I enjoyed the way in which James Taranto summed up — and eviscerated — Obama’s innocuous suggestion that mandatory insurance is entirely akin to uninsured motorist insurance:
In his speech to a joint session of Congress last night, the president offered what presumably was meant to sound like an innocuous, or at least reasonable, analogy:
Unless everybody does their part, many of the insurance reforms we seek–especially requiring insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions–just can’t be achieved. And that’s why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance–just as most states require you to carry auto insurance.
In fact, no state requires individuals to carry auto insurance. The owner of a car, which may be either an individual or a corporate entity, is required to carry insurance as a condition for a government permit allowing the car to be driven on public roads. Individual drivers, of course, are also required to obtain a government license, which requires fulfilling other conditions.
Obama’s proposal to coerce all Americans into buying health insurance is even more intrusive than our hypothetical state requirement would be. The ObamaCare mandate would violate not only the right to travel but the right to remain at rest. The implication of the auto-insurance analogy is that the president believes Congress has the authority to require Americans to obtain a government permit to live.
The one consolation of losing our freedom is that if the ObamaCare mandate passed, it would be fun to see the look on all those silly young voters’ faces when they realize that the guy they so fervently supported is going to force them to turn over a large share of their meager earnings to insurance companies.
Speaking of which, Obama spent a lot of time in his speech last night demonizing insurance companies as cruel and money-hungry, while also calling for a law mandating the purchase of their product. Politicians have said similar things about, say, the tobacco industry. But so far as we know, no one has ever proposed forcing every American to smoke two packs a day.
Well, there is that . . . but who really cares about little things like constitutionality and coercion when the One is intent on bringing us all into the light?
I should add that Taranto generally does a good job of eviscerating Obama’s speech, from the horribly cavalier reference to our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to his petulant, argument, dismissive tone.