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This is written as the Supreme Court is weighing the constitutionality of ObamaCare in particular, it is considering whether the federal government has the authority under the Constitution to force people at gunpoint to buy a health insurance policy from a private, for-profit business. That this is even being discussed as opposed to dismissed out of hand tells us just how far down the slippery slope weve already slid. But what most people especially people who support the mandate may not have considered is where the precedent about to be established will take us.
In law, precedent is everything. Because it becomes practice.
Once a given thing is countenanced by the courts, it becomes the basis for countenancing other, similar-in-principle things. Some 25 years ago, when the courts ruled it was within the governments constitutional authority to stop motorists at random, without even the pretext of probable cause (as clearly demanded without qualification by the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution), a precedent was established. Today, we are subject to random stops and random searches at any time, just about. It has become a routine and routinely accepted practice.
If the government has the authority to force each of us to buy a health insurance policy on the basis of interstate commerce or some appeal to the collective greater good then a new precedent will have been established. Why, having gone this far, stop there? Do you imagine the government will stop there? Has it ever once, having expanded its authority, failed to expand upon that authority?
Why not also force people at gunpoint to buy life insurance? As things stand, there are families left without a breadwinner and the breadwinners income following an untimely death. Perhaps some people cannot afford to buy life insurance. Surely life insurance is just as vital to interstate commerce and the security provided by a policy just as much a right as the right to health care? Precisely the same arguments can and will be used. You are a fool if you dont see it coming. And it will not come because of the governments concern for you. It will come because of the concern over the money (and power) to be had the two things really driving the individual mandate of Obamacare.