The Health Care Market

One of the many arguments made by the supporters of Obamacare is that there exists a health care market.  And, as such, congress can regulate it.  This includes the requirement to purchase insurance.  A counter argument to this line of reasoning is that the government can regulate commerce once contracted, but not before.  That is, if you choose to purchase a car, congress can regulate things like seat belts and emission technologies.  But they can’t require you to purchase car.

Which gets us to the point.  Defenders of Obamacare will argue that we are already IN the market, by being alive we are in the “health care contract”.  And this is because if we get sick or hurt and cannot afford to pay for our care, the rest of us must pick up the cost.

It’s hard to argue this line of thinking.

We ARE all in this market if you think of it this way.  Either acting as people who are assuming a cost for those who act less responsibly or by acting in a responsible manner ourselves.

But then it occurred to me.  The only reason that we are in this “market” to begin with is through government mandate to begin with.  Which is, “You cannot turn away a patient based on ability to pay.”

If the government didn’t first require that I pay for all people’s irresponsibility, then I would not have costs ascribed to me that now require me to purchase insurance.

This is what the Court meant when they asked, “Can you create a market that forces everyone to participate and then regulate that market without limit?”


4 responses to “The Health Care Market

  1. Hospitals are only required to stabilize emergency patients, they aren’t required to treat chronic conditions or do anything more than stabilization.

    That law, btw, was passed in 1986 under a GOP controlled Senate and signed into law by Saint Reagan as part of COBRA.

    • That law, btw, was passed in 1986 under a GOP controlled Senate and signed into law by Saint Reagan as part of COBRA.

      This I didn’t know.

      I’m aware that I identify with Republicans. And I’m working on fixing that. I should be identifying with the “Purple Party.” The combination of the reds and the blues.

      I’m for smaller government whenever we can get it. I have come not to like the Patriot act. I didn’t like Dubya signing the TARP bill. I don’t like larger entitlement programs like the one mentioned above or No Child Left Behind or the whole host of programs that Republicans pass.

      • I’m for smaller government whenever we can get it.

        That’s completely fair, it just drives me crazy when “cut everything” GOPers also talk about how much they love Reagan. That’s not a shot at you, I don’t remember if you liked him or not, just a general note about all these Republicans who want it both ways.

  2. I thought the purple party was the Vikings!

    Seriously, I think TARP was one of President Bush’s wisest moves. The money has been paid back, it saved world credit markets and probably prevented a full scale credit collapse. I don’t like what was necessary to accomplish this, but TARP was probably necessary.

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