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pointless exercise
choice in the matter
health insurance
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Kansas Takes Another Step Toward Health Care Freedom
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Kansas is just the latest state to move forward on passing legislation to protect residents from the federal mandate to purchase health insurance.

The legislation states that citizens of Kansas can refuse to buy health insurance and pay for services themselves, if they so choose. They are also specifically protected from having to pay fines or other penalties, including tax penalties, if they don’t buy any health insurance.

Supporters say this is simply the legislators protecting liberty and freedom. They explain that the federal mandate was overly intrusive. Others point out that this was a pointless exercise. Typically when federal and state laws contradict, the federal laws have precedence over the state laws.

But those who pushed for this new law say that it is one more way to make the peoples’ voices heard, adding to the movement to repeal or drastically amend the new federal health care overhaul. At the center of that movement is the mandate to buy health insurance.

Numerous court cases have been filed in an attempt to declare the health reform bill unconstitutional. The main argument is that the constitution does not grant the federal government to force the citizens to buy a product. Some have pointed out that the government mandates that we buy car insurance. So why isn’t that unconstitutional and no one argues with that? There is one important difference. We do have a choice in the matter of car insurance. If I don’t want to buy car insurance, then I don’t have to. I just can’t drive a car. I only have to buy car insurance if I make the choice to drive.

But in the case of health insurance, where is the choice? If I choose not to insure my health, then what’s the trade off? What do I give up? Living?

Further, the Constitution specifies that powers not granted to the federal government are given to the states. Since the Constitution does not give the federal government any power to regulate insurance, that function falls to the states. Each state can decide if the citizens need to buy health insurance.

The argument goes far beyond the borders of Kansas. Experts in constitutional law vary in their opinions on whether the federal government has the right to force us all to pay a private company for a product we may or may not want. The real argument should be whether or not the 12,000 page monstrosity of a bill will do anything to simplify and streamline our overly complex and bureaucratic health care system. The answer, I think, is self-evident.


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