An Unappealing Idea
By Hadley Heath
Well, bad news for Liberty University Tuesday – Judge Moon granted the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss their case. And today they have filed for appeal.
Judge Moon, like Judge Steeh in Michigan (Thomas More case), agrees with President Obama that the individual mandate is within the constitutional powers of Congress. And like Steeh, Moon was appointed by President Clinton.
I read Moon’s Memorandum Opinion, and in it he cites these arguments about health care from the Defendants:
Defendants argue that decisions to forego health insurance coverage are economic and substantially affect the interstate health care market because the uninsured, when sick, are able to obtain emergency room care for little or no money, shifting the costs for that uncompensated care on to health care providers, the insured population in the form of higher premiums, and the government. Defendants contend that the costs of providing health care are multiplied by individuals who make the economic calculation not to purchase health insurance during the years when they are healthy but opt back into the health insurance system later when they need care.
Moon largely agrees with this explanation of the U.S. health care system, and rules, in his 54-page opinion, that the government has the power to mandate that everyone buy health insurance because the purchase or non-purchase of insurance affects national supply, demand, prices, and markets.
Let’s follow that logic for a minute.
What are some decisions that we make that might affect supply, demand, prices, and markets? Well, nearly every decision is economic in some way or another. But, here, I’ll give an example of one decision that individuals can make that greatly affects the economy:
The decision to have a child.
The decision to [have a child] is economic and substantially affects interstate markets, because [the poor], when [parents], may be able to obtain [food stamps, government aid, education, child care, etc.] for little or no money, shifting the costs for that [un-provided-for child] on to others – [social workers, teachers, taxpayers, and the government]. The costs of providing [for children] are multiplied by individuals who make the economic calculation not to [plan financially for a child’s birth] during the years [before they have the child.]
It’s the same logic, so according to Moon, President Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, and Eric Holder, Congress should be able to regulate people's ability to have children since it's really an economic decision. There we go! Congress should think about making it illegal for families below a certain income level to have too many kids. And, while they are at it, they should think about requiring wealthy people to have children, because then they might consume more which might have a positive effect on national markets. If the government has the power to mandate decisions that affect the economy, boy, this is the one!
Do we see why this is unconstitutional?
I don’t mean to use scare tactics. I don’t mean to say Obama will limit the number of children someone can have. I just mean to point out the flawed logic in Moon’s opinion. The government doesn’t have the power to force someone to take an action just because it's considered good for the economy. Our Founding Fathers knew this when they wrote the Constitution; I don’t think they ever anticipated Moon’s kind of interpretation.