Can the Federal Government Mandate Health Insurance?
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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.

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

  1. Our healthcare is a little broken. If the people chose it, then those holes might be fixed and we'd live perfectly fine.

  2. If it was, what business is it of the government? But technically it's not broken. You can still see a doctor. The problem is it's expensive. You have to ask yourself why it's expensive. That's because of government involvement. It dates back to the First Great Depression when it enforced wage controls. So businesses competed by offering health benefits. Hospitals and the AMA lobbied congress for special treatment and 70 years later we have this monstrosity.

  3. The Supreme Court might get activist and repeal Health care against what's in Federalist #71. They're subordinate to Congress, but we've allowed them to decide the future of the United States and Democracy.

  4. The 'General Welfare' clause was interpreted in 1937 to mean that the US Federal Gov had the authority to tax & spend money on (and otherwise pretty much 'do') absolutely anything it wants as long as it could be remotely related in some politician's spin to the idea of 'helping' the nation. This clause somehow overrides all other clauses in the constitution (according to that decision).

    Taxing and spending however does not allow coercing people to purchase.

  5. simple, car insurance not being covered would also negatively effect OTHERS that are effected by your potential reckless driving and causation of an accident, so a mandate on car insurance would be appropriate on those grounds at least, but I see no justification of the health insurance mandate. It all boils down to how much you care about your own personal health. Your body is yours, and you are free to do whatever you wish with it.

  6. Wage controls has nothing to do with the problems of health care. Government involvement and social safety nets (ie different health insurance policies like SS) helped bring us out of the Depression when austerity didn't work. Also, why would Iceland, Brazil, or Germany be prospering when they regulate their markets more than the US has? Also, you might want to look into the Glass Steagall Act. Those are regulations that helped us. Government helps the general welfare. Not lack thereof.

  7. uhm no, wage controls have absolutely nothing to do with why tort reform is necessary, the cost of everything rises every year due to interest rates alone. Tort reform is necessary to keep the greedy from becoming idiotic in their pricing. Where do you think doctors offices get their pricing from, the don't they make it up, entirely. It doesn't actually cost them $80-120 to see someone, it doesn't even cost them that for the few minutes the secretary gets your data or the time they talk to you

  8. I suppose you'll tell me it's normal for a patient who's getting a ct scan by a regular doctor to get a bill for a scan of only a tiny portion of their body for $9000 , yeah that's normal pricing, suppose someone is getting paid $8900 and that's what they need such a large bill for so they can pay that one person that amount.

  9. so let's see all of you who are against this are also for keeping the requirement to have car insurance? hypocritical…

  10. You can be required to buy car insurance as a prerequisite to drive on pubic roads. How can that in any way equivalent to having to buy health insurance just bacuase you are alive ? Again this channel shows itself to be nothimg more then pro corperate liberty and nothing more.

  11. I don't understand what you are saying. Why don't you write real sentences instead of using commas like they're going out of style? Ok, based on what I THINK you're trying to write is a CT scan for a small portion of the body costs $9000 because they have to pay someone $8900? Is that what your'e saying? Look, I can't justify prices when the system has been warped and twisted by the government. What I do know is prices would be a lot less if the government never got involved from the start.

  12. Because putting the health and lives of people in the hands of distant, unaccountable bureaucrats who don't even know their names is an idea that just can't fail.

  13. MAY it?
    Not according to the Constitution.
    You are right that it can, and that it should not.
    But it also MAY not, because in so doing it violates the social contract and undermines its own legitimacy. It has no legitimate authority to regulate in the area of health care.

  14. did you ever find it curious that we (Americans in general) made such a BIG deal about only allowing 2 consecutive terms to our Presidents, yet LIFE LONG powers to supreme court judges?

  15. If one takes complete responsibility for one's own health and doesn't buy health insurance (which is like life insurance, betting on one's own demise) then the money saved can be used in self help tools such as health books and videos, organic food, organic skin and hair products, water filters and purifiers where significant health IMPROVEMENT will be noticed. The health care industry has been making money by killing us for decades and this is their clincher…

  16. It is not deregulated in any meaningful way, when 'government' says deregulated they mean re-regulated a different way.

  17. The requirement for automobile insurance to use your vehicle on state roads is not a mandate to cover yourself but those you might injure.
    The automobile insurance that your lender requires is also not for the buyer but for the loan holder and is something you are voluntarily agreeing to when you borrow money to buy a car.

  18. I'm with you on the voluntary nature of insurance when an automobile is financed. However, insurance required by government is to cover yourself against liability incurred when you damage someone or their belongings. You would be responsible for the damages either way, insurance just allows you to reduce your out of pocket cost at the time of the accident in exchange for an insurance premium. And of course you'll be accosted by a man with a gun if you don't have insurance…

  19. Is it really necessary to have car insurance to pay for any damages you might make on the road? I mean that person who had thier car damaged if you got in a car accident could still sue you in court and the court has the power to decide who is paying what and why instead of forced to spend a ton of money on car insurance. Not to mention that it is extremely unfair to those who drive safely and have never gotten into car accidents.

  20. We didn't. They actually took that power from Congress through Chief Justice Marshall and it's unconstitutional. In effect, it's the federal government giving themselves more powers.

  21. ''did you ever find it curious'' No, I think it is meant to be that way. To protect the judges from being influeced by future career prospects & other threats to their impartiality. And given the evidence of revolving doors from regulatory agencies that concern seems warrented.

  22. yet they made such a big deal out of 4 year terms for presidents so new regimes could come in, why do we make that exception with federal justices. if one man can't become king in one area of govt why can one become a kind in another branch? makes zero sense to me, but then, the electorial college never made any sense to me either

  23. Did somebody erase the general welfare clause in your copy of the CONstitution. Government can do anything it decides is good for us, enumerated powers not withstanding. This document is a contract among those who signed it. It expired when they did.

  24. You got it exactly right. If you haven't watched it already, watch John Stossel's 20/20 on health care (it's on youtube). I'm sure you would enjoy it.

  25. Isn't it allowed with the justification being "interstate commerce." which is a bullshit justification btw.

  26. healthcare is not expensive because of government it's expensive because of the free market! It takes a lot of school and expertise to become any kind of doctor let alone a specialist! I'm sick of people blaming the government for it being expensive. the government constantly puts downward pressure on costs and is forced to pay more because for some reason we think healthcare should be a private endeavor! Single payer would be best! Isn't it a right to live? healthy? it's liberty!

  27. @Observerx10 "This document is a contact among those who signed it. It expired when they did." With a straight face, how can you make that claim? I've never heard such garbage. "Government can do anything it decides is good for us"?? Unreal

  28. there are some things that the "free market" should have nothing to do with. one is human life. I think the affordable healthcare act sucks like everybody else! Because it is basically double welfare! Corporate and civic. this is disgusting because human health and life are supposedly protected under the constitution yet some how we think it's OK to make them a condition of having wealth to pay for it! Life Liberty and the pursuit of happiness! Notice the first most important word is LIFE!

  29. If humans do not eat, then they die. That is why we shouldn't have a market for food. Oh, wait. I mean, if humans do not have shelter, then they die. That is why we shouldn't have a market for housing. Oh…

  30. Federal government is already forcing me to pay for a bunch of services I don't want via taxes, so why not force me to buy health insurance too? Then regulate my diet and maybe even monitor my thoughts. Oh Orwell, should've titled the book 2014.

  31. Life= you have the right to not be killed and to take care of yourself by any means necassary so long as you do not infringe upon those rights of another.

  32. I guess that means healthcare was even more expensive before the government got involved decades ago. I guess the way you'll explain why it was cheaper then was it lacked all the advancements we have now that the free market gave us. Then explain why all the advancements in other areas where government isn't involved get better and cheaper? The computer you're using right now is more powerful than those IBM mainframes back in the sixties that cost millions.

  33. A stronger argument: It is immoral for any institution to force someone (the citizen) to buy a product (health insurance) at gunpoint (the state) under threat of death (state prison for resistance to police force).

  34. Dude, for real. And what if I don't have kids? Not only will I die, but my genes won't pass on. We should have government arranged marriages and government mandated reproduction.

  35. marriages? who said anything about marriage? The way things are going marriage is a worthless institution. Or at least that is how many people now see it.

  36. I was being sarcastic. Check the comments I was responding to. I don't actually think we should have such a thing.

  37. If powers are reserved "to the people," does that not mean the people can refuse to pay state-mandated car insurance?

  38. State government police powers? That reminds me… RON PAUL 2012: The federal government has no right to screw you, that power belongs to the states. Say no to federal authoritarianism, and say yes to state authoritarianism.

  39. You misunderstand my point on wage controls. I was referring to the history of how employers offered health benefits as a third party payer as a result of government-mandated wage controls. Employers still need to compete for labor even if the government won't allow them to via wages.

  40. Wage controls during the GD got employers in the business of offering health benefits as a third party. If it's so important for employers to offer health benefits, why not get them involved in help paying for your grocery bills? Surely food is more important than health care. The safety nets you speak of are illusory. Just because they've appeared to work is like saying pain killers cure diseases.

  41. ok good point but in all of those situations there is in this country anyways a way for you to get all those things outside the private market and I think you should have the same option with healthcare!

  42. regulate means to make regular, it is to prevent states from putting tariffs on each other. the mandate has nothing to do with that which is why it will be ruled unconstitutional on monday

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. ^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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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.

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

  50. 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?

  51. 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.

  52. 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?

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

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

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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.

  59. 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

  60. 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.

  61. "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

  62. 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".

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. 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.

  66. 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.

  67. 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.

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

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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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