Obamacare on Trial: Big Government Leads to Bigger Government

The moment we decided hospitals must treat all comers was the moment Obamacare became inevitable. So we have learned from last week’s news out of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta.

[That] court struck down a central provision of [Obamacare], ruling that Congress overstepped its authority by requiring virtually all Americans to obtain health insurance.

It is instructive to consider the losing argument, because it demonstrates succinctly why conservatives must not compromise limited government principles. Doing so opens government’s throttle and invites an evermore intrusive state.

The government had argued that, since nearly everyone will need health care at some point and since hospitals are legally bound to treat those who cannot pay, a person’s decision about whether to buy insurance amounts to a decision about how they will pay for that care. Those with insurance pay through premiums, and those without it either pay out of pocket or by passing on the cost to hospitals, paying customers and government agencies – all actions on which Congress can legislate through its constitutional authority to regulate commerce.

In other words, citizens must be forced to purchase health insurance to pay for services which hospitals are forced to provide. Force begets force.

This brings into question the whole notion of economic mandates. Clearly, despite the political class’s reverence for “compromise,” this is an either-or proposition. Either you believe people ought to be forced into economic transactions, or you don’t. The moment we accepted the premise that the needs of the sick and injured place some claim upon the property and labor of health care providers, we created the problem which the individual mandate is intended to solve.

Indeed, if allowed to, the trend will continue. If the individual mandate is eventually upheld, it will create another problem which will become the argument for additional force. If we are all forced to pay for health insurance, it follows that our diet, exercise, and other health choices amount to decisions about how much such insurance will cost. Following the government’s logic in defense of the individual mandate, it would be appropriate to impose mandates covering diet, exercise, and any number of activities which could be construed to affect health.

It should be apparent to all observers that there is no middle ground here. There is a fundamental principle which we must take a stand on. We either uphold individual rights to life, labor, and property, or we do not. Upholding those rights translates to opposing any economic mandate. Regardless of how we proceed, it is clear from the government’s own argument that mandates lead to further mandates, trending away from liberty.

The proceeding was part of a weekly newsletter from Minnesota’s North Star Tea Party Patriots, The Patriot’s Perspective. Check out the rest of the issue and subscribe for free here.