Tuesday, March 27, 2012 | 2:02 a.m.
This week, the Supreme Court is hearing arguments regarding the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s requirement that all individuals purchase health insurance, referred to as the individual mandate.
Two of the central arguments it will hear in favor of the mandate are that: 1) people without insurance obtain treatment in emergency rooms, thereby “free-riding” on the rest of society; and 2) health care is the single biggest cause of bankruptcy in America. I hope the nine most esteemed legal minds in the nation will be able to see the inherent contradiction in those two arguments.
The individual mandate is an assault on our country’s founding principles of individual freedom and property rights. The Fifth Amendment in the Bill of Rights states that “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” We shall see if liberal justices can twist and parse those words sufficiently to strip them of all meaning.
Nothing less than the fate of our country hinges on this decision. The progressive idea that individuals should provide for others is the premise for socialism, and it has bankrupted every country that has embraced it. Our nation’s founding principles have enabled us to create the most successful society in history. If the Constitution can be parsed out of existence, then our “life, liberty and property” have no protections, and the United States will cease to exist.