Here’s how the Commerce Clause works in the minds of federal government lawyers who argued the constitutionality of ObamaCare before a federal judge in Florida:
Citizens are not free, self-determining individuals with rights and liberties, but rather they are cogs in the great American collective with responsibilities to all others to be productive and not cause a drain on the overall financial resources of the collective.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ruled Monday such brother’s-keeper rationale is wrong.
At one point in this ruling, Vinson wrote, in oblique reference to the confirmation hearings of a certain Supreme Court justice who might have to abstain on this, “Or, as was discussed during oral argument, Congress could require that people buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals, not only because the required purchases will positively impact interstate commerce, but also because people who eat healthier tend to be healthier, and are thus more productive and put less of a strain on the health care system.”
Within hours of the ruling, on a White House blog, Stephanie Cutter wrote, “The judge’s decision contradicts decades of Supreme Court precedent that support the considered judgment of the democratically elected branches of government that the Act’s ‘individual responsibility’ provision is necessary to prevent billions of dollars of cost-shifting every year by individuals without insurance who cannot pay for the health care they obtain. … As a result, the judge’s decision puts all of the new benefits, cost savings and patient protections that were included in the law at risk.”
The only reason for cost shifting is because Congress ordered it by mandating doctors and hospitals treat deadbeats and pass the cost on to paying patients.
Coincidentally, also on Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released its 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Would you believe it found, “Strong evidence from observational studies has shown that moderate broccoli consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Moderate broccoli consumption also is associated with reduced risk of all-cause mortality among middle-aged and older adults and may help to keep cognitive function intact with age …”?
If the government can determine being uninsured is worthy of being fined under the Commerce Clause, it makes perfect sense Congress can order fines against people who fail to protect themselves against cardiovascular disease, reduce all-cause mortality and keep cognitive function intact by eating broccoli. Right?
Oh, I lied.
The USDA did not say that about broccoli. It was alcohol.
So the collectivists in Washington can next tell us to have a couple of stiff drinks a day or face a stiff fine. I’ll drink to that.