17 February 2012

So the Massachusetts Individual Mandate was to Promote Responsibility!

On On the Record Friday night, Griff Jenkins had a report on the differences between the Massachusetts medical insurance law (“Romneycare”) and the PPACA (“Obamacare”). Griff was talking to Eric Fehrnstrom of Gov. Romney’s campaign, and asked about how the individual mandate differed between the two laws. After mentioning the restrictions of the U.S. Constitution, Mr. Fehrnstrom said that the reason it was included in Romneycare was to address “a peculiar issue to Massachusetts.”

He described a situation where there was a “very small” group of people who refused to buy medical insurance, even though they could afford it. When those people went to the hospital or urgent care, the taxpayers would end up paying for it. Mitt Romney was so concerned with the principle of personal responsibility, that he took away their responsibility to decide to insure themselves by mandating that everyone do it.

What the hell would be wrong with just eliminating the State paying for people's medical care?! Make those people pay for their own services! If we wanted to promote personal responsibility, wouldn’t that be the way to do it?

Is it too late for me to get in the race?

15 February 2012

Only Half the Story

A thought struck me this morning as I was reading some discussion about whether the individual mandate provision of PPACA is a tax (it isn't). I started thinking about the Constitutional requirement that “[a]ll bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House” rather than the Senate (Article I, Section 7, Paragraph 1). I briefly wondered whether PPACA was first introduced in the House (and I've seen other speculation along that line). But that isn't what this post is about.

The point of this post is that the Constitution established earlier in that Article (Secs. 2 & 3) that members of the House were to be elected by the people, but Senators would be chosen by the states. The idea, it seems, was to ensure that any taxes levied, that would ultimately be paid by the people–because corporations don't pay taxes–must be the people's idea (through their Representatives). The Senators had the responsibility of determining how any proposed tax would affect their respective states, and support or oppose it accordingly.

It is no coincidence that Amendment XVII, transferring the election of Senators to the people, was proposed after Amendment XVI, establishing the power to tax income. It was a progressive plan to undermine the states' check on how increases in tax rates would affect their businesses. Among other things, I'm sure.

14 February 2012

Don't Panic!

The New Zealand Diary posts are not gone! They've been moved.

Please visit The Adventures of ScottO for all my travel- and adventure- related photo posts.

Thank you for reading!