Monday, April 2, 2012

Progressives Corrupt History, Impugn Founding Fathers

Contrary to what progressives are saying, the individual mandate is unprecedented

Obama's goose-stepping minions are in a panic, grasping for anything to steady their reality-induced vertigo.  Liberal blogger Green Eagle linked to an article claiming a 1798 act passed by congress and signed by President John Adams set a legal and constitutional precedent for the individual mandate.  Yes, they are so desperate that they are trying to prove that the founding fathers invented socialized medicine.  

I did a little googling and found a veritable infestation of such articles.  All of them are laced with snide little jibes about how devastated we " conservative constitution worshipers" will be upon discovering the constitutional treason committed by the founding fathers, who we worship as gods.

I have a little piece of advice for the Left Blogistanis. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Do some research before running off with the first piece of propaganda that suits your pinched worldview.  An unflinching examination of the facts reveal that, as usual, these progressive apologists are mostly full of it.

There is no Individual Mandate in the 1798 Law

The articles citing a precedent for an individual mandate are flat-out wrong, claiming the law mandated "privately employed sailors to purchase healthcare insurance." It clearly does not, so the authors premise is destroyed and thus his argument is invalid. 

What the act did was require ship owners to pay a tax to the US Government in order to dock here.  The funds were used to set up a network of merchant marine hospitals to care for sailors who worked in a very dangerous profession.

Rick Ungar wrote an excellent article in Forbes Magazine making a similar claim, stating the law sets a precedent for single-payer, government run health care. Unlike the first author, he makes a very good case, but still not convincing.

A commenter made a salient counter-argument that is echoed in other rebuttals:
The opposition is that the Federal government cannot constitutionally force American citizens to purchase services from “PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS”.
The monies collected in regards to the Act in question were not required to be paid to a Private institution; they were required to be paid to agents of the Federal government.
The short legal rejection of this argument can be found at the excellent legal site, The Volokh Conspiracy.
So the Act is totally dissimilar to the Obamacare mandate. In the 1798 Act, the government imposes a tax, collects all the tax revenue, and spends the revenue as it chooses.
The Act certainly did not order seamen to purchase any form of private insurance, nor did it order them to purchase any other type of private good. The Act is a solid precedent for federal involvement in health care, and no precedent at all for a federal mandate to purchase private products.  (David Kopel)
As Kopel points out, this act could be cited as a precedent for taxation to fund a single-payer medical system run by the US government (socialized medicine), but not for the individual mandate.  And that is why, to the hand-wringing liberals' chagrin, the White House did not invoke this argument.

Obamista Liberalism:  Intellectually bankrupt and fundamentally dishonest

Lest we believe the founders were proto-socialists, let's dig a little deeper...

Dig a little deeper and what you will see is that the founders taxed merchant shipping companies that docked here and used the tax to fund hospitals for seamen, who performed a very dangerous job at the time.  They were following an older British precedent that pre-dated the founding of our nation.

It is noteworthy that this was not forcing the sailors to purchase something, but a tax on the shipping companies.

It is also notable that the founders did not impose such a scheme on the whole country. No such program existed for farmers, militias or any other group, which makes this a unique circumstance that is being taken out of context.

A better line of argument from liberals would be to use this as a precedent for government socialized medicine, where citizens pay taxes in and get government-provided health care in return.  But even that would be a stretch given the limited nature and historical circumstances of 1798 act.

So no, the founding fathers did not engage in socialized medicine, and what Obama and the Pelosicrats are doing is historically unprecedented.  


Constitutional Insurgent said...

I agree that the premise of historical precedence of a mandate is unfounded, at least until we arrive at Social Security.....but isn't single payer and the current individual mandate two separate arguments?

Most liberals are amateurs when it comes to inventing revisionist history. They clearly need to take lessons from David Barton.

Silverfiddle said...

but isn't single payer and the current individual mandate two separate arguments?

Yes they are. The amateur propagandists are trying to use this 1798 law to make the case for both, but as I've shown, it's not a very good argument.

Ducky's here said...

Yes, they are so desperate that they are trying to prove that the founding fathers invented socialized medicine.


The debate is about INSURANCE not socialized medicine.

The state owning the means of health care delivery has not been proposed.

The right wing fringe display their poor grasp of the issue when they use the phrase.

Ducky's here said...

It is also notable that the founders did not impose such a scheme on the whole country.


Although it forms precedent to in fact extend single payer to the whole country.

If the individual mandate is struck down (as I hope) the next step will be single payer which will pass legal muster.

Silverfiddle said...

@ Ducky: The debate is about INSURANCE not socialized medicine.

Tell that to your fringe leftwing propagandist buddies. They are the ones making the case, not me.

I would love to see the democrat party run this fall on single payer...

Infidel de Manahatta said...

So now they try to insult us by calling us "Constitution Worshippers?"

That's a compliment!

Always On Watch said...

The Left blogistanis have run over the cliff and are following each other's insane and inane statements like a bunch of lemmings.

Duck said: If the individual mandate is struck down...the next step will be single payer which will pass legal muster.

Yes, the single payer system will be proposed and just might past legal muster.

And what of the health insurance companies that are bypassed via the single payer system? What happens to those companies and those employees? And what happens to all those folks in doctors' offices and in hospital offices who keep track of the insurance maze? Even now, many have taken out loans, federal and private, to receive training in insurance handling? One of my cousins just passed that kind of training and got her certificate; she is now able, for the first time, to support her children. She no longer needs any government assistance. I'm sure that many others are in the same situation as my cousin.

Always On Watch said...

I would love to see the democrat party run this fall on single payer...

It would be seen an as end run around what was supposed to be the Obama administration's big accomplishment -- and as more smoke and mirrors.

I don't believe that Americans will support the single payer system. Not at this point, anyway.

Joe Conservative said...

The government is perfectly free to use tax money to set up more Public Health Service hospitals and Offer all kinds of free services with them... but why they feel compelled to destroy a perfectly good "free market" care system by making it illegal to purchase private health care services ( single payer) is beyond me.

Bunkerville said...

Sebelius said she’s confident the Supreme Court will uphold the mandate, but that there are alternatives if it doesn’t.

“I think we keep going,” she said. “We find ways to encourage people to become enrolled and become insured. And the mandate’s the fastest way to do it, and it just says, basically, everybody’s got some responsibility. But there are other ways to encourage people to come in.” The Hill

The Courts nor Congress never stopped them before, why should they think they would have to abide by them now?

dmarks said...

Ducky said: "The right wing fringe display their poor grasp of the issue when they use the phrase."

As before, the fringe right is not ever present in these debates.

Obama himself has stated that his preference/goal is single-payer, which means that "Obamacare" is a stepping stone to socialist medicine. Any part of Obamacare we dismantle slows down the "progress" to healthcare being a monopoly controlled by the ruling elites.

Silver said: "I would love to see the democrat party run this fall on single payer..."

Yes. It works in North Korea. So why not here?

Joe Conservative said...

Single Payer health benefits for all Americans should be regulated under the "Outlawing of Commerce" clause of the US Constitution...

oh, wait, there isn't one... is there?

Anonymous said...

Obamacare has always been a stepping stone to single payer universal health care. They try to argue it is not a tax when a tax would be inconvenient to their cause and try to argue it is a tax when that is convenient to their cause. They can't have it both ways.

dmarks said...

Joe: Do you really consider it a "benefit"? For the government to take all healthcare choices away from the people?

Joe Conservative said...

Do you have a problem with satire, dmarks?

Joe Conservative said...

The point is that if theliberals can't regulate health care under the "Commerc" clause, they will argue it under the outlawing of commerce clause, proving once again that the Constitution" offers no limitting principles that they are willing to observe.

And isn't Single Payer a defacto outlawing of commerce under a euphonious sounding substitute for the word "socialism"?

Trekkie4Ever said...

It's always important to do your research before posting something, especially regarding the historical documents.

No matter how much the liberals would love to believe that socialized medicine is constitutional it is not.

The government does not have the right to force anyone to have it or carry it. Period.

Z said...

Sibelius said “I think we keep going,” she said. “We find ways to encourage people to become enrolled and become insured. And the mandate’s the fastest way to do it, and it just says, basically, everybody’s got some responsibility. But there are other ways to encourage people to come in.” ??

The scary part is I wonder when they'll get to 'encouraging' people by holding their folded arms up their backs as tight and high as it can go. That's what this mess of thugs' mandates feel like to me.

Finntann said...

1798? Hey isn't this the same congress that passed the Alien & Sedition Acts?

Got news for you folks, just because there is precedent doesn't make anything constitutional.

The Alien and Sedition Acts, under which Congressman Matthew Lyon was idicted and was fined $1000 and sentenced to four months for accusing the administration of "ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation, and selfish avarice" (hmmm....).


Ducky's here said...

Well AOW, the answer to your question would be that non profit insurers would serve much the same purpose as single payer.

It's a good compromise so the fringe right won't have anything to do with it despite the success in the rest of the developed world.

We can count on the fringe right to play Micky the Dunce and come up with short bus idiocy like, "Yes. It works in North Korea. So why not here."

Meanwhile, your insurance costs WILL increase and you still won't be able to tell me why you enjoy paying 20% vigorish to insurance companies. Your choice, I guess it's easier to go on about "socialized medicine" than deal with this.

Silverfiddle said...

The Real Micky the Dunce is one who believes armies of government "experts" can control a large and complex market. Hayek called it a fatal conceit, I think.

Put our health care in the hands of King Midas in Reverse, who has racked up tens of trillions in debt?

No thanks. I'll take my chances...

Ducky's here said...

No armies of insurance company clerks can control a complex market. Bore me later.

Silverfiddle said...

The purpose of insurance is not to control the market, but to shield the customer from the misfortunes and vagaries of life.

Go get bored on yourself.

KP said...

I see Obamacare (the entire bill) as a misconceived effort. And, as bad, the way it was passed (+ the gavel walk) will not be forgiven by the right. The best parts of the bill should be done over. It is a bad bill.

Having said that, as someone closer to the center who works in medicine, there are serious parts of the bill that need the attention of Repubs and Dems in a joint effort if the mandate is struck down. I think most of us agree with that.

Catstrophic medical issues happen, no matter how spiritual, educated or what your station is in life. Once you are afflicted, all of those things do matter. As does your access to superior health care.

I am conflicted. On the one hand the only way I see everyone being covered is via a system like Medicare for all. I have never been in favor of that.

Having been a provider for the last thirty years and having navigated it the last three years with a mom in end of life care, I see that it is at once a good program and one that already limits care. Trewatment guidlines are set by case managers and occupational threapists more than physicians. It's done by maths. The physicians work from a position of saving liives and doing what's best for the patient. Health care case managers and PTs direct cost savings. Such a tough situation.

Obamacare was a political nightmare for this country. It was the big wedge that wasted Obama's political capital In my view, the Medicare system for all will not happen for another twenty years because of Pelosi, Reid and Obama's fixation. it cost them the in the 2010 elections. It will cost this country for the next twenty years. it is the reason we need one party control in the Congress and a Republican president for at least two years.

John Carey said...

This is how the progressive left rolls Silver. They interpret a rule or an Act to benefit their position then they sell it to the masses as the gospel truth. It's a numbers game because there will be a certain number of people who don't take the time to do the research that buy into the lie. This is the secret to their success.

KP said...

John, I think it is safe to there are groups of people who don't do the research and buy into the lie. Both the far left and the far right feel the same way. Here is where we may differ. I think the uninformed don't vote. For goodness sake, on a good Prez election we get 60% turnout!

Interstingly, about 40% of likiely voters identify themselves as independants. 25% of them will decide the election.

If I were an ideologue that would give me pause? Clearly, the far left and far right cannot both be correct. Are the they are out of touch with most Americans?

My view, Libertarians represent the best of the left and right combined.

Jersey McJones said...

KP, I agree with you. We need healthcare when we need it. We never know when we may need it, but eventually, like taxes, we're going to pay. That's life...

...And death.

Death happens to be extremely expensive these days, but remember, once the Boomers pass, the numbers will go down. Just like that, 10, 20, 30 years from now, the numbers will go down. The bills will be lighter and lighter.

We could have at least a non-profit options. Doctors, nurses, scientists, and researchers would be glad to chip in for that. Can't we at least do that???


Anonymous said...

" I think the uninformed don't vote."Keep America away from Socialism and Socialists away from America.

~ FreeThinke

KP said...

<< We could have at least a non-profit options. Can we do that? >>

Yes, JMJ, we have can do that. In fact, we are doing that, but we can do much more.

Of note, doctors and nurses are already chipping in. Recall, time is the most precious thing any of us have to give.

I hope you know that doctors often knowingly give away their service and their time at an astounding rate. Today, they make half of what they did in the 80s and 90s and often graduate with $250,000 or more in loans. These are good people.

Again, as you know, hidden in each of our medical costs today are Americans paying for the uninsured. A patient of mine went down on her bike last week. She broke her clavicle. Her two hour ER visit cost over $49,000. That was before her bills to see a specialist after being released. Before her surgery to plate her crushed clavilcle. Before meds, before rehanb, and everthihg else over the next six months. She was insured. The gal who was behind her and fell on her breaking her ribs and unijured, is from Finland. She is consciously unisured. I had a frrank discussion with her!


KP said...

In our nation there are 1% of the population of health care users who account for 22 percent of health costs, according to a federal health agency report released in January, which included the elderly and those with chronic illnesses.

Repeated calls to 911 from patients who are mentally disabled and or homeless are among the most frustrating entry points to the medical system, and a burden to local taxpayers.

“In San Diego, according to the city medical director’s office, 1,136 frequent users are on course to use the EMS system at least six times this year, and to generate more than $20 million in ambulance and paramedic charges alone. They represent a minuscule eight-hundredths of a percent of the city’s population yet account for more than 17 percent of paramedic and ambulance calls in the city.”

CRAP! Imagine if in the process of saving money, you could actually help these people!

The cost is borne by the taxpayers without ever taking a look at how that money could be better spent. We must find benchmarks or incentives to provide higher quality care for Vets and others who are disabled. When hospitals and ER rooms take care of more people like this for free, we pay for it. I personally know doctors workoing in ER rooms who do treat and know they will never, ever get paid.

A better model is Kaiser Permanante. All docs there are on salary. A pediatrician can see 30 patients or 60 patients and is paid the same. Members, like Medicare, get pay into the system. There is an element of cost control, but care is top shelf.

Silverfiddle said...

Excellent insight, KP. Thanks!

If congress wanted to do something they should have started small. Figure out how to take care of the poor and indigent, help set up some kind of catastrophic care insurance, and see what they can do about maximum caps.

That would have gone a long way towards fixing a big percentage of the problems, and doing it in a free market where people see what they are paying and have their own skin in the game.

Ducky's here said...

It would take care of some issues but te bulk of the money is spent in the last couple years of life.

Anyone who doesn't have a living will is being quite selfish and anyone asking for extraordinary effort to extend a poor quality of life should be shunned.

Always On Watch said...

Well AOW, the answer to your question would be that non profit insurers would serve much the same purpose as single payer.

To a point, but not completely.

There won't be the number of insurance companies to juggle.

Did I mention that many have taken out loans to get that training I mentioned? The borrowers will not be able to pay back those loans.

KP said...

SF, yes, the congress and the new President should have started small. I see it as a huge miscalculatio of a realtively green politician relyinbg on ideologues from Chicago. I was never thought health care reform was not the singular objective of Obamacare. It has become quite clear it was not. It was a not so subtle power grab.

KP said...

Sorry for the typos.

Ducky's here said...

What gets lost is the true defect of Obamacare. Are we going to permit the government to demand we purchase something over which we have NO control of the price?

No regulation, an antitrust exemption and we are compelled to participate.

That's what is unconstitutional. Of course the private market isn't any better but so long as the government isn't involved the fringe right don't mind being reamed.

KP said...

Ducky -- I think everybody minds being reamed. What I would like to see is a real attempt to allow competant competition. Let successful models like the Mayo clinic and Kaiser Permenante in California compete out of state.

When patients experience these streamlined well intentioned medical groups you can "feel" the difference.

I sang the praises of Blue Cross and Aetna through the 80s and 90s. That ended because the stellar coverage ended. It's a new day and a new dawn.

Always On Watch said...

I know all about being reamed by health insurance companies. 30+ years of paying premiums while in good health costing the companies nearly nothing -- only to be assigned as high risk and then having to pay triple the usual premium.

MathewK said...

"Do some research before running off with the first piece of propaganda that suits your pinched worldview."

No, not don't warn them, there's much fun to be had watching liberals sprinting away only to trip over their own stupidity and come crashing down in a heap.

Anonymous said...

Aha! I've got it. by Jove, I've got it!


Another in a growing list of accurate and colorfully descriptive titles for Marxists, Communists, Socialists, Progressives, Liberals, Dictocrats, Marxicrats, Nannycrats, Tyrannists, Despotists –– whatever you want to all 'em.


Yes. I like it. It has a nice "ring" to it -- the Ring of Truth.

~ FreeThinke