Analysis of Tuesday – the Individual Mandate Issue
by Andrew Schlafly JD
Update at 12:25 Eastern Time:
it appears that the Individual Mandate will likely lose!
These quotes show the ignorance of the real problem:
Justice Sotomayor: “Only insurance will guarantee that whatever need for health care that you have will be covered.”
Solicitor General Verrilli: Without insurance one cannot have “access to the health care environment.”
Justice Kagan: “I mean, health insurance exists only for the purpose of financing health care. … We get it so that we can go and access health care.”
Evidently these judges don’t know that in this country you can pay cash for medical care.
Justice Anthony Kennedy asked questions suggesting that he is concerned about the impact of the mandate on individual liberty.
Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito, and Chief Justice John Roberts — who would comprise a majority along with Justice Clarence Thomas — asked questions implying that they are very skeptical that the Individual Mandate is constitutional:
“The federal government is not supposed to be a government that has all powers. It’s supposed to be a government of limited powers.” – Justice Scalia’s comment to the government attorney who is defending the mandate. Justice Scalia also said, “You’re not regulating health care. You’re regulating insurance.” Justice Scalia also echoed a concern raised by Senator Tom Coburn during a Senate confirmation hearing for now-Justice Elena Kagan, asking if govcernment can force people to purchase broccoli.
Justice Alito observed, “the mandate is forcing these people to provide a huge subsidy to insurance companies.” The Individual Mandate compels healthy young persons to pay for care “that will be received by somebody else,” Justice Samuel Alito stated. Justice Alito also suggested that if the federal government could require people to purchase health insurance, then they could even require people to buy burial insurance.
The Individual Mandate is telling someone “that it must act. That changes the relationship of the government to the individual in a fundamental way.” – Justice Kennedy’s comment to the government attorney. Justice Kennedy then asked the Obama Administration attorney to satisfy a “very heavy burden of justification” to demonstrate that the Constitution authorizes Congress itself to alter the relationship of government to the individual.
Chief Justice John Roberts observed, “Once you’re into interstate commerce and can regulate it, pretty much all bets are off.” “Can the government require you to buy a cell phone?” because people may need one to seek emergency aid, Roberts asked.