Monday, February 1, 2010

States Seeking to Ban Mandatory Health Insurance - States Seeking to Ban Mandatory Health Insurance

This is a most interesting article. Here is the key element of it:

Lawmakers in 34 states now have filed or proposed amendments to their state constitutions or statutes rejecting health insurance mandates, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit group that promotes limited government that is helping coordinate the efforts. Many of those proposals are targeted for the November ballot, assuring that health care remains a hot topic as hundreds of federal and state lawmakers face reelection.
So here's the key issue: Can the states actually do this? Is it constitutional?

I would argue wholeheartedly that these state decisions are indeed constitutional, on the following logic:
  • Federal mandates related to mandatory heathcare are unquestionably unconstitutional. The federal government has no authority under the Constitution whatsoever to dictate what healthcare its citizens must have. [Note: Had the abominable healthcare legislation actually become law with Obama's signature, a blizzard of lawsuits would have been filed, gumming it up for years. Thankfully, it hasn't come to that. Yet.]
  • The various state measures, regardless of the specific legal manner that they are passed [ballot referendum, legislative vote, etc.], are merely codifying a freedom that Americans have enjoyed since 1776: The freedom to make our own decisions about legal activities.
Some are already saying that since federal law essentially "trumps" state law, that the courts will not allow state actions to take precedence. A "Constitution" in our country is the supreme law of the land. The federal constitution has nothing to do with heathcare provision; if a state constitution does (and in this story, it makes healthcare mandates unconstitutional), then why should it not be the supreme law of the state?

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