Reading the Los Angeles Times, you might think there are two different Los Angeles, in two parallel universes.
On the one hand, Karl Mannheim and Jamie Court criticize Hillary Clinton’s and Barrack Obama’s proposals for mandatory, private, health insurance by correctly asserting that that the Constitution does not give lawmakers the right to compel an American to buy goods or services from a private company. (Mr. Court is the head of the self-styled Consumer Watchdog, a.k.a. Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights, a group that consistently advocates for more government control over people’s lives, especially when the ‘Dog profits from the regulations.)
I’m not aware of any free-market analysts who have made similar criticisms to plans like the one in Massachusetts, that (unsuccessfully) require residents to buy health insurance. That may be because we figure the horse has escaped the barn, so to speak. But if the folks on the other side are going to cite the Constitution to block mandatory private health insurance, could they please be consistent in their interpretation?
According to the Father of the Constitution, James Madison: “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that part of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents,” thereby invalidating the entire welfare state.
However, Messrs. Mannheim & Court tout “Medicare for all” as their alternative: government-monopoly health care that is equally unconstitutional. I suppose their view is that if the state takes your money and gives it to a private company, that is bad, but if it gives it to its own bureaucracy, that’s just fine.
But there’s a good reason why the Founding Fathers wanted to limit the role of the government in what we now call “social welfare,” and Evan Halper’s article, published the same day, illustrates it very well. It decribes “An Exodus from Medi-Cal,” by doctors who can no longer afford to practice under that limited government health plan, Medicaid. Halper describes the poorest Californians forced to wait for months for treatment, similar to my home country, Canada.
Maybe Messrs. Mannheim & Court should have read that article before sentencing every American to such cruelty. Real health reform has nothing to do with deciding to whom the government may or may not hand over your health care dollars – it consists of giving those health care dollars back to you, the patient, to spend as you decide.