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Friday, March 26, 2010

Jackley Faces Uphill Battle Beating Republican Insurance Mandate Idea

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley agrees with Michael Moore that the health care reform bill's insurance mandate is a bad idea. I agree, too, and have since 2007. If a problem is sufficiently severe that it requires the government to intrude on the free market with mandated purchase, the government might as well go whole hog and provide the mandated good or service.

But you know, AG Jackley, as you and your mostly Republican pals sue Uncle Sam, keep in mind the following:
  • You'll also have to argue against something your own party, big business, and the insurance industry have been asking for for years.
  • Paging Mitt Romney (and other socialists): "We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance. And cars are a lot less expensive than people."(Perhaps Romney's defense of the insurance mandate can be included in the amici curiae for the federal government.)
  • John McCain floated the idea back in the early 1990s... but back then it was a convenient rhetorical device to offer in response to the Clinton health care plan. Funny how (a) the Republicans never followed up when they retook Congress in 1994 and (b) how the Republicans consistently define their position by taking whatever the Democratic President proposes and prefixing not.
  • Tom Schaller of FiveThirtyEight says you're wrong... unless you plan to annul some of our favorite social insurance mandates, like Medicare and Social Security.
  • This post from a Con. Law prof linked by Mr. Woodring says you have an uphill fight.
  • Your main argument seems to be that the health insurance mandate is a tax on living, a requirement to take part in commerce. You argue it differs from auto insurance mandates in that people can choose not to drive and thus not have to buy insurance. Well, people have been known to choose not to live....
  • "Just like people are required to have car insurance, they could be required to have health insurance." Tommy Thompson, HHS Secretary under GW Bush, Sep. 2008.
  • But the government already does mandate coverage on every living person: I have to buy clothes, don't I? (Oh, wait: I could knit... ;-) )


  1. Cory:

    Amy interviewed Michael Moore, too: http://www.democracynow.org/2010/3/23/michael_moore_health_care_bill_a

    His reticence is tempered, however, with some acknowledgement of the nagging, entrenched, corporatist influence in campaign finance.

    Go figure.

  2. This will turn out to be similiar to social security. You would be a fool to only depend on ssn for your retirement, so you save extra and invest on your own.

    The new health plan will give medical insurance to everyone, but insurance plans will still exist to supplement what Uncle Sam won't.

  3. Thad, you're describing the Canadian health care system, which works pretty well. (Funny: after 40+ years of single-payer insurance, their constitutional monarchy hasn't collapsed; neither will our constitutional republic.) The new U.S. law will "give medical insurance" to hardly anyone. It requires eventually that most of us buy it, and there will be subsidies to help some folks buy it, but we still buy from private insurers.

  4. Canadian health care is so "good" that Canadian Premier Danny Williams is running away from it to the States to get his health care, as are a lot of other Canadians who can't get things done there.

    I've lived under government health care in England, and have friends in Canada. We shouldn't repeat the mistakes of others, but instead should set the example for the world and go back to a full free market model.

    Both effectiveness and freedom demand we abandon this un-American scheme dreamed up by the socialists in Washington.

  5. Bob has to phrase every argument in terms of his opponents being un-American and socialist. Ah, I love the smell of McCarthyism in the morning. Tell it to the judge, Jackley.

  6. Barbara Hall, MD
    Responding to Bob Ellis:
    Canadian health care is not socialized medicine. It is single payer, just like Medicare. And let's put your tired disproved story to rest:


    "Williams needed an operation on his mitral valve. His office admits the procedure was, in fact, available in Canada. It’s more than that, though: Canadian cardiac surgeons happen to be renowned for their expertise in valve repair.

    It was two Canadian physicians who wrote the how-to paper on valve surgery published only late last year in the New England Journal of Medicine. Minimally invasive procedures, the style of surgery Williams chose, are offered in Canada in places like the University of Ottawa Heart Institute."

    The Newfoundland premier is rich and chose to have his surgery in Florida (where he has a condo) in February. It says more about entitlement of the wealthy than any flaws in the Canadian health care system.

  7. Barbara, it is socialized health care. Please stop the deceptive propaganda. Canadians are taxed to pay for that miserable service, just as citizens in other countries with socialized health care are taxed to pay for their miserable service.

    And regards Williams' decision to seek medical care in the U.S., "would have been available" is a pale excuse in the face of the fact that he chose to go hundreds/thousands of miles away to another country instead of having it done in his own country. That speaks volumes...to reasonable people who aren't infatuated with socialism, that is.

    And Cory, I don't "ha[ve] to phrase every argument in terms of his opponents being un-American and socialist." That is only necessary when such arguments and persons actually are socialist and un-American (which is actually a redundant statement, since socialism is contrary to American values and illegal under the U.S. Constitution, and therefore already qualifies as "un-American")

    If you come up with some lousy ideas that aren't socialist in nature or in some way in opposition to our Constitution and our founding values, I'd be happy to debunk them on other terms. But you seem to be drowning in socialist dogma, so it's unlikely that any bad ideas you might have would come from any source other than Marxism.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Ellis, just as your guy who is rich and can afford a cushy trip to Florida to recuperate (what Canadian wouldn't?), I have lots of SD friends who go to Canada and Mexico to have medical work done and prescriptions filled because they can't afford them here in the US.

    Health care isn't about politics, Bob. It's about the relief of suffering and quality of life — human rights I'd expect you to embrace without political qualification.

    And yet you never cease to disappoint.

    Wherever you got religion, man, you should ask for your money back.

  10. Bill, you socialists make it political when you attempt (and in this case, succeed) in subverting the U.S. Constitution by creating an illegal program that operates outside the authority of the Constitution and redistributes the property of one American to another.

    If you'd stick with the Constitution, we'd all be much better off. If you don't like the U.S. Constitution, you should try to get an amendment passed which allows socialist garbage like this, or better yet, go live in one of those socialist enclaves you admire so much.

    As for religion, apparently you have as little regard for Christianity and its teachings as you do for our Constitution, because no where in the Bible will you find a call for government to do what people should be doing themselves. That includes both taking care of ones self, and helping others in need. If someone is in need, you help them--don't send the government to take a fellow American's property to give to them.

    This really isn't rocket science, people.

  11. Again, there is nothing unconstitutional about the Health Care Reform law Bob, except in your fantasy world. Read the Commerce Clause.

    And on the Christian front, you should also reread the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord's prayer.

    "...on Earth as it is in Heaven."

    I'm thinking nobody has to give up their mansion to St. Peter's Hospital if they get sick in paradise.

  12. What do you think, Cory.

    Do they have a single pay system in heaven? Or Public Option? Or does the Government up there (The Holy Trinity) just pick up the whole tab?

    "...thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven..."

  13. Bill, please tell you aren't that ignorant. Please, tell me you aren't that stupid. But then, I guess the only other option is that you are a duplicitous liar if you claim there is nothing unconstitutional about this reprehensible bill.

    Is it an asinine bill? Yes. Is it contrary to American values? Yes. Will it drive up health care costs even more? Yes. Will it degrade the quality and effectiveness of our health care system? Yes. Is it insane to move in the direction that history has taught us over and over and over and over is a terrible idea? Yes. It is all these things, but it is astonishingly clear that it is 100% unconstitutional.

    You're acquainted with Article 1 Section 8 that defines the very few and limited powers the federal government has? You are also acquainted with the Tenth Amendment which states anything not delegated to the federal government is reserved to the states and the people? Please don't tell me they didn't tell you about these things in school, and that in all your years, you never once bumped into this information.

    But if you're truly not trying to deceive people to advance socialism, and you really are ignorant about these things, I suggest you read the brief summary here regarding the Constitution and the extreme clarity we have about such issues: http://www.dakotavoice.com/2009/12/senate-vote-dems-dont-give-a-rip-about-constitutionality/

    If you truly have been ignorant to this valuable information about our Constitution and the American way of life, then after you have taken it all in, I would ask you to consider the wisdom of Lord John Maynard Keynes: "When the facts change [as I am aware of them], I change my opinion. What do you do, sir?"

  14. Oh, and as to whether they have single payer or other such euphemisms for socialism in heaven, put simply, we don't have to worry about such things in heaven.

    But maybe you didn't know about that either. I suggest this resource, starting in Genesis and wrapping up in Revelation: http://www.biblegateway.com/

    By the time you go from Alpha to Omega, you'll understand that God doesn't sanction theft on earth or in heaven, and those who will listen to him and accept his way of doing things will never have to worry about such things in the next life. Those who refuse to listen to him...well, they'll have much bigger worries than health care, because no medical system in the universe is going to help what ails them...ever.

  15. Mr. Ellis,

    Then I suspect you will be sorely disappointed when your arguments are thrown out of court, good sir.

    As with the Bible it seems you just haven't figured how to read it like most of your fellow Americans have.

    Article I Section 8 includes the following sentence as one of the powers Congress has:

    "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

    Last I checked, Health Insurance was a form of Commerce. And as to "The several States?" I'm pretty sure that includes them all.

    Finally, as to your Biblical prowess, Bob. I've got a few pop quizzes for ya, any time you're ready.

    Now, tell me something, why is it that the more wrong you are, the more you write... and the more intimidating you try to become?

    Didn't your mom teach you any manners?

  16. If the court follows the U.S. Constitution, it won't be thrown out of court. That is what the judges have sworn an oath to uphold. It's plain enough that a high school student can grasp it, so a judge ought to be able to.

    They are illegitimate on the face of them because, as even you should be able to realize, anyone purchasing health insurance in the U.S. probably isn't purchasing it from a foreign country, and I know of few if any Indian tribes who are marketing health insurance, and purchasing health insurance from other states is actually something the socialists in congress refused to even consider.

    Come on, Bill. I can see that you can type; certainly you can read, too. It would just be easier on us all if you'd just admit up front that you don't give a flip what the Constitution says if it stands in the way of advancing your socialist goals. I could respect you more if you were honest about it, rather than inventing flimsy excuses to try and lend yourself a facade of supposed respect for American values.

    You don't want to embarrass yourself by asking me questions that my 12-year old daughter could probably answer. Besides, such exercises in self-embarrassment would be far off topic, and I know Cory likes to stay on topic as much as I do.

    Finally, my mother did teach me manners. She also taught me to speak plainly and not to suffer a fool to spew lies and ignorance in public to mislead people. She also taught me to love my country and defend it from people like yourself who are either too ignorant to appreciate it or too hostile to its values to guard it from tyranny.

    While some in congress may not consider they oath they took any more meaningful than mouthing a drive-through order, I take the oath I swore in the military seriously, and will for the rest of my life, to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same.

    That includes not allowing you or Cory or anyone else within my sphere of notice to lie about our Constitution or promote anti-American values without rebuke and correction. No patriotic American should do less.

  17. We can only hope that since National Health Care is now the law of the land, that it works well enough to control costs while improving services to the poor and uninsured without hurting the economy.

    It is very unlikely that the Republicans can gain enough seats in the House and the Senate to override a President Veto of a bill repealing National Health Care. I do see future legislation tweaking the current law to make it better. It's way too early to know exactly what is going to happen. We know that insurance rates were going to go up regardless of what Congress and the President did.

    The only thing I can do is to improve my own situation. As a family, we have decided that physical fitness is a high priority in our lives. My wife and I have used a personal trainer at the Madison Community Center for the last two years and three months. I am in better shape than I've been in since college.

    I am distraught at the anger and hatred on both sides of the aisle.

  18. Of course Ellis stops short of following his own logic here, probably because he fails to grasp that health insurance companies, when they are functioning properly actually involve the administration of health care goods and services which cross state lines. You know, lab technicians, surgery centers, drugs etc.

    And even when when the health insurance are denying claims, they're busy investing their suffering customers' premiums in all sorts of exotic financial instruments designed to enrich the corporations at the expense of the policy holders, again, frequently across state lines.

    So little time, Bob. So much to learn. Where to start?

  19. I guess Ellis better not drive over to Wyoming, or fly to Texas, etc.... or if he does, he better not have a health problem there that puts him a doctors office or a hospital while he's there.

    Because if he does, it sounds like he thinks his Insurance company won't pay for it.

  20. Okay, so Bob, humor me...pop quiz (Cory, with your kind indulgence... I promise to demonstrate relevance to the topic):

    When the women went to the tomb on the third day after Jesus died, whom did they meet there?

    (Choose one)
    1. A man
    2. Two men
    3. An angel
    4. Two angels

    Explain your answer and cite the source.

  21. I second what Michael Black said.

  22. [Bill, indulgence granted. You are permitted to use extreme rhetorical measures to get Bob to see the light. However, I already know Bob's response.

    1. He will impugn your intelligence, maturity, morality, and patriotism.

    2. He will glorify his own re-enactment of the American Revolution and make some brave affirmation of an oath.

    3. He will reject any practical statement of inconvenient fact, like Dr. Hall's explanation of Canadian health care, since only Bob's experience constitutes reality.

    And now here we are talking about Bob instead of policy. Damn.]

    Stan, dno't second all of what Michael said. "National Health Care" is not the law of the land. Not even close. We have an insurance mandate and some nice regulations, but we are far, far, far from real national health care like Canada, the U.K., and France have and like the Kucinich system that works for our senior citizens and that all Americans need. (All Americans: rich and poor, faithful and impious, Tea Bag and Alinksy-reader, hippie and square; people Bob thinks deserve America and salvation... and the other 307 million of us.)

  23. Cory, a few weeks ago you said something uncharacteristically wise, and I had hoped at that time it might prove to be a sprouted seed that might someday grow into maturity and understanding. Though so far I have seen nothing new beyond that initial spark, I still hold out hope.


    In that post, you said that "shame and humiliation is exactly the right response" when people do shameful and humiliating things.

    My public acknowledgment and identification of your shameful acts should help you recognize the error of your ways, help you recognize your need for repentence, and help you change. But so far you have resisted what you need to do.

    The words and advocacy of yourself and several others here are shameful and reprehensible. You have turned your back on your country's founding values, you have spurned our ideals and our very freedoms bought at the price of bloody by many generations of Americans. You have spit upon and shown contempt for our Constitution which has preserved and maintained our liberties and our unique system of civilization for more than 200 years.

    You should be so ashamed for what you have done, and how you have undermind our republic and the freedoms of your fellow Americans, that you could not show even your electronic face in public until you had repented of this and sought the forgiveness of your fellow Americans.

    Unfortunately you are not. You continue to hold onto a rebellious heart. You continue like a spoiled child to insist that your your shameful and self-humiliating acts--just like those children who showed such pathetic disrespect for themselves and the institution they attended--are somehow respectable and legitimate.

    I cannot know for sure, but somehow I suspect that those children have more of a moral compass than you. I have repeatedly attempted to educate you and correct you, and yet you jump up and down insisting that your make-believe flights of fancy be accepted as legitimate. Those children may yet be corrected and turn around, but because too few good people have gone to the trouble to point out your errors, too few Americans have shamed you and denounced your decadent ideas for what they are, you are like the spoiled child who is allowed to continue on in their rebellion and defiance until they are convinced such actions are legitimate.

    You--and some others here--show little promise that you will ever be able to face the reality of your errors, but I continue to hope that with continued education (and hopefully with more and more Americans joining to point to the shame you should feel), you may yet turn away from these destructive philosophies.

    You are vexing at times, and one can be sorely tempted to give up on you, but I still believe in you. I still believe you can change.

  24. Yup, the wronger he is, the longer he writes.

    So Bob, back to reality. Pop quiz:

    When the women went to the tomb on the third day after Jesus died, whom did they meet there?

    (Choose one)
    1. A man
    2. Two men
    3. An angel
    4. Two angels

  25. So telling that Ellis chooses to wag his tongue and forefinger at Cory rather than to rebut the Commerce clause argument. Must be because he can't.

    Also telling is his refusal to answer the pop quiz on the New Testament, a topic he presumably knows something about.

    And it was such a simple question. Empirical in fact. No need to even form an opinion, just tell us what the book says.

    I bet even his 12 year old daughter could do it.

  26. Bill, my God counsels me not to answer a fool according to his folly, and I've already wasted enough time on you here. Your foolishness isn't even worth responding to.

  27. There you go, Cory. So much for Bob's debate skills. Big bag of hot air. Little tiny needle. Poof, he's outa here.


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