Letter: If health care mandate is not constitutional, neither is Social Security - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letter: If health care mandate is not constitutional, neither is Social Security

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Posted: Tuesday, April 17, 2012 11:29 am

The letter from Don Smith (April 8) is yet another attack on hapless Tribune contributor Jon Beydler, who could do no better than pose a lame analogy comparing auto insurance to a mandate for health insurance. Smith dismisses Beydler’s analogy as “quite foolish.”

What’s new? Most in the Inbox and in guest commentaries, and especially in the Vent, is that or worse.

Mr. Smith repeats the obvious, that owning an automobile is not mandatory, but both gentlemen fail to realize that this and broccoli are irrelevant to the constitutional issue. Let me repeat with modification a part from Mr. Smith’s third paragraph: “I know of no law mandated by the federal or any state government that requires me to” (modification here) pay Social Security (insurance) taxes. Sorry, not true in general. In the same general sense as in the health mandate, many people who die by age 60 get not even one cent back in compensation. If the health mandate survives Supreme Court review, there will be many more people who get back during their lifetime at least a few cents of health care. That means for less “losers,” but in both cases this is government insurance, no matter who writes the policy: “e pluribus unum” = insurance. What applies here is the essential need for insurance to make society even slightly fair for everyone. Do not get me confused that some end up without having to pay a mandate. There are people, for example, who know how to make buckets of money but pay little or no Social Security taxes.

If the majority of Supreme Court ideologues rule this mandate unconstitutional, they are morally obligated to find a scheme to drag FDR’s mandate back into court and declare it unconstitutional, because the same legal arguments apply. This would result in an 80-plus year delay in rendering justice! Otherwise, let’s pursue “e pluribus unum,” and keep as many people alive and healthy as possible.

S.M. Adolos


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