there isn't really any break news, everything is still being considered)

    Lastly, the questions you asked in your first post are so loaded, its not even funny. How does one owning a gun relate at all to the healthcare law? (I'm sure you'll have a witty response, but in all honesty, its clearly a straw man argument)

    As for the constitutionality, its been well defined that Congress can pass laws for the "general welfare" of the US, so if you disagree with the HealthCare Law, you really should do it on merit of the law, not hiding behind a certain way of reading the constitution.
     
  5. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #5
    It's an interesting question. In general I am not a fan of the government telling you you have to do something when it doesn't effect anyone but yourself. If you choose not to have health insurance that is your choice and no-one else but you is effected by that decision.

    (Something like care insurance is different, since your insurance is there to cover other people if you cause an accident)

    I could make the case that they could force you to make sure your children have health insurance, since children cannot make that decision for themselves.

    However, the big problem is that something major needed to be done about health care in the US and it wasn't. Health Care costs in the US are unbelievably crazy. People should not go bankrupt from getting sick, and I don't even mean something serious like cancer which would require months and months of treatment.

    For example, a good friend of mine recently had 7 moles removed because the doctor thought they looked iffy (luckily the biopsy said they were benign). Since there were so many moles, they decided to give her a general anesthetic. She was in surgery for probably about an hour, we were in the hospital for probably 4 hours total. The cost was $15450, or about 50% of her annual salary. So, basically for 4 hours of medical care, she would be basically broke. Luckily she had insurance and she'll end up paying about $1000 (which is still a large sum, but not backbreaking amount).

    Oh, and one final point. It was the insurance industry that wanted the government to force us to buy insurance because they realized that if they can refuse coverage for pre-existing conditions then people would just wait till they got sick before they purchased insurance.

    I have no idea what the health care solution is. All I know is the current system doesn't work, and Obama's plan doesn't solve any of the major problems with it, although it may be a little better than the status quo.

    I was born and raised in the UK, with the National Health Service, where if you got sick you went to see a doctor and the (direct) cost to you was nothing. Now living in the US, when I get sick I find my self asking if I am sick enough to spend $200 to see the doctor. (My insurance doesn't do copay for doctor's visits so I pay full price up until I meet my $400 annual deductible).
     
  6. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Away from you
    #6
    Hmmm, I dunno. Can the government force me to buy...

    • a schoolbook?
    • a police car?
    • a highway?
    • a fireman's helmet?
    • a space station?

    I really don't see the point of this thread except stirring up more yapping. Everybody knows how you feel, and both sides have the same arguments they did last week. :rolleyes:
     
  7. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #7
    Now, Fivepoint and I are most likely at opposite ends of the political spectrum but his question is somewhat interesting.

    All the things you listed benefit society as a whole. However, how does society suffer if I choose not to have health insurance? The only person that potentially suffers is me, and since it was my choice I would assume I weighed the risks involved.
     
  8. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Away from you
    #8
    It is somewhat interesting, but telling that you were the first person to bring up the benefactor component of it. If this thread is like the many before it, this is the juncture where the liberals posit that if society has to help pay for your liver transplant via increased premiums, then you are not the only one who suffers.

    Anyway, it's arguable that all the things on my list benefit everybody. Every once and a while, some wiseacre decides to pipe up about how he pays property taxes which go the schools, yet he has no kids. Meh.
     
  9. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #9
    To which the counter-arguement is, yes they pay for schools so that the kids in your neighborhood can get an education rather than roaming the streets robbing your house :)
     
  10. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    #10
    If you pick up the Rigelian Flu and carry it around infecting thousands of people because you chose not to go to the doctor that you could not afford, society suffers.

    If you call in to work often because of preventable or treatable maladies the insurance would have covered, your co-workers have to bust their asses to cover for you.

    The people who discover, scrape up and drag away your putrescent corpse probably would have been spared a bit of trauma had you had the decency to expire in a hospital.

    No one is an atoll.
     
  11. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #11
    How about car insurance, hm? Let's get real here.

    Why is car insurance required? For your and others protection. Same principle with health insurance.

    When's the last time people flipped **** about having to insure their car?
     
  12. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #12
    Actually, the only requirement for car insurance is to cover the car you hit, there is no requirement to have insurance that covers the damage to your own car.
     
  13. swiftaw macrumors 603

    swiftaw

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Location:
    Omaha, NE, USA
    #13
    Fair point, but having insurance doesn't force me to go to the doctor when I'm sick, I may choose not to.

    Also, what if I have $100,000,000 in my bank account and thus could afford to pay full price if I ever need medical care, should I still be required to have insurance?

    I understand no many is an island. I guess I don't like the middle ground. Either everyone is responsible for their own insurance and health costs and thus don't tell me I have to buy insurance, or we are one big society, in which case lets have nationalized health care.
     
  14. Abyssgh0st macrumors 68000

    Abyssgh0st

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2009
    Location:
    Norman, OK
    #14
    Obviously liability is an option, but it is still a required insurance that is there to protect the general public.
     
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #15
    I think it's a pretty firmly established principle that the government can compel one to purchase particular products/services if one engages in a particular activity.

    For example, many states mandate car insurance for licensed drivers who own or lease cars. This makes practical sense because it reduces the risk of uncompensated victims and makes drivers realize more of the cost of car travel.

    In the case of medical insurance, the mandate to purchase insurance seems to be based exclusively on reaching the age of majority. It is effectively a tax on living. I don't think any such tax has ever been implemented successfully in a modern nation.

    I don't happen to think the law is unconstitutional because of the Commerce Clause implications, but rather because it seems to be a 5th Amendment taking without just compensation/due process. It also flies in the face of any notion of fair play, as every other tax is levied on the basis of some predicate activity (whether it's the sale of property, income from a job, dividends, etc). Living cannot be a predicate activity.

    This is definitely the rationale behind the policy, but Obama did it the worst way possible. There are far more constitutional (and efficient) methods to lower insurance costs via the bigger pool concept. The simplest would have been to increase FICA (both in percentage and ceiling), and then expand Medicare to all citizens and legal residents.

    Despite those words being in the Preamble, "general welfare" has never actually been interpreted by any majority on the Supreme Court to mean that Congress can pass social safety net programs. Every social safety net from Social Security to Medicare to Medicaid has been based on the Commerce Clause.
     
  16. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #16
    only required if you choose to own a car.

    Also in most states (I know in Texas) you can be just fine with out having insurance providing that you have like the min requirement in a bank account set aside JUST for insurance. It can not be touch and only legally way to get access to those funds is either A) buy insurance or B) get in a wreck and it is used to pay for your damages.
    Needless to say almost not one chooses option B because it would take 30+ years of no recs to break even.
     
  17. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Hogtown
    #17
    Forcing the people who work to pay for HealthCare is part of Universal HealthCare.

    If the USA ever adopts UHC ... yes you may have to pay if you choose to work.
     
  18. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #18
    Quick note before I hit the hay with my valentine: anyone who says anything regarding 'auto insurance' related to this issue doesn't know what they're talking about. The federal government does not require auto insurance... state governments do. The constitution (Article 1, Section 8 and the 10th Amendment) dictates the limits of federal power in this regard and places authority squarely on the shoulders of the people, localities, and states. Also, this is not 'required', it's 'optional'. You only have to buy it if you want to own a car, and if you want to drive said car on state highways. Government isn't forcing anyone to buy auto insurance, only making it requisite for specific uses.
     
  19. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Away from you
    #19
    Either that or they don't care about distinguishing between the different levels of government. :p
     
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #20
    Well not really, unless we're prepared to just let you die on the street.
     
  21. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #21
    To be fair, your original question wasn't clear that you wished to limit this discussion to the Federal government:
     
  22. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #22
    This is a big point that >Romneycare< critics refuse to admit...that you're not forced to buy insurance, but you will pay a tax if you don't.

    Well, as zap2 points out, everyone is affected by the people who don't have insurance. I know; I used to work for a hospital whose biggest financial drain was giving out uncompensated care to the uninsured.

    That said, I agree with TuffLuffJimmy. The system we came up with could've been much, much better but for the temper tantrums of Republicans trying to save us from their own paranoid fears.
     
  23. fivepoint thread starter macrumors 65816

    fivepoint

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    IOWA
    #23
    Actually, to be completely fair, I did mention it.

     
  24. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #24
    Because state governments require the car insurance, not the federal government. The argument is the federal government has no such power to require such a thing because it's not explicitly outlined in the constitution. Those powers are reserved for the states. Of course, people will use the commerce clause to further abuse federal power. :mad:
     
  25. MacHamster68, Feb 15, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011

    MacHamster68 macrumors 68040

    MacHamster68

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #25
    i never understood how people in america could live without health insurance
    a simple broken leg or arm , i dont want to think about serious operations which can cost you more then your property might be worth , so without health insurance you face getting homeless , some might not be bothered , but it would bother me despite i enjoy camping holidays
    so i agree that the government should force you to buy health insurance or offer a national health insurance
    like in the UK or a system like in germany where you can choose national(aok insurance ,so everyone has a health insurance even when unemployed ) or a private insurance , but you need one or the other ,

    but just as i think about it ,now i know why you americans cannot understand why we in europe find Mac's expensive , if we have the same income (before tax that is) , but we in europe have to pay by force to pay for national haelth , pension systems , unemployment insurance and income taxes ...which get deducted from our income every month ,so by the time we get our wages into our bank accounts they shrunk by average near %40 , not to mention that the % rise nearly every year

    i dont even have to think about your cheap petrol in the USA , petrol alone cost here £1.30 per liter+ that are at least $2.10 per liter or for you lot across the pond $7.94+ per gallon (us gallon that is )and rising because over 65% goes to the governments across europe , not to mention car taxes or road tax depending where in europe ,and not to mention Vat on everything we buy (between 17 and 20% depending in which european country you are and governments are already thinking of bringing that up to over 20% soon

    not to think about that i pay for a double room in a shared house nearly £100 per week inclusive bills but without phone and internet that are roughly $640 per month to have a roof over my head and that is quiet cheap for the south UK

    if i could live in texas for example without sales taxes and the other savings because of all these taxes i would not have to pay with the savings on petrol , i could live in a appartment for less and buy every couple month a brandnew iMac or even a MacPro every half year easy

    so stop moaning about your health isurance which will only cost a couple dollars the month
     

Share This Page