Today the LA Times published an interesting opinion article that opposes health care mandates in a way I hadn’t yet heard. The authors claim that such mandates are unconstitutional.
“â€¦The federal government does not ordinarily require Americans to purchase particular goods or services from private parties.
The closest we come is when government imposes a condition on the grant of a discretionary benefit or permit. For instance, in most states, you must have auto insurance to drive a car, or you are required to install fire sprinklers when building a new house. But in such cases, the “mandate” is discretionary — you don’t have to drive a car or build a house. Nor do you have a constitutional right to do so.
But Americans do have a constitutional right to live in the United States. Accordingly, neither federal nor state governments can require you to purchase health insurance as a “condition” for residency.”
The piece goes on to demonstrate that the health care mandate proposals are part of disturbing legislative trend of using government to forcibly to transfer value from one private party to another.