In his eloquent style, Obama has suggested putting you in jail.
For what crime is it that you need to be fined and imprisoned? The dastardly deed of not purchasing health insurance when you “have the ability.” In a recent interview with ABC, Obama again repeated his affinity for punishing those who choose not to purchase health insurance by stating:
What I think is appropriate is that in the same way that everybody has to get auto insurance and if you don’t, you’re subject to some penalty, that in this situation, if you have the ability to buy insurance, it’s affordable and you choose not to do so, forcing you and me and everybody else to subsidize you, you know, there’s a thousand dollar hidden tax that families all across America are — are burdened by because of the fact that people don’t have health insurance, you know, there’s nothing wrong with a penalty. [-14:23 in the clip]
When pressed on the question of jailing those who refuse to pay the fine, Obama continued:
…I’m not sure thats the biggest question that their asking right now… I think I put out the priciple… that penalties are appropriate for people who try to free ride the system and force others to pay for their health insurance.
Obama has consistently used the fallacious argument of comparing the health insurance mandate to a car insurance mandate. However, there are distinct differences between the two mandate:
First, the mandate for car insurance is a state government mandate, not a federal one as the health insurance mandate is. Though states have powers inherent to them under both the US and through their own constitutions, there is nothing the US Constitution — including the commerce clause — which allows for the federal government to force people to purchase a certain item. If the government could mandate this, then why not mandate purchasing a computer, map, or dog? They simply don’t have the constitutional authority to do it. Many have cited the general welfare clause as giving them the authority, but how can fining and possibly jailing those who choose not to buy something promote the “General Welfare”? Of course, others might disagree that the government, whether federal or state, has any right to impose personal mandates to purchase anything, but that is another argument altogether.
Second, if you choose not to own a car then you can avoid the mandate to have insurance for it. There is no way for you to avoid this mandate. Ask the people in New York City, where according the 2000 census data 54% do not own or lease a vehicle, if they would like to pay for the 46% who do. Moreover, this mandate puts the burden of proof on the citizen to show that he has insurance, making him guilty until proven innocent.
Finally, the reason for the state mandates are not for the protection of the owner of the vehicle. It is instead for damages that operator might incur on other individuals should an accident happen. This is why the standard state mandate only requires liability insurance. If the states wanted to protect the drivers’ interest, they would mandate collision coverage, which can go for repairs or bodily injury coverage for passengers. The only thing a state can do is make sure that when you harm the life, liberty, or property of others with your automobile, there is some pot of money that they can be sure will exist as a remedy for the victim. Otherwise, the driver will be personally responsible to pay for damages, which they may not be able to afford. This mandate is for the victims’ benefit, not the benefit of the one who causes the accident.
Apparently these simple ideas are lost on the “constitutional scholar” President Obama. The reasons above are not the only differences between the two mandates, but to compare them is to compare apples to snowflakes.
In case you forgot, Obama pledged that people making $250,000 or less will not see their taxes go up “one dime.” However this fine is a de facto tax, which is why you can be jailed for failure to pay.
Obama promised “change,” but apparently that change was continuous abuse of the Constitution and ignoring it when it inconveniences his grand schemes. So remember this when you’re sitting at home trying to figure out how to pay back your student loans, which has become a problem since work is scarce: You better have health insurance, or the DC mafia will be coming to collect their protection money. If you can’t afford that either, then it’s the big house for you.Published in