The Washington Post has an excellent op-ed regarding the fact that, this time regarding health care, the Obama administration is once again trampling blithely over the Constitution. After you’ve read the op-ed, you might also want to read Ed Morrissey’s further comments. I particularly like Morrissey’s point about the reason health insurance differs from car insurance, and I’ll tell you why after you’ve read this paragraph:
Most states now require drivers to have auto insurance before issuing drivers licenses, car registrations, or both. However, that doesn’t apply here for three reasons. First, that power rests with the individual states, as they are the licensing authorities and not the federal government. Second, driving is not a right but a privilege, which gives access to state-owned roads in exchange for a demonstration of competence and appropriate safety and insurance preparation, so the state can and does set conditions on that privilege (too many, but that’s an argument for another day). Third, because the insurance is conditioned on that privilege, it only affects a portion of the populace. The states could not demand universal auto insurance on every man, woman, and child in their state.
Those pushing socialized medicine have framed medical care as a “right.” But the Constitution doesn’t give the Feds the power to demand that people fund their own rights. Had these same advocates framed the debate a bit differently, they might not have been backed into that particular corner.