Steyn on the Supreme Court and the Constitution

Another great column by Mark Steyn.

The United States is the only Western nation in which our rulers invoke the Constitution for the purpose of overriding it — or, at any rate, torturing its language beyond repair. Thus, in this week’s debate on whether Obamacare is merely the latest harmless evolution of the interstate-commerce clause, the most learned and highly remunerated jurists in the land chewed over the matter of whether a person, simply by virtue of being born, was participating in a “market.” Had George III shown up at the Constitutional Convention to advance that argument with a straight face, the framers would have tossed aside the quill feathers and reached for their muskets.

Reader Comments

  • Pops

    “of whether a person, simply by virtue of being born, was participating in a “market.”

    If you are born in the U.S.–heck, even if you aren’t born in the U.S.and you are here illegally–you get health care. The country decided this when the law was enacted that made it illegal for a hospital to turn down anyone in an emergency room.

    So yes, everyone is in the market on some level it’s just that we allow some people to participate in the market without paying, we make other people pay huge rates, and we bankrupt other people for having insurance but getting too sick. Go figure.

    I suppose you could change the definition of a market–maybe Steyn has something else in mind–but from my understanding, everyone participates in the market because everyone gets sick and no one is turned down a trip to the ER.

  • Pops,
    If we assume that we continue the system without radical reform you are largely correct. I recommend that you consider market reforms such as getting rid of the third party payer problem as explained here.

    Also consider this discussion of replacing the entire system with this tax credit system here:
    Regards, Michael Sanera

  • Pops

    It makes it even more baffling why Scalia would try to equate the broccoli market with the health care market. If we have a craving for broccoli, we are not legally allowed to get broccoli for free. If we have a health care need, we are allowed, by law, to go the the emergency room–and for a lot of people, get free care. Scalia has a great legal mind–how did he miss something so obvious?

    Regarding the links you posted: Fees for services has been a driving force behind skyrocketing costs. However, I believe the ACA attempts to move away from that model by giving hospitals one lump sum for a patient’s care. (I think this is where the long list of maladies comes into play.) On the surface, this is a bad idea and fodder for conservatives. However, if hospitals provide the service cheaper than the gov pays in a lump sum, they keep the money. Oh, and there are many quality measures that have to be met–ie, if the patient doesn’t need more care, etc.

    Costs go down, doctors get bonuses, and quality goes up. See this article:

    It has already been practiced in San Antonio, and from what I can see, a success.

    As far as the second link you posted, some of it is good and could have worked if the ACA didn’t get passed. However, I will blame the GOP for not taking the issue with the seriousness it deserved. Say what you want about Obama, but he spent nearly every bit of his political capital to get health care passed. He’s risked everything on this bill and that takes onions.

    Were the GOP willing to spend that kind of political capital? My gut felling is no.