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"An Act To Declare That Reality Is Now The Plot Of Mad Max"
February 1, 2011 9:05 AM   Subscribe

South Dakota Rep. Hal Wick (R-Sioux Falls), is sponsoring a bill [text] which would require all citizens to buy a firearm “sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense” within six months of turning age 21. Rep. Wick said he is introducing the bill to prove a point that the federal health care reform mandate passed last year is unconstitutional. [previously]

In HCR litigation news, Ezra Klein today has a roundup of discussion of yesterday's latest ruling [pdf] by Judge Roger Vinson, declaring the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act unconstitutional in its entirety.
posted by T.D. Strange (146 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Actually, I suspect it would be perfectly constitutional to require every citizen to do so, as the militia is entirely within the states' power to regulate.

Does this guy not have a lawyer, or what?
posted by 1adam12 at 9:08 AM on February 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Kennesaw, Georgia beat him to it. As far as I know, no one's ever questioned the constitutionality of the ordinance.
posted by dortmunder at 9:09 AM on February 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, this will really show that Pelosi! Wait till she has to vote on this, her head will explode!!
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:11 AM on February 1, 2011


I don't think it's possible to conclude that having all people armed is going to be a net boon for self-defense, considering statistics on accidental shootings.

That said, I don't think it's arguable that the ability to pay for medical care in the form of doctors and hospitals that accept health insurance is not an inherent good, unless you're really into alternative medicine.
posted by mikeh at 9:11 AM on February 1, 2011


George Washington beat him to it.

In 1792.
posted by Gelatin at 9:12 AM on February 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


So, if no firearm is necessary to provide for my ordinary self-defense, I would not be required to buy a firearm at all, right? In the United States, even in the worst imaginable places, I cannot imagine self-defense with a firearm being described as anything less than extraordinary. Concealed carry is not necessarily out-of-the ordinary. But a firearm actually providing one's self-defense is so incredibly rare (if it ever happens at all) that I cannot imagine any finder of fact finding in good faith that it is anything other than extraordinary.
posted by The World Famous at 9:13 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I love any story that begins with a House Republican sponsoring a bill. You get that excited little feeling that portends a good show.
posted by bicyclefish at 9:14 AM on February 1, 2011 [42 favorites]


I hope this finally kills Romneycare.
posted by Eideteker at 9:14 AM on February 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Why is South Dakota always on the forefront of stupid legislation?
posted by graventy at 9:17 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Given that most people don't carry guns and don't seem to suffer as a result, a gun sufficient for their ordinary self-defense might be, like, a Super Soaker.

Anyway, mikeh, he's not talking about what's a general social good; he's talking about what you can legally require people to do.
posted by hattifattener at 9:17 AM on February 1, 2011


As much as it would be poltical suicide to frame it this way; the ACA is bascially just a new tax on all Americans. You happen to be exempt from this tax, however, if you purchase health insurance.
posted by spaltavian at 9:18 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus. Most dicks are not congressmen, but apparently most congressmen are dicks.

Regardless if the gun thing is constitutional or not, the healthcare issue that they won't be able to get around re:Obamacare is this: No one can promise with any certainty that they will never participate in the health care market.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:19 AM on February 1, 2011


State mandate != Federal mandate. Nice publicity stunt though.

As for the judge's ruling, many other district judges have found the law to be constitutional (the last I heard was nine, which would make the score 9 to 2). This will be stayed until it reaches the Supreme Court, and I don't get the impression it is in serious danger there. The sole argument against the mandate is that it is a power that the authors of the Constitution did not intend to be included under economic activity, or under the purview of the Federal Government. The John Adams Health Insurance Mandate puts the lie to that.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:19 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


What does he think this is, Switzerland?
posted by blaneyphoto at 9:22 AM on February 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


This is not nearly as crazy as Arizona's proposed "Firearms Omnibus" legislation. AZ just passed legislation that allows citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit, Senate Bill 1201 as proposed would:
- Allow people to carry firearms into all government-run facilities and many public events. The only places or events that could ban firearms would be those that post the correct sign, provide firearm lockers and have armed security and a metal detector. The law would apply to university classrooms, city buses and community festivals that get government permits. It would not apply to K-12 schools.

- Change the wording of last year's concealed-weapons law to require an individual to answer "truthfully" when a law-enforcement officer asks whether the person is carrying a concealed weapon. The current wording requires the person to answer "accurately." Law-enforcement officials say the change could give leeway to a person who, for example, forgets a gun in a bag and inaccurately tells an officer he or she isn't carrying one.

- Change the wording of Shannon's Law to make it a crime to "knowingly" discharge a firearm within city limits. It's currently a crime for someone to discharge a firearm with "criminal negligence." Bill opponents said the change would mean people could be convicted of violating this law only if the prosecution could prove they knew that shooting the gun could result in someone's death or injury.

- Allow people to sue if they feel they were illegally stopped from carrying a firearm into a government facility or event. If a person wins the lawsuit and the government agency doesn't pay within 72 hours, the person has the right to seize as payment "any municipal vehicles used or operated for the benefit of any elected office holder" in the relevant government agency.
Now THAT is a crazy proposed gun law, and with AZ's republican supermajority this one has a good chance of passing.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:24 AM on February 1, 2011 [18 favorites]


What a dumb move! In light of the fact that George Washington actually pretty much did this already, it's like through their own incompetence, they're actually helping to make the case for the legitimacy of the health care reform now. To quote from the linked piece above:
Establishing state militias and a national standard for their operation, the Militia Act explicitly required every "free able-bodied white male citizen" between the ages of 18 and 45, with a few occupational exceptions, to "provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder.."
This is an own-goal.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:24 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


What a cock.
posted by londonmark at 9:26 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why is South Dakota always on the forefront of stupid legislation?

Yankton cocksuckers.
posted by LionIndex at 9:27 AM on February 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


Sometimes I just don't want to live in this country. Canada, can I stay with you until I find my own place? I'll try to love hockey, I really will.
posted by notmydesk at 9:27 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


No one can promise with any certainty that they will never participate in the health care market.

And even if you could promise not to avail yourself of any health care services, by doing so you increase the risk of others around you by your willingness to become a more likely disease vector. There's no such thing as opting out of "the health care market" as long as you are a human in society.
posted by mrgoat at 9:28 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


“sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense”

Well, most days a 9mm does my killin' just fine, but other days only a called in air strike by USAF jets is the only thing that will suffice. Who is the government to say what is sufficient when I have threats to mitigate?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:29 AM on February 1, 2011 [15 favorites]


Nor does the measure specify what type of firearm. Instead, residents would pick one “suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and preference.”

In that case, I'm going to need a Browning M2. Because there are a lot of armored cars and helicopters that are really giving me the feeling of needing to defend myself against.

Like that "weather chopper". Fuck that guy! Making this blizzard I have to drive through! That's aggression is what it is! But with my belt fed .50 fully automatic problem solver, we'll see who has the last laugh...
posted by quin at 9:30 AM on February 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Funny, I wasn't even halfway through the first sentence when the "health care mandate" popped into my head. I don't see what would be unconstitutional about requiring people to own firearms. States mandate car insurance, which is not the same I know, but there are certain similarities.

Besides, this whole health insurance mandate is just stupid - a word I don't use lightly. Let's go to universal coverage single payer already.
posted by Xoebe at 9:30 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


introducing the bill to prove a point

Up here in Canada we class certain people as "vexatious litigants." This guy sounds like a "vexatious legislator."
posted by Trochanter at 9:31 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I would have no concerns with OMG THE COUNTRY IS FALLING APART AND WE'RE LIVING UNDER TOTALITARIANIST SOCIALISM!!! is this in fact came to pass. As in, if our duly elected representatives went through the process and solicited public opinion and decided this was a good idea for the nation, then so be it, the system works. This won't come to pass of course because it's not a good idea, and it's not the mainstream public opinion.

Freedom is an amorphous concept and many republicans seem to have a problem with it. These days, they believe that anything the government does somehow is an erosion of their personal liberty, regardless of whether it makes sense or is a good idea. Personally, I have always believed that a more sophisticated interpretation of "freedom" means that I am free to expend my energy engaging is more satisfying pursuits than trying to secure all of the things that a functioning civilization has the ability to provide: health care, education, security, economic opportunity. Will the health care bill increase my freedom, according to my definition? Yes absolutely. There's has been a prolonged public debate about this. Will forcing me to buy a handgun increase my freedom? I'm not sure, but I guess I'm willing to hear your argument.

Oh, this isn't serious and you're wasting your time and my tax money grandstanding? Why don't you get back to work then and make yourself valuable you asshole?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:33 AM on February 1, 2011 [13 favorites]


Welcome to Bizarro World!
posted by stocknowledge at 9:33 AM on February 1, 2011


I dunno. If enough republicans go bankrupt after paying for treatment from complications from a gunshot wound received when their suddenly armed, possibly drunk twenty-one year old children/neighbors accidentally pointed their required firearm in the wrong direction, I think a public option might even be back on the table.
posted by thivaia at 9:33 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


BTW, just heard Florida's new billionaire Governor Rick Scott on local NPR saying how Florida has no plans to prepare to implement the health care reforms here in Florida because of the two rulings that have gone against the reform and his unshakable confidence that the law will ultimately be overturned.

When the interviewer asked him "Won't that catch Florida flat-footed if the Supreme Court ultimately doesn't end up siding with those out-lier rulings?" Scott replied, "We'll be ready." The now audibly flustered interviewer followed up, "How can you say we'll be ready on the one hand, while saying Florida isn't planning to take any steps to prepare on the other?" Scott replied, "It won't take long."

God bless America.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:35 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


When not having guns is outlawed, then only outlaws will not have guns!
posted by kyrademon at 9:36 AM on February 1, 2011 [45 favorites]


There's no such thing as opting out of "the health care market" as long as you are a human in society.

Our "conservatives" don't believe in society
posted by crayz at 9:36 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Indeed. Even the "venerable" founding mother of Libertarianism, Ayn Rand herself, apparently embraced "socialism" once she needed it.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:37 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


saulgoodman: Doing your homework the night before is an American tradition.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:38 AM on February 1, 2011


Is this different than requiring every driver to have a basic amount of liability insurance?

No one seems to be debating the constitutionality of that...

Sadly the introduced gun bill fails only common sense, not the constitution.
posted by crackingdes at 9:40 AM on February 1, 2011


Wait, it's a bad idea to make everyone buy health insurance, but a good idea to make everyone buy a gun.

Okaaaaayyy.

Dear Canadian MeFites ... would anyone like to hire me? Have game production skills, will travel.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:41 AM on February 1, 2011


I don't really care who has guns.

It's the ammo that concerns me.
posted by Babblesort at 9:41 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this different than requiring every driver to have a basic amount of liability insurance?

As far as I know, only states have a requirement for car insurance.
posted by drezdn at 9:42 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]



Our "conservatives" don't believe in society


Seems like it sometimes. I'll believe it when they stop using, and give up the benefits of our socialized roads, socialized military, socialized education, and socialized police and fire services.
posted by mrgoat at 9:43 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


But seriously, DON'T YOU HATE IT when you use taxpayer funds to introduce some hilarious stunt legislation that will never come to pass, and would certainly not solve any of our nation's considerable challenges if it did, but is just your special way of attempting to prove someone else wrong, but then it turns out, that you actually just... proved them right? I certainly do hate it when it happens to me. INCONVENIENT AND EMBARRASSING.
posted by crackingdes at 9:44 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


so, is the consensus that it is constitutional for the federal government to require everyone to purchase a private market product eg. health insurance, guns, kewpie dolls, homepathic cough syrup, cheetos?
posted by ennui.bz at 9:45 AM on February 1, 2011


Do not disrupt Wikipedia Congress to illustrate a point. "When you have a disagreement with other [legislators], state your point plainly and continue to discuss the matter if necessary. Do not play games in an attempt to prove others wrong."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:45 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I know it would ultimately be cruel, but is there any reason we couldn't give these supermen and -women who think they'll never get sick a simple opt out card? Just sign away your rights and you preclude yourself from ever paying a tax or a fine for health care.

The flip side is that they may only receive care in the future up to the amount they can pay in cash. No free ER visits, no ambulance without proof of payment, no subsidized medicine of any kind. It seems like much of America has a "lottery mentality": everything good will happen to them, no matter the odds. Nothing bad will happen to them, no matter how likely.
posted by 2bucksplus at 9:47 AM on February 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


saulgoodman: Doing your homework the night before is an American tradition.

Maybe so, but remember Scott is a former health industry executive implicated in the largest fraud in Medicare history, has pledged to cut state spending to the bone (even effectively saying that he wants to completely replace the Florida public school system with private charter schools and a virtual school system), and has made it clear he considers himself to have more authority than the Federal government since he decreed that all rule-making and regulation throughout the state would, since his election, henceforth be subject to his personal review and approval in complete disregard for constitutional (both state and federal) separations of powers and responsibility.

It's pretty clear in the local political context that Scott doesn't intend to do his homework at all. At a time when the state has a 4 billion dollar revenue shortfall on its hands, he's said his chief revenue priority is pushing through additional property tax and corporate tax breaks.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:47 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Dear Canadian MeFites ... would anyone like to hire me? Have game production skills, will travel.

If you are serious, we do have a rather sizeable game-production industry.
If the recent job acquisitions of a few of my friends is any indicator, there is a lot of hiring going on.
Check Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver companies especially. And mobile gaming companies in Toronto.
posted by Theta States at 9:48 AM on February 1, 2011


Is this different than requiring every driver to have a basic amount of liability insurance?

It would be the same only if everyone was required to carry insurance, whether they chose to drive a car or not.
posted by rocket88 at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as I know, only states have a requirement for car insurance.

I've never understood this argument, because if a state has some particular authority, doesn't it follow from the Supremacy Clause that the Federal government's powers are at least as broad?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2011


Indeed. Even the "venerable" founding mother of Libertarianism, Ayn Rand herself, apparently embraced "socialism" once she needed it.

You know who was in favour of universal healthcare and a guaranteed basic income for every adult?
Friedrich Hayek.
posted by atrazine at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


so, is the consensus that it is constitutional for the federal government to require everyone to purchase a private market product eg. health insurance, guns, kewpie dolls, homepathic cough syrup, cheetos?

because when i think about it, my reasoning to support the health insurance mandate is that it is essentially a tax. and it doesn't matter that the tax is paid directly to a private group rather than being passed through the federal government,. but then i realize that the federal government, through medicare/medicaid, is vastly more efficient at providing payments for health care. at which point the mandate looks like a form of graft to pay off the insurance companies so that they would go along with other parts of the bill. at which i become angry... and want to buy a gun,
posted by ennui.bz at 9:49 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]



Is this different than requiring every driver to have a basic amount of liability insurance?

As far as I know, only states have a requirement for car insurance.


Yes, I suppose you're right, which clarifies my constitutional question. But for me the end result is the same.
posted by crackingdes at 9:51 AM on February 1, 2011


and it doesn't matter that the tax is paid directly to a private group rather than being passed through the federal government,

But that's not true. The penalties for non-compliance with the act are likely going to take the form of a Federal income tax penalty. That's not a direct payment to the health care industry at all.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:52 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Every resident owns a gun" sounds like political lubrication for "to ensure officer safety, every residential police visit needs to be full-blown SWAT raid."
posted by K'an at 9:53 AM on February 1, 2011


correction: (...needs to be a full-blown SWAT raid.)
posted by K'an at 9:54 AM on February 1, 2011



Is this different than requiring every driver to have a basic amount of liability insurance?

It would be the same only if everyone was required to carry insurance, whether they chose to drive a car or not.


But then the question becomes, what is the health or personal safety equivalent of "choosing to drive a car"? Is it choosing to avail yourself of medical care? Or simply choosing to have a living breathing body, which may transmit disease? For personal safety, is it choosing to defend yourself? Or choosing to be in any public situation where you may temporarily be responsible to defend someone else? I'm not pressing toward either of these answers, just suggesting that it's an ambiguous comparison.
posted by crackingdes at 9:56 AM on February 1, 2011


I know it would ultimately be cruel, but is there any reason we couldn't give these supermen and -women who think they'll never get sick a simple opt out card? Just sign away your rights and you preclude yourself from ever paying a tax or a fine for health care.

Here's the thing that sort of confounds comparisons between health care and other services. People choose other things, they may buy an expensive car and live in a cheap apartment or vice versa, save money for their children's education or take holidays in Thailand. Who chooses to forgo medical care to pay for anything else?

Now, I'm not an American, so maybe some of you guys can help me out here - do you know of any people who do not pay for health insurance and instead use the money as part of their disposable income?

My theory is that either:
a) You cannot afford health insurance but want it
b) You can afford health insurance but don't get it
c) You have health insurance

People in category c are already paying for health cover, so the government isn't forcing them into buying something they don't want. People in category a are getting government help to get something that they clearly want. People in category b are non compos mentis and the state will buy health insurance on their behalf with their money as an act of mercy.
posted by atrazine at 9:56 AM on February 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


The now audibly flustered interviewer followed up, "How can you say we'll be ready on the one hand, while saying Florida isn't planning to take any steps to prepare on the other?" Scott replied, "It won't take long."

If there's any small benefit to the recent elections, it will be the number of times that the new Republicans in office will cause NPR interviewers' heads to explode.
posted by blucevalo at 9:57 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


ennui.bz:

I sympathize, because sometimes I feel the same way. But then I try to look at it this way: Private insurance companies have been handed enough rope to hang themselves. They stand to become richer for now, but they've been given stricter guidelines and much more responsibility. When they drive things into the ground (out of obstinance and greed), the government will, by necessity, become the single-payer.

Fingers crossed, anyway.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 9:57 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would I be able to get a SCUD or an RPG-7? I'm fascinated by the idea of having something sufficient for self defense, but I'm not certain that a simple bazooka will get the job done.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:57 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


This got me thinking:

Constitution allows for forming of militias.
Fed enacts that everyone is part of the national militia by being a citizen.
Fed provides healthcare for the militia.

Perfectly constitutional.
posted by wcfields at 9:58 AM on February 1, 2011 [19 favorites]


And if we can abolish our standing armies we'll be all set.
posted by clarknova at 9:59 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


crackingdes: "But seriously, DON'T YOU HATE IT when you use taxpayer funds to introduce some hilarious stunt legislation that will never come to pass"

Despite my own distaste for the madate, this is what really gets my goat about this nonsense. Democrats should frame this kind of thing as irresponsible and wasteful spending.
posted by brundlefly at 10:00 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Canada, can I stay with you until I find my own place? I'll try to love hockey, I really will.

It's ok. Come on over. Door is unlocked, beer is in the fridge, and the couch is all made up.

You don't have to love hockey, but it is a legal requirement that everyone over 8 carry a hockey stick. You never know when a game will break out.
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:02 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Would I be able to get a SCUD or an RPG-7? I'm fascinated by the idea of having something sufficient for self defense, but I'm not certain that a simple bazooka will get the job done.

See, I think of it the other way around. Having a gun around is more dangerous to me, not less, so I think under this law, wouldn't I be required to buy whatever the opposite of a gun is? A negative, or anti-gun. A gun that makes other guns around me disappear.

Actually, I'm down with that. Someone get on making one of those.
posted by mrgoat at 10:03 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is not nearly as crazy as Arizona's proposed "Firearms Omnibus" legislation. AZ just passed legislation that allows citizens to carry concealed weapons without a permit, Senate Bill 1201 as proposed would:

...

- Allow people to sue if they feel they were illegally stopped from carrying a firearm into a government facility or event. If a person wins the lawsuit and the government agency doesn't pay within 72 hours, the person has the right to seize as payment "any municipal vehicles used or operated for the benefit of any elected office holder" in the relevant government agency.


Wow. There's just no way that could be gamed.... That's just nuts, that entire quoted statute is nuts (speaking as an owner of multiple firearms).
posted by seventyfour at 10:03 AM on February 1, 2011


In that case, I'm going to need a Browning M2.

Weak.

Let's just say I'mma change my name to Raven.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:07 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder if I can meet this guy half-way.

Like, if I show up at his office with a gun, can I then get health insurance?
posted by BeReasonable at 10:07 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


This dude (not a South Dakotan) can just carry his kukri, right?
posted by norm at 10:08 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


crackingdes: " But then the question becomes, what is the health or personal safety equivalent of "choosing to drive a car"? Is it choosing to avail yourself of medical care? Or simply choosing to have a living breathing body, which may transmit disease? For personal safety, is it choosing to defend yourself? Or choosing to be in any public situation where you may temporarily be responsible to defend someone else? I'm not pressing toward either of these answers, just suggesting that it's an ambiguous comparison."

In a way, insurance helps us decrease the harm we (inadvertently) inflict on each other and on society at large.

Going to the doctor prevents the spread of disease and infection. My understanding is (and this seems logical as well,) that studies have shown that employees who do not take sick days and do not go to the doctor increase the possibility that by showing up to work sick, they will spread contagions to those around them. Insurance allows people to take better responsibility for their own health, which in turn helps society at large.

Similarly, driving carries with it the risk that you and your car may injure someone in the event of an accident. Liability insurance ensures that they would be properly taken care of, which is also for the greater good.

So the link between auto and health insurance is not all that ambiguous, really.
posted by zarq at 10:09 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's ok. Come on over. Door is unlocked, beer is in the fridge, and the couch is all made up.

But wait--didn't you guys cancel "Corner Gas"? Who would want to live in such a country?

posted by saulgoodman at 10:10 AM on February 1, 2011


How much for emergency room gunshots? Could be a hidden deal in this bill.
posted by clavdivs at 10:11 AM on February 1, 2011


The law will pass and then 1/3 of people in that state will use federal money in order to buy a guy.
Hell, why should I be forced to pay taxes just because the govt says so? or go into the qarmy during a war just because the govt says so...where are my rights?damned socialists.
posted by Postroad at 10:13 AM on February 1, 2011


As far as I know, only states have a requirement for car insurance.

DC does too.

Which means, since the DC government is entirely the creature of the federal government and exists utterly at its pleasure, the federal government is requiring you to do so.

Likewise, many federal laws can require you to go to the market for various things. The ADA mandates that people building new construction go to the market and buy various accommodative products. OSHA requires that firms go to the market and procure various pieces of safety equipment. Etc.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:13 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


what's really odd about this is how the capacity to harm/kill and the capacity to save/improve life are understood to be equivalent or mirror-images. I don't think the comparative logic really works.
posted by LMGM at 10:15 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Like, if I show up at his office with a gun, can I then get health insurance?

I'm pretty sure he's not opposed to you buying health insurance.
posted by The World Famous at 10:16 AM on February 1, 2011


I can't wait to watch the reconciliation meetings on C-SPAN when this bill meets Sen. Crazytown's (R-KM) mandatory Hunga Munga bill. A good outcome would be a requirement to carry a sort of cannon that shoots Hunga Mungae to a distance of several thousand yards, and also cake.
posted by Mister_A at 10:17 AM on February 1, 2011


I've never understood this argument, because if a state has some particular authority, doesn't it follow from the Supremacy Clause that the Federal government's powers are at least as broad?

In a word, no.

The Federal Government is provided with a certain set of Enumerated Powers, (treaties, borrowing money, taxes, etc.) found in Article 1, Section 8. The states are allowed to do basically anything that they want, provided that they don't either

(a) Explicitly conflict with a Federal law or

(b) Violate any of the numerous protected provisions of the Constitution that have since been incorporated through the application of the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. (This is also one of the many reasons that the Republican eagerness to gut the 14th is astonishingly foolish- kill the 14th and the States regain essentially limitless powers over things like speech, religion, etc.)

Now, of course, there are those who will tell you that the provision of enumerated powers strongly limits the leeway of the Federal government to intercede on the behalf of its citizens. (Republicans usually say this when the Feds are intruding on one of their pet constituencies, like polluters or large corporations.) In reality, however, the Interstate Commerce Clause explicitly allows the Federal government broad powers to regulate commercial activity (including insurance) that has an effect on the economies of multiple states.

tl;dr,
The judge who tried to rule healthcare reform 'unconstitutional' was the sort of politically motivated guy that we'd call "activist" if "activist" wasn't a word apparently reserved for judges concerned with civil rights issues.
posted by fifthrider at 10:17 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I spent a few years in in Kennesaw, GA, where this was the law. My family did not own a gun, because they'd filed as conscientious objectors. Other exceptions included disability (if you can't own a gun, you can't fire one), mental incapacity, convicted felons, and I can't find a citation, but I was always told that if you could prove inability to buy a gun, you weren't required to own one. That's a whole lot of exception. Kennesaw touted its low murder rate every chance it got when I lived there. (Less publicized were the mostly middle and upper class populations - current census data puts about 4% of residents living below the poverty line - and horrifying obsession with the fact that the Confederate army won a battle at the nearby mountain.)

Crime is consistently low in Kennesaw. It is worth noting that in 1999, 8 teenagers killed themselves in a city with 25,183 citizens. The national rate for successful suicide attempts for teenagers is 6.9 per 100,000, according to the NIMH. Eyeball the math, and say it with me: holy fucking shit. Now, most years weren't quite that bad, but it was always really high. In 1988, the CDC actually started launched an investigation because the rate was so high. Time covered it. The gun law was enacted in 1982, 6 years before.

Since I attended the high school during this time, talk would occasionally turn to how many of those suicides were committed using guns. That talk gets shut the fuck up real quick. I can't find anything online that mentions a connection between the two. I wouldn't have such a correlation between the two if I hadn't had three classmates shoot themselves during my freshman year. I know that correlation isn't causation, but this correlation sure is chilling.

Anyway, this is one town, with one specific population. I'm not saying the gun law causes the low crime, nor the suicides. And I'm having a really tough time digging up more solid data on the change in crime rate vs the change in population, the rates for Kennesaw vs the rest of the county, and pretty much everything else. But it's nice to have numbers in a debate.
posted by honeydew at 10:19 AM on February 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


Section 1. Not later than January 1, 2012, each citizen residing in the state of South Dakota who has attained the age of twenty-one years shall purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm suitable to their temperament, physical capacity, and personal preference sufficient to provide for their ordinary self-defense.

In other words, everyone has to buy a gun, as long as it suits their personal preference, and as long as their ordinary self-defense is not already sufficiently protected without a gun. I think one could read this law as caveating itself out of existence.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 10:20 AM on February 1, 2011


If anything, a kind of fuzzy reading of the Equal Protection clause suggests to my mind that if any one group of citizens can be compelled under Federal authority to do something, then in principle--whether it chooses to exercise it or not--the government implicitly has the authority to compel anyone to comply with the same kind of rule. There's no special constitutional power conferred to the state to regulate only automobile owners or other subsets of the public who may or may not have chosen to fall under the scope of its regulatory authority, so presumably any authority it has in those special cases are merely particular expressions of a more general regulatory authority.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:20 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


How about I go find me a bunch of people who never needed a gun in their life and you go find me a bunch of people who never needed a doctor in their life.

I'd also say needing one for birth counts.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:21 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ugh. Wherein "if you can't own a gun" should read "if you can't hold a gun."

Also, I totally just spent an hour researching and doing math for a troll, didn't I.
posted by honeydew at 10:22 AM on February 1, 2011


No honeydew, your contribution is most appreciated.
posted by Mister_A at 10:23 AM on February 1, 2011


And also, who needs a gun for birth? COME ON OUT WITH YOUR HANDS UP BABY!
posted by Mister_A at 10:23 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Either a great joke or I was unclear - you need (or have if you like) a doctor to even be born in most cases.
posted by dig_duggler at 10:25 AM on February 1, 2011


states rights vs. federal rights have been argued by citizens forever. in california when the state cracked down on Indian Gambling, they threw a federal law in seizing the Indian Casinos Machines years ago. in Arizona Mathowie's uncle Joe says you cant go a block in any city in Arizona without seeing a person walking with a gun visible on that person and he is sure the other person walking has a concealed gun on him. Joe carried a gun as a police officer in California for 12 years and he says i'm tired of taking care of that weapon. i only carry my gun in my car.
posted by tustinrick at 10:26 AM on February 1, 2011


And they Democrats don't counter the Republicans by sponsoring a single-payer universal health insurance bill for the Republicans to vote against why? Oh yeah, because they are in the pocket of the insurance companies who benefit from this bullshit quarter-assed legislation.

If Democrats actually gave a shit they would just continually sponsor legislation that the MAJORITY of Americans want and force the Republicans to vote against it. They'll get the House, Senate, Presidency and the undying gratitude of a nation for a generation. Is the fucking kickback money that good? Are they threatening your family? This isn't worth dying for? Your going to get voted out anyway next year why not go down fighting for something that's right?
posted by any major dude at 10:26 AM on February 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does a Super Soaker count as a gun?
posted by dirigibleman at 10:28 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


OK. If we buy our guns, can we have our health care reform?
posted by 2N2222 at 10:29 AM on February 1, 2011


"But wait--didn't you guys cancel "Corner Gas"? Who would want to live in such a country?"

QFT.
posted by Eideteker at 10:30 AM on February 1, 2011


> Does a Super Soaker count as a gun?

Sure, if you weaponize it with anthrax juice or something.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:31 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


fifthrider, I concede your point, but I guess I'm kind of a republican (in the old school, non-political party name sense of the word). the states authority derives from the federal government in my mind. none of this state's rights nonsense holds any water to me, though I think its sensible and necessary in many cases to delegate responsibility and authority appropriately to the state level.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:32 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


And they Democrats don't counter the Republicans by sponsoring a single-payer universal health insurance bill for the Republicans to vote against why?

Because even if it made sense to do this, they couldn't. It's for all practical purposes up to the house leadership to drive the legislative agenda. Yes, I know the senate can do it in theory, but that ain't likely in a body in which any single member can currently halt all legislative action on a bill with an anonymous, secret hold. In the House, there's no way Republican leadership would ever let such a bill come to the floor for debate, and there's no mechanism to force them to.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:35 AM on February 1, 2011


saulgoodman: "What a dumb move! In light of the fact that George Washington actually pretty much did this already, ... To quote from the linked piece above:
...the Militia Act explicitly required every "free able-bodied white male citizen" ... to "provide himself with a good musket or firelock, ...."
(emphasis mine)

Strangely enough, I'm expecting the SD legislation will also, effectively, be limited to white men, too. Perhaps not explicitily, though.
posted by JMOZ at 10:38 AM on February 1, 2011


Mister_A: "No honeydew, your contribution is most appreciated."

Seconded. Thanks.
posted by zarq at 10:40 AM on February 1, 2011


You really can't enact a law like that, responsibly, without also mandating some form of gun safety. Mandated gun safes and/or gun safety locks. At least mandate a gun safety class and certification, like we do when we license people to drive. Guns are inherently more dangerous than cars (in the sense that guns are designed primarily for the purpose of shooting people), so licensing should be similar.

Otherwise, this law is really dangerous for children. Mandating every adult own a gun is the same as mandating that every parent own a gun. This means that every child has access to a gun. Linking that up to honeydew's informative comment, it's clear that guns and children do not mix well.

I know that this legislation is facetious, and just there to "prove a point." But, look at Kennesaw. And try to imagine a gun in every home, within the reach of every child.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:43 AM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well obviously, if the Republican's goal is to decriminalise non-violent rape, this is their response to enable women to better protect themselves.

Just remember dear, drag him inside after you shoot him.

Of course, these are all the marks of a society increasing in overall civility. Obviously.
posted by nickrussell at 10:47 AM on February 1, 2011


b) You can afford health insurance but don't get it

My husband is in this category. He hates that he's forced to pay for health insurance (in order to continue being a grad student his school requires it) when he claims he doesn't need it. He doesn't have any chronic conditions and is apparently unworried by the idea of developing cancer of the everything or getting hit by a bus. He'd honestly rather leave it to chance.

That said, the man has very, very little understanding of health and human biology. He's a full blown wacko germophobe who washes dishes with cold water even though I've told him a thousand times that it's really not effective. Most recently, he had a cold and ended up asking me if eating 20 cough drops a day was too many because his pee was starting to smell funny...

If ever there was a man who needed saving from himself, this would be the one.
posted by sonika at 10:51 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Babblesort: "It's the ammo that concerns me."

Chris Rock thinks every bullet should cost $5000 (nsfw, duh).
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:02 AM on February 1, 2011


I apologize for the obscenity, but fuck this fucker with the fuckingest fuck fuck that ever fucked.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:17 AM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


a) You cannot afford health insurance but want it
b) You can afford health insurance but don't get it
c) You have health insurance
The difference between a and b can be subtle, though. During most, though not all, of the time that I was uninsured, I could have obtained health insurance. Well, excuse me, "health insurance". Upon reading the fine print, I discovered that practically nothing I might actually need was covered, most catastrophic events would get you dropped, and what was covered only kicked in after a deductable high enough that I might as well just put the money in a savings account and use that for emergencies.

But, you know, technically, it was health insurance and, I could have (just barely) afforded it.
posted by Karmakaze at 11:19 AM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sure, you can throw up your hands and come to Canada, but that would reduce the number of non-batshit Americans, thereby contributing to batshit's rise to power.

Don't be a wuss.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:22 AM on February 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Upon reading the fine print, I discovered that practically nothing I might actually need was covered, most catastrophic events would get you dropped, and what was covered only kicked in after a deductable high enough that I might as well just put the money in a savings account and use that for emergencies.

That's exactly why the reform also establishes universal minimum standards of coverage for the first time.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:26 AM on February 1, 2011


saulgoodman: I've never understood this argument, because if a state has some particular authority, doesn't it follow from the Supremacy Clause that the Federal government's powers are at least as broad?

Not at all; the Surpremacy Clause means that in state and federal law are in conflict; federal law is surpreme (provided that the federal law is constitutional). But federal authority is explicitly limited in the Constitution and certain powers are explicitly reserved to the states. The federal government can't do everything the states can do, the states can't do everything the federal government can do, and many things neither can do. This is what Federalism is; national sovereignty is split between Washington and the several states. (And the people, and not just in a notional "of the people, by the people" sense, since the Constution specifically says some powers not delegated are reserved to the people.)
posted by spaltavian at 11:58 AM on February 1, 2011


What about people with physical disabilities? Will adaptations to handguns be covered by Medicaid?
posted by Soliloquy at 12:04 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I know--I conceded the point earlier, but I still think that's dumb. Like I said, I've got no belief in states rights whatsoever, save in cases where powers are granted to the states. In my mind, the civil war changed the power relationship.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:05 PM on February 1, 2011


My husband is in this category. He hates that he's forced to pay for health insurance (in order to continue being a grad student his school requires it) when he claims he doesn't need it. He doesn't have any chronic conditions and is apparently unworried by the idea of developing cancer of the everything or getting hit by a bus. He'd honestly rather leave it to chance.

That said, the man has very, very little understanding of health and human biology.


And he has very little understanding of the law of large numbers. For any insurance scheme to work there have to be more people buying insurance than using it. Of course he doesn't "need" health care. He's not supposed to need it, he and - 98 other healthy young people - are supposed to pay into it so that the one poor bastard out of 100 who does need it finds a fully equipped hospital waiting for him. If you allow the healthy, low-risk population to "take their own risks", the premiums for those who remain in the pool become untenable. Whatever the politics, the math behind this is simple.

So tell him that's the reason to pay his health insurance. It's not for him: it's to make the system work for everyone - including him.
posted by three blind mice at 12:21 PM on February 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


That mandate is unconstitutional.
posted by I Foody at 12:30 PM on February 1, 2011


So tell him that's the reason to pay his health insurance. It's not for him: it's to make the system work for everyone - including him.

Otherwise, you know, when he gets older and does need the insurance, it'll be him that's getting screwed over.

Maybe this is part of the mentality "Someone else is screwing the system, I might as well too..."
posted by Sportbilly at 12:37 PM on February 1, 2011


I hope this finally kills Romneycare.

In related news -- Mitt Romney: 'I'm Not Apologizing For' Massachusetts Health Care Plan.
posted by ericb at 12:48 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: Where you will never go wrong with a joke at the expense of House Republicans
posted by bicyclefish at 12:58 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


And he has very little understanding of the law of large numbers.

Actually, you couldn't be more wrong. The man is an engineer and has worked in finance. He's actually brought up the law of large numbers around the dinner table.

Which is exactly why he doesn't want insurance. He doesn't want to be paying for the one guy in 100 who needs it. He's also a ruthless capitalist.

Unfortunately, he's married to the one lady in 100 who needs the insurance, so he's been forced to concede that it does have a purpose and is more than happy to pay for my health insurance. He just doesn't feel like he should have to buy insurance for himself to also defray the costs.

Yes, I married someone who - were he a citizen - would vote Republican for economic reasons in each and every election. I can hardly believe it myself.
posted by sonika at 1:00 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I started typing a response to K'an's comment, about making every police visit a SWAT action because the assault rifle armed SWAT officer I encountered in my driveway exuded an aura of calm professionalism that was out of this world. If my choice is those guys or the cop who stopped my for driving to fast for conditions (and to cuss at me for a while) while I was in high school. So, personally, I'll take the SWAT guys every time.

Then I remembered that my hometown had a SWAT team, mostly manned with regular officers who got a couple days of extra training, so Officer Too Fast for Conditions might very well have been on the SWAT team there.

You can probably guess which police force is in Russ Carnahan's district and which one is in John Shimkus' home town.

That this is such a perfect parallel for their respective stands on the health care is a pretty strong argument for the existence of God.

Back story if you are interested. Typically I don't get a lot of rifle fire in my neighborhood.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:10 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


He doesn't want to be paying for the one guy in 100 who needs it.

Does he have some data to support that a) one guy in 100 needs it, and b) he's not that guy?
posted by The World Famous at 1:10 PM on February 1, 2011


How would this argument go if in the statute, we just changed every occurrence of the word 'gun' to, say, 'halberd'? Just askin'
posted by newdaddy at 2:13 PM on February 1, 2011


Does he have some data to support that a) one guy in 100 needs it, and b) he's not that guy?

I was responding to three blind mice's comment, not quoting actual statistics. And yeah, he's healthy as a horse so he's definitely placed himself in the category of "people who don't need health insurance."
posted by sonika at 2:17 PM on February 1, 2011


I was responding to three blind mice's comment, not quoting actual statistics. And yeah, he's healthy as a horse so he's definitely placed himself in the category of "people who don't need health insurance."

Sorry, but I don't want to pay the hospital bills when your idiot husband has to be pulled out of a car wreck and medevac-ed to the ER for an organ transplant. Sorry he's the 1-100 this time (well, 1 in 99 now I guess). Guess he should've bought some health insurance, huh?

Oh and the mother of 3 kids he hit in the other car didn'thave any insurance either, she couldn't afford it because people like your husband didn't want to kick in $50 a month. Who's going to pay for those kids to eat now? Not MY tax dollars.
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:31 PM on February 1, 2011


It would be nice to discuss issues at a procedural level, removed from personal anecdotes and now sniping.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:33 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


How does he know he's healthy as a horse? Has someone qualified to make that assessment examined him and determined that he is healthy?

My father-in-law recently had stage four lung cancer for a few years before he died. He had never smoked or had any unhealthy lifestyle habits. He was a strong as an ox, doing farm work, auto repair work, and at the same time working full-time in an advanced technical field. He was physically so strong that, shortly before he died, when he was down to less than 15% lung capacity and had two stents in place to drain the fluid that was constantly building up, I went wakeboarding with him. He had to wear a dry suit so that the lake water wouldn't get into the stents. He decided he probably shouldn't do any back or front flips just to be safe. He was 60 years old and was still playing basketball every Saturday morning with the kids from the local high school team. And he was in the middle of one of numerous rounds of chemo alternating with radiation therapy. He was the strongest - in every sense - person I've ever known. Healthy as a horse, as you say.

And all of the doctors who treated him said that they might have caught the cancer early enough to beat it if only he had ever shown some sign of being anything other than totally healthy before it had reached its most advanced stage. If he had been a smoker, they would have discovered it years earlier.

Healthy as a horse? Tell him to get to a doctor and take care of himself.
posted by The World Famous at 2:36 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


...your idiot husband....

Totally uncalled for.
posted by rocket88 at 2:41 PM on February 1, 2011


Subtitled: "An act to prove I'm batshit insane, and can't seem to fucking tell the difference between compulsory ownership of controlled items and the social contract. Also, I'm a douchebag."
posted by clvrmnky at 2:59 PM on February 1, 2011


You know...give people enough guns and someone is going to die. Have a knife and you have a greater chance of cutting yourself. Its just probability.

Does this douchebag understand that a few people will die so that he can prove his shitty point?
posted by hal_c_on at 3:00 PM on February 1, 2011


Does this include mortars? Because if so, I'm fine with it.
posted by ob at 3:42 PM on February 1, 2011


with apologies to all the lovely sane americans, these sorts of bizarro fucked up stories really put me off ever visiting your country. I'm sure you're not all batshitinsane, but quite clearly a large number of your fellow compatriots are. Oh and they've got guns.

Modern america, what an ugly ugly society.
posted by wilful at 4:10 PM on February 1, 2011


Totally uncalled for.

I agree. An ostensibly healthy person who decides to save money on insurance, and thus place the burden of his emergency medical care on the rest of us isn't an idiot. That person is making a perfectly sound economic decision based on his own self interest.

The correct term is "freeloader."
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:10 PM on February 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


with apologies to all the lovely sane americans, these sorts of bizarro fucked up stories really put me off ever visiting your country.

Do you live in a country without any bizarro nonsense? Which country is that? I'm totally serious. Is there a country that doesn't have a ton of stupid crap going on?
posted by The World Famous at 4:35 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Finland.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:42 PM on February 1, 2011


Finland? Campaign finance scandal and Iraqgate Finland? Or some other Finland?
posted by The World Famous at 5:00 PM on February 1, 2011


Do you live in a country without any bizarro nonsense? Which country is that? I'm totally serious. Is there a country that doesn't have a ton of stupid crap going on?

Flavour Country?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:08 PM on February 1, 2011


Do you live in a country without any [emphasis] bizarro nonsense?

Absolutely not, I didn't make that claim, but the level of bizarro nonsense in Australia is quite manageable.
posted by wilful at 5:10 PM on February 1, 2011


Healthy as a horse? Tell him to get to a doctor and take care of himself.

And what on earth makes you think I don't do this three times a week? I can't force him, he's a grown man.

Look, I know this gets under people's skin, I was just explaining the POV of someone who doesn't want to pay for health insurance. Turning this into a referendum into whether or not my husband is healthy and/or an idiot is missing the point. The discussion had been "Well, yeah, everyone wants insurance if they can afford it, duh." And my only point was "No, not everyone. Some people honestly would prefer to take their chances."

Also: T.D. Strange, making up a completely hypothetical scenario doesn't add to the discussion, it just raises your own blood pressure. Because guess what? The man pays for insurance. He just doesn't want to. So, you and your mother of eight thousand get into your car wrecks or whatever and rest assured that my husband has indeed paid into the system. And also, relax.
posted by sonika at 5:11 PM on February 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


the level of bizarro nonsense in Australia is quite manageable.

Ooh! You're right! In fact, Jeff Kennett told me once that, if the bizarro nonsense in Australia starts to get unmanageable, you just have to pop a handful of Kool Mints and you'll be just fine.
posted by The World Famous at 5:30 PM on February 1, 2011


Wouldn't it be easier to just give everybody a board with a nail sticking out of it? Oh sure, some would want bigger boards
posted by Sailormom at 5:42 PM on February 1, 2011


Wasn't the idea requiring all Americans to have health insurance a Republican addition to Health Care Reform?
posted by JJ86 at 5:43 PM on February 1, 2011


Ooh! You're right! In fact, Jeff Kennett told me once that, if the bizarro nonsense in Australia starts to get unmanageable, you just have to pop a handful of Kool Mints and you'll be just fine.

Precisely! That's a good example, thank you. Bizarro-ness goes that far, it doesn't go as far as having all adults required to own a gun.
posted by wilful at 5:48 PM on February 1, 2011


The man pays for insurance. He just doesn't want to. So, you and your mother of eight thousand get into your car wrecks or whatever and rest assured that my husband has indeed paid into the system.

...until he gets out of school and isn't required to buy in any more. I understand why people might want to take this risk, but as someone who was totally blindsided by a cancer diagnosis, I'm glad that's not me.
posted by naoko at 6:04 PM on February 1, 2011


...until he gets out of school and isn't required to buy in any more.

How do you know this with your psychic powers? While my family's finances are really none of your concern, he will continue to buy insurance after he gets out of school because - as I tangentially mentioned, I need insurance and he recognizes that.

Oddly, or maybe not, the man is all for government insurance. He thinks if everyone has to have something, it should be provided - what he's pissed about is being forced to buy something against his will, especially something that he doesn't feel like he benefits from. And honestly, I hope he never has to benefit from insurance for anything more than a flu shot. Because, y'know, I do like that he's healthy.
posted by sonika at 7:21 PM on February 1, 2011


I'm not going to buy in to the particulars of anyone's case, it's pretty pointless and rude to judge someone based on so very little info, but to back your last point up sonika, or at least the way I understand it, the half-baked solution of compulsory health insurance is kind of the worst of both worlds situation. Basic health care ought to be provided by the State, out of consolidated revenue, that's the most cost effective and just situation. Of course, the reason your reforms are so crappy is because of the Republican party and their supporters...
posted by wilful at 7:32 PM on February 1, 2011


The sole argument against the mandate is that it is a power that the authors of the Constitution did not intend to be included under economic activity, or under the purview of the Federal Government. The John Adams Health Insurance Mandate puts the lie to that.

Adams also destroys the "founded as a religious nation" myth with his signing of the Treaty of Tripoli (after it was unanimously approved by the Senate). "... the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."
posted by kirkaracha at 7:45 PM on February 1, 2011


kirkaracha, while I am inclined to agree with you that the United States was not "founded as a religious nation," the Treaty of Tripoli is not actually a compelling piece of evidence to that end. It is a treaty signed for the purpose of achieving specific ends and was negotiated. It is not a sworn legal affidavit or authoritative historic record in any sense.

The "founded as a religious nation" myth is debunked not by some assertion long after the fact that it was not founded on the Christian religion (whatever that means). It is debunked by the fact that there is simply no factual historic basis that supports the conclusion that the U.S. was founded as a religious nation. There is plenty of evidence that religious freedom - both free exercise and freedom from establishment of religion by the state - was one of the founding pillars of the U.S. But that's not the same thing as "founded as a religious nation." It's not quite the opposite, either, though.
posted by The World Famous at 8:53 PM on February 1, 2011


sonika, I appreciate that you shared his reasoning, thank you.

I find it interesting how he dislikes being compelled to buy insurance, yet is all for govt provided healthcare. This is not a statement of dissent, I just find it interesting.

I share his beliefs about government healthcare.
posted by Sportbilly at 9:29 PM on February 1, 2011


How do you know this with your psychic powers? While my family's finances are really none of your concern, he will continue to buy insurance after he gets out of school because - as I tangentially mentioned, I need insurance and he recognizes that.

You're right. My apologies.

And honestly, I hope he never has to benefit from insurance for anything more than a flu shot. Because, y'know, I do like that he's healthy.

I hope so too. My point was that this is not a situation where hoping, or even one's best efforts, necessarily makes it so.
posted by naoko at 10:33 PM on February 1, 2011


I think atrazine made the point perfectly well: People in category b are non compos mentis and the state will buy health insurance on their behalf with their money as an act of mercy.

Health care only works well when the costs are shared. You just can't afford the cost of the technology and specialization all on your own.

If we don't all kick in, we go back to turn of the century dental surgeon levels of care. Not a pretty sight.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:22 AM on February 2, 2011


FLASHBACK: Romney Says ‘Massachusetts Is A Model For Getting Everybody Insured’.
posted by ericb at 4:54 AM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tea Party Judge Roger Vinson ‘Borrows Heavily’ From Family Research Council To Invalidate Health Law.

Judge Vinson Adopts Tea Party Rhetoric In Overturning Health Reform.
posted by ericb at 4:56 AM on February 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nan Rich calls Rick Scott's decision to halt health care law reforms a "personal vendetta"
posted by saulgoodman at 7:50 AM on February 2, 2011


I find it interesting how he dislikes being compelled to buy insurance, yet is all for govt provided healthcare. This is not a statement of dissent, I just find it interesting.

It is interesting to me as well, and I really do see his point. "If the government wants to force you to have something, they should be the ones providing it." is pretty much what it comes down to. If you're going to require healthcare, then raise taxes and provide health care. (Note: The man has no problem with taxes. He's European. And yet, also, fiscal conservative.) Forcing someone to buy something, on the other hand, is... well, yeah, it's the worst of both worlds.

Anyway. There's the stance of one wacko who is totally against buying insurance but would happily support socialized health care. If it's gonna be mandatory - pay for it with taxes. Don't force people to buy it with their own funds.

Kinda nuts, but the man does have redeeming qualities. For one, he has great hair.

My own opinion? Healthcare should be socialized because trying to PROFIT off of people being SICK is immoral, wrong, bad, and also wrong. Health insurance for profit just makes me want to vomit, scream, and then possibly also vomit. But I'm a tye-dyed in the wool child of hippies, so, y'know.
posted by sonika at 11:35 AM on February 2, 2011


Seriously. My two cents about this thread: 1)Perhaps reconsider using personal anecdotes as discussion points on Metafilter posts about contentious issues, 2)Don't lay into people who do decide to use personal anecdotes. Just note that shit and move on--why be dickish like that?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:31 PM on February 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


[comments removed - very seriously BACK IT UP and be civil to each other or go away. MetaTalk or email are your options.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:09 AM on February 4, 2011


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