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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » If Health Insurance Mandates Are Unconstitutional, Why Did the Founding Fathers Back

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Author Topic: If Health Insurance Mandates Are Unconstitutional, Why Did the Founding Fathers Back
philnotfil
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Interesting bits of history.

tnr.com

quote:
In 1790, the very first Congress—which incidentally included 20 framers—passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. This law was then signed by another framer: President George Washington. That’s right, the father of our country had no difficulty imposing a health insurance mandate.
quote:
Six years later, in 1798, Congress addressed the problem that the employer mandate to buy medical insurance for seamen covered drugs and physician services but not hospital stays. And you know what this Congress, with five framers serving in it, did? It enacted a federal law requiring the seamen to buy hospital insurance for themselves. That’s right, Congress enacted an individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance. And this act was signed by another founder, President John Adams.
One could argue that this isn't much different from car insurance, you only have to buy it if you want to voluntarily participate in a certain activity, not just because you were born in the US.

quote:
Not only did most framers support these federal mandates to buy firearms and health insurance, but there is no evidence that any of the few framers who voted against these mandates ever objected on constitutional grounds. Presumably one would have done so if there was some unstated original understanding that such federal mandates were unconstitutional. Moreover, no one thought these past purchase mandates were problematic enough to challenge legally.
quote:
In oral arguments before the court two weeks ago, the challengers also argued that the health insurance mandate was not “proper” in a way that allows it to be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause. These precedents rebut that claim because they indicate that the framers thought not just purchase mandates but medical insurance mandates were perfectly proper indeed.
Why isn't this a focal point of every discussion that involves the unconstitutionality of Obamacare?
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cherrypoptart
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Was the rationale the Commerce Clause?

What was their Constitutional justification?

You could look at firearms and see it's probably not the Commerce Clause they are using to justify it but national defense purposes, just like they can draft someone into the military and then order them up to charge up a hill into the face of certain death.

The federal government also has authority on the high seas to regulate the commerce there. The states don't have jurisdiction. It was also the ship owners who had to buy the insurance, not the individuals. So in order to have to have insurance, you first had to have a job, and a dangerous job at that. You might compare it to the old Blackwater mercenary company not only not providing insurance for its employees but not paying them enough to buy their own insurance either. If they operated on the high seas, Congress would have the jurisdiction to step in.

In short, there are huge differences between this and Obamacare which demands that every man, woman and child get health insurance and uses the commerce clause to justify it, trampling on states' rights and creating commerce where none exists to justify regulating it by mandating it.

Just a layman's take on it.

If Obamacare was such a brilliant idea, then it could be passed by Constitutional Amendment. If it doesn't have the broad based support that requires, then maybe it's not such a great idea after all.

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cherrypoptart
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Also, in regulating the shipowners they are effectively regulating a business, not an individual. They are regulating his company. They probably aren't even saying the ship owner himself has to have health insurance, since he may never go to sea or work on the docks. There's a huge difference between regulating a company and people individually.
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JWatts
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The 'An act for the relief of sick and disabled seamen' is quite obviously an income tax whose proceeds are dedicated to fund hospital's. It's not an Obamacare style mandate requiring an action on the part of the sailors.

Here's a link to the actual act:
Link

There's nothing un-Constitutional about taxes.

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RickyB
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"There's nothing un-Constitutional about taxes."

Really now? Ask Grover Norquist about that sometime... or any of the eejits who bray about the evil of the 16th amendment.

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