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?”