A couple thoughts on the health care debate before the U.S. Supreme Court.
1. In the mid-1990s, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that garbage was an interstate commodity.
Based on a case that originated in New Jersey, the justices ruled that because garbage could be generated in one state and hauled across state lines for disposal, purchase or sale, local and county governments could not restrict its disposal solely at facilities controlled by those entities. The concept was called “flow control,” and the Supremes said it was unconstitutional.
It caused a great upset in New Jersey because the state’s garbage regulatory system at the time was based on flow control.
The question I would ask the current justices is this: Why is garbage considered a fundamentally different commodity than health insurance in regards to interstate commerce?
Health insurance is purchased in one state, and can be transported across state lines for use. Over the Internet, health insurance can be purchased across state lines. That would qualify as an interstate commodity, it seems.
Oh, and it is a mandate that we dispose of garbage. If we don’t what follows in fines, and if bad enough, jail.
2. We are all part of the health insurance/health care system whether we have a separate health insurance policy or not.
That’s because of car insurance.
A portion of the premium we pay covers the medical treatments of those injured in an accident involving the insured vehicle. And you can’t opt out.
You can drop collision coverage, but you can not drop the medical coverage.
So if we must have medical coverage in one form of insurance, how can it be said we can opt out when it shows up in an other form?
3. Is our constitution so narrowly drawn compared to those of other nations that provide universal health care as a right of citizens — they range from constitutional monarchies, Communist nations, social democracies and even nations in Africa with no discernible government – that we will chose to decide that health care is a not a right but a privilege?
I, for one, don’t believe so.
And shame on us if we do.