There are 3 major things I hate about the mandate.
1. The pro-choice crowd is always quick to say the government should keep it’s laws off of their bodies. Good idea. I feel the same way, the government should keep it’s laws off of peoples bodies. Yet mandating everyone buy insurance for their bodies seems to run afoul of that idea. If you accept the idea that the government can force people to buy insurance because of the commerce clause, than I have to ask the question of why the government can’t force women to participate in commerce in a similar way, byrequiring some get abortions. On the flip side, if the power of the commerce clause is indeed that extensive, why can the government not prohibit abortion? Either decision made by a pregnant woman does have an effect on commerce.
2. There is also the issue of minimum wage. I think the minimum wage is detrimental because it sets a lower limit on what the cost of buying an hour of someone’s labor is. That means a person willing to work for 6 dollars an hour and the business who places only $6 value on that labor, cannot make a deal. This mandate tosses another huge fixed cost per employee onto employers, therefore further artificially increasing the cost of an hours work. That will almost certainly result in layoffs, the elimination of certain jobs that aren’t worth paying someone to do when that expense is counted, and finally scores of companies are, or will be, dropping coverage they have been voluntarily been including in compensation packages. It’s simply cheaper to pay the fine and says you are on your own.
3. Unlike taxes, there is no way to avoid the mandate as a resident of the US. If I don’t wish to pay income taxes, I don’t have to do so, I just need to stop earning income. Those who would say “sure you can avoid it, you just have to leave!1!!!!111!!” are being intentionally ignorant. I assume the people who make that claim don’t extend it to much else or they would see the stupidity of their argument. Lets say you think firearms should be more tightly controlled, why don’t you just leave? Think there is too much religion seeping into government? Just leave! Think the rich should pay more in taxes? Leave! Like I said, it’s a stupid and lazy argument.
Why not extend this to other things as well. If the government has this power of mandate, why not also require people to buy gym memberships or buy more vegetables? Both of those things would go a little way toward shedding pounds from tubby people. Why not mandate that everyone own a dog or cat? Why not mandate membership in a church or a secular organization that fosters a strong sense of community? There are after all, a huge number of both to choose from.
You see, I’ve seen multiple studies showing all of those things extend life span and quality of life, I’m not even going to bother searching out any of them, they are well known and easy to find (and I’m in a hurry). The argument that the mandate is constitutionally regulating interstate commerce could easily be applied to the other things I mentioned, as could the argument that the mandate benefits the “public good”. You might be thinking I’m making the slippery slope argument, and I can see how you would think that, but it isn’t the case. If we are going to believe the healthcare mandate is within the boundaries of what the government can do, it seems stupid to not also mandate the purchase other things beneficial to life span and the quality thereof. So I’m not making the slippery slope argument, that the mandate will open up a pandora’s box of abuses and/or intrusions into peoples private lives, I’m merely asking the question of why there aren’t mandates on other things as well if this is permissible.