By now, everyone is familiar with ObamaCare, government mandated health insurance, RomneyCare, single payer health insurance, or whatever you want to call it. Most agree this is bad news. I am one of those people and not because I don’t think every should have health insurance. I do, but I also believe that is an individual’s responsibility to take care of their own life the best they can and it is up to that individual to provide for themselves. When they truly can’t it is up to other individuals and the church to step in when needed and offer help. Charity is a wonderful thing. Theft in the name of charity is not charity but theft.
I am a big fan of logic. I will admit, I am not always the most logical person out there but it is a wonderful exercise to complete a thought to its conclusion in the most logical way possible. This is where, I believe, politicians fail in their policy making. Most Americans do the same or else we would have voted these politicians out decades ago. Policies, laws, and regulations are usually designed for a particular, narrow purpose without thinking about the logical, long-term outcome or application. The Democrats’ government mandated healthcare law that no one read is a prime example of this.
There is an argument I have heard that we all need health insurance which is why we must mandate it and force people to purchase it. This is also the excuse used to invoke the “General Welfare Clause” of the U.S. Constitution which reads in part:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
I won’t argue for or against any particular meaning of the ‘general welfare’ clause, but I want to point something out. If we can make the case that because something is necessary for our citizens then we must mandate it then why stop at healthcare? Let’s touch on the most basic of necessities. Two particular items that aren’t readily available (like oxygen) are food and water. Sure, you can go out and find a stream to get your water or plant a garden but in today’s abundant regulations this may be much harder than you think. Everyone providing their own food and water is unrealistic since we are no longer an agricultural society anymore. We need the big farmers and corporations to provide it for us or our economy would collapse.
If we all need food and water to just survive, why not mandate that all Americans are entitled to 2000 calories of food intake a day and 8 glasses of water? We could go even further and say that one of the reasons healthcare is such a necessity is because of rampant obesity. To cut down on the costs of healthcare we could even mandate a particular style of healthy eating and ban all of the ‘bad’ foods. There’s this campaign to reduce obesity and promote a healthier lifestyle so why not? We could go even further and mandate gym memberships and at least 3 hours of exercise a day.
The idiocy of this, I am sure, is not lost on you. It isn’t on me. No matter what you think about what ‘general welfare’ means, we can at least conclude that it doesn’t include mandating individuals purchase something. The logical conclusion of all this is that it no longer becomes a mandated purchase but a government owned and distributed Communist nightmare.