Can the Federal Government Mandate Health Insurance?

Can the Federal Government Mandate Health Insurance?

If Massachusetts can force its citizens to
buy health insurance or if other states can force their citizens to buy car insurance,
why can’t the federal government force us all to buy health insurance? Well the answer,
from a constitutional perspective, is relatively straightforward. It’s because the federal
government is a government of limited and enumerated powers only. So every time Congress
passes a law, it must prove that that law is based in one of the powers specified in
Article 1, Section 8. So with the individual mandate, for example, that power source is
the power to regulate commerce. But when state legislatures act they’re not limited that
way. State legislatures are not governments or
legislatures of limited and enumerated powers. Instead, state legislatures have residual
power, or police power is what it’s commonly referred to. And the police power is what
it sounds like: it’s the power of police. It allows the state to pass any kind of law
it wants in the name of enhancing or protecting our life, our liberty, our property, perhaps
even morality. And it doesn’t have to ground its state laws in any particular enumerated
power source. So state legislatures really have a lot more
power than the federal government does. It was supposed to be that way. That’s the
message of the 10th Amendment to the Constitution, which says any power that’s not given to
the federal government by this Constitution is reserved to the states respectively or
to the people.

40 thoughts on “Can the Federal Government Mandate Health Insurance?

  1. Let's hope we can rely on the power of the constitution, now in a day and age where freedoms are slowly being taken away. Let's hope for no Obamacare mandate on RFID chips.

  2. 0:00 "If [the State of] Massachusetts can force its citizens to buy health insurance or if other states can force their citizens to buy car insurance, why can't the federal government force us all to buy health insurance?"

    Because a certain document written over 200 years ago has magical powers? Come on. Please ask the real liberty questions.

  3. ^The reason why I inserted the phrase "the State of" into the above quote is to remind people that "Massachusetts" is a place. "The State of Massachusetts" is a name that we use to refer to a certain criminal organization that tyrannizes the people living in that place. I realize that the name "The State of Massachusetts" is long and so it is often nice to abbreviate it to "Massachusetts." This is fine. I'm just reminding people that geographic locations can't force people to buy anything.

  4. The real shouldn't be about the constitution. Its about morality as a whole. Basically since the invention of "government" all individuals within governments have acted immorally.

  5. A law (which defines crime) is an opinion with a gun. Take away guns from laws and all you have are opinions, just as they should be.

  6. This lady keeps using the word "force". Force equals the removal of choices. AKA Slavery. If a government "forces" you to do anything then you are at some level a slave.

  7. Stop asking if this or that is "Constitutional". Instead ask if the US Constitution is "Moral" to begin with.

  8. What's up, Ms. Foley, professor of law? I am completely untrained in your field, but I wanted to make sure that you have heard of the "commerce" "general welfare" and "necessary and proper" clauses and were aware of around 200 years of history of debate on those topics, even as the constitution was being written. Straightforward, you say?

  9. Yes, anarcho-capitalist, but I usually identify as just "market anarchist" (or "libertarian") because if the free market turns out to reflect socialistic patterns of ownership instead of capitalistic patterns of ownership then that's fine by me. I'm neither for or against capitalism or socialism politically. Personally I do prefer capitalism because I think it brings greater wealth and prosperity, but that's irrelevant to my political views.

  10. Yes, only individuals can force others to buy stuff. Although we still say things like "I bought this pizza from Pizza Hut" even though in reality you bought it from an individual. Similarly, I think it's alright to say that the State forces people to do things. The state is just a criminal organization. Just as it's fine to say that a pizza organization can sell me pizza I think it's fine to say that the State can use force against people. Geographic locations, though?

  11. I disagree. If I start attacking you and you use force against me to push me away, then I wouldn't say that you were enslaving me at all. Rather, you would be rightfully defending yourself with legitimate force.

  12. what's scary is if they reise taxes by the amount of the fine, and then offer a tax credit for that amount to people with health insurance, then exactly the same law becomes constitutional.

  13. perhaps they'll come with their guns, because the Constitution has no meaning to the federal government anymore.

  14. The government has been forcing people to buy social security. How is health insurance any different? If they said no to health insurance- they would have to say no to Social Security too.

  15. Yep, since 1913 actually since the creation of income taxation specifically and the creation of the Federal Reserve to enforce the unseen inflation tax. Slaves were essentially taxed 100%. So if you are taxed 50% then you are half a slave to your government.

  16. Mandating everyone purchase health insurance isn't anymore going to lower healthcare costs or solve the healthcare crisis anymore than mandating home ownership for everyone would end homelessness.

  17. That sounds… broken. Its like letting your kids live in your household all their life and their allowed to do whatever they want in their rooms, but you are bound by a century old rule book on what you can do and how you can regulate… yep sounds legit

  18. Because it is a really smart book made for an intelligent society. That is why if we let them change this book we are also making true that we are a stupid society.

  19. "to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy."
    – Thomas Jefferson

  20. That's what amendments are for. But you hacks know you don't have enough support for them, so you endrun around the Constitution. Original Meaning is the ONLY intellectually way to interpret the Constitution, and Progressives openly admit they oppose it. Instead, they follow the "living document" "theory" – which is not about "interpretation" at all, but simply "how can we twist this enough to convince the gullible masses that the document says what we WANT it to say".

  21. The car insurance issue is moot to this argument when my health has no impact on the health of others….. you can injure or kill someone with an automobile.

  22. the difference between car and gov. health insurance is that if i don't want car insurance i can walk, take a bus or carpool but if i don't want health insurance i get fined and the fact that health insurance companies won't be able to compete with the gov.

  23. The government cant force you to buy anything, that is a denied power of the government. But they used a loop hole to force people to buy it. No its not forcing people to buy health insurance, no, its just a tax and we are going to reward everyone with free healthcare coverage. Thats just wrong to advertise any gov program as free. The government doesn have money, not a cent. Every cent came from a person who paid taxes so thank the people, not the GOD DAMN government.

  24. Unique thing about America, don't like one state? go to another. Founding fathers saw the European government was too big and built in the Constitution for a small government to keep the budget low. This is backwards and unconstitutional. Now, no matter what state you need to buy in healthcare, to get out of this you will need to leave the country. We left England because we were taxed to death, now here we are again. If only Washington can stick to the script, defeats having a Constitution.

  25. Those are fairy tales. The Federal government is the the institution deciding what is constitutional or not, by bureaucrats appointed by politicians wearing a black robe.

    If the supreme court gets out of line, the President just has to threaten to "pack the court", as FDR, and they will get gently in line to put their seal of approval on to the laws passed by politicians.

    The constitution is there to give a pretense of legitimacy to the politician laws, not to actually limit the government.

  26. What about the supreme court mandating that the mandate has a basis in the constitution? This video is hilariously out of touch with reality.

  27. Changing the owners isn't going to do shit. Don't want to end the fed? Fine, then at least audit it. A completely private institution can't be controlling our government and laws.

  28. Roads are public places. You most likely use your chainsaw at home or own a business that is insured. Then if you injure someone with a pool cue or a knife you most likely will be charged with a crime.

  29. This video has nothing to do with Obamacare and really has no value on that subject. Basically it shows that state vs Federal exists. Other then that this Video should not be contorted into a anti Obamacare video.

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