I’m not a lawyer. I don’t anything about Constitutional law or any of the precedents involved in the present Supreme Court case on Obama’s health care plan.
But this Mother Jones article by Adam Serwer about it seems pretty vapid to me. Why, Serwer criticizes Solicitor General Verrilli, the guy defending the law to the court, for coughing. So what? Did his arguments make sense? He complains that Verrilli gave “a rambling, apprehensive legal defense” of the law, but doesn’t offer specifics as to what that means.
Well, read the transcript and make up your own minds.
One other thing: at one point, Chief Justice Roberts said:
You say health insurance is not purchased for its own sake, like a car or broccoli; it is a means of financing health care consumption and covering universal risks. Well, a car or broccoli aren’t purchased for their own sake, either. They are purchased for the sake of transportation or in broccoli, covering the need for food. I — I don’t understand that distinction.
The difference, Mr. Chief Justice, is that health insurance is the means of payment for health care and broccoli is (interruption) And — and broccoli is not the means of payment for anything else.
Well, I suppose we could have a barter system, and maybe broccoli would be then. But we don’t. We have a fiat currency system. Currency, in fact, is a means of payment for things. And who is in charge of the currency? Yes, indeed; the government is. The government regulates the currency market. Does it compel everyone to have currency? No, not exactly, but see how far you get without it.
Now, even more specifically, does Congress have the power to regulate currency? Oddly enough, it does under the Constitution, but it voluntarily ceded that power to the Federal Reserve. Even more strangely, many of the libertarians I know who oppose the health care law because of the power it gives Congress also support abolishing the Federal Reserve and giving much greater power back to Congress.
As I see it, according to Libertarian logic, one or the other is unconstitutional, but not both. Of course, it could be neither. In fact, I rather think it is neither, and that both the Fed and Obamacare are quite alright. But it’s only right to offer you fellows a chance. I keep hearing you say you want to end the Fed and strike down Obamacare and it makes me curious.
But like I said, I’m no lawyer. I’m Joe Moron, the blogger. So, to you lawyers out there: explain the flaws in my thinking.