Wednesday, March 24, 2010

If Congress Can Require You to Buy Health Insurance... It Can Require You To Do Anything

In an interesting column, David Harsanyi quotes Marquette law professor Richard M. Esenber:
"If Congress can require you to buy health insurance because of the ways in which your uncovered existence (affects) interstate commerce or because it can tax you in an effort to force you to do (any) old thing it wants you to, it is hard to see what -- save some other constitutional restriction -- it cannot require you to do -- or prohibit you from doing."
Sounds about right.

So because we're all in this together, responsible for one another, how about this:

We know obesity is a big health problem in this country. (The First Lady has made it her First Cause.) People who are morbidly overweight add billions to our health care costs every year with their various ailments, diseases and medical conditions. Shouldn't they be required to lose weight by law? Or pay a fine if they don't? Maybe a dollar a pound, per month? That sounds fair doesn't it.

Let's go to the Body Mass Index or BMI calculator (you can find one here

Let's see I am 6'0" and weigh about 215 pounds. According to my BMI, I am just .8 percent short of being officially "obese." I am definitely way overweight and therefore I am substantially increasing my risk of being a burden on our national healthcare system. But if I drop exactly 32 lbs. I just make it into the "normal" range.

And so I should either lose the weight or pay a fine to the government of $32 a month or another $384 a year for my government health insurance.

Figure out how overweight you are? And then calculate what you should be paying our government for your irresponsible behavior and unattractiveness.


Blogger steve mcdonald said...

the BMI system is ridiculous - Check out the episode about it on Penn & Teller's Bull***t (Showtime). You can be a bodybuilder and you're considered obese. Playing football and lifting weights for all these years, not to mention that I'm 6'3" means I've probably been "obese" since high school.

By the way, government is kinda charging into that obese tax - see the city of philadelphia and their sugary drinks tax which makes no sense (If high fructose corn syrup is a killer and since it seems that studies daily provide that just about everything else will kill you, Shouldn't they tax everything but broccoli?)

March 24, 2010 at 10:03 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

You're forced to pay taxes or face prosecution, aren't you? I had to pay for the war in Nam and the invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq. I didn't agree with it but I had no choice, did I? If you were given the choice of either paying for the death and destruction of people half way around the world who have never threatened you or your family, or paying for health care for your fellow Americans, which would you choose? Which should have a higher priority? I sincerely hope your children never have to take advantage of your health care coverage, but can you see a situation where you would find yourself grateful for this legislation?

March 24, 2010 at 10:51 AM 
Blogger Spencerblog said...

No. Not this legislation.

March 24, 2010 at 11:13 AM 
Blogger Bob Bohne said...

Really? Here's a hypothetical. One of your kids gets hurt. They are over 18, but under 26 and have no insurance of their own. Because they are covered until the age of 26 under your policy, they are able to get the medical care they need. You don't have to throw benefits to raise money for them. They don't have to be in debt to the Dr's. for the next 20 years. You wouldn't be grateful? Can you honestly say you wouldn't be grateful? Sorry. I don't believe you. Your bootstrap view of life doesn't always cut it these days. That brings us back to the original problem. Trying to be a responsible working adult and being able to afford health care. It's not like the good old day's when you and I were looking for work. The price of health care is beyond the reach of most young adults. Even the hard working responsible ones. My girl friend is self employed. She pays $850 a month for her health care, and her biggest fear is that if she gets sick, she will be dropped. Try living with that.

March 24, 2010 at 11:28 AM 

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