(Good) Friday Highlights

It is Good Friday for the Eastern Church (hence me).

  1. Evidence of a horrible maths education. Uncountable? No. The set of English words is actually finite, which is not even countably infinite (like the natural numbers).
  2. How to never be bored. Practice skillz.
  3. So, an Obama lie? or is he unaware of his income or the contents of the bill?
  4. Akin to the burning bush?
  5. Probably not as damaging to ones reputation as being menaced by a rabbit while canoeing.
  6. A thought experiment, kind of like the torture one I posed years ago (which was “is it torture if neither interrogator or victim remember the event”)
  7. A Marine who had not been not forthcoming about his prior career to his mates (and why).
  8. One more from the military front, but hey, you saw that as frontline news already on ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, &etc. Right?
  9. Breaking news, cats play with their food. Oh, wait … that’s not news is it.
  10. Quite rightly went out of fashion” (hack spit) What!?
  11. Texas and weather.
  12. “We think it’s important” is not a limiting principle (which is still out missing apparently).
  13. The Dale.
  14. Search engine advice for dining.

28 Responses to (Good) Friday Highlights

  1. Really? Because my vote was “evidence of a background in rhetoric” (though math was admittedly not my subject).

    Honestly, first “unprecedented” and then “uncountable”. Did hyperbole beat you as a child, or something? I have no idea how to account for this visceral outrage you express at it.

  2. Uncountable could refer to its mathematical definition or a psychological one. A countable set could indeed be uncountable if actually counting it is so tedious and boring that no person would be willing or able to do it.

  3. 3.So, an Obama lie? or is he unaware of his income or the contents of the bill?

    True this year he is about $200K short of $1M. But then his income earning ability is hampered by his office. while a book now would probably easily put him well over $1M in income, it’s not practical for him to write one. Likewise various rules would make collecting speaking fees probably illegal. But he has been over $1M in income in previous years and there’s every reason to think he will probably see more years of $1M or more (not to mention his wife, who will probably earn somewhere near that figure herself if not more). So asserting the Buffett Rule would likely cause him to pay more in taxes than he would otherwise is probably true.

    Also interesting, most rules like this usually exempt the current year so even if Obama made $1M+ this year, he wouldn’t be impacted until next year. More importantly, though, even if the bill effected this year it wouldn’t effect 2011 which is what Obama is filing his taxes for now.

    So the verdict is no lie on Obama’s part unless you can produce a statement that showed he specifically claimed the Buffett Rule would result in him paying more taxes for the 2011 tax year only.

  4. We think it’s important” is not a limiting principle (which is still out missing apparently).

    Again with this claim? Really?

  5. Boonton,
    You haven’t produced a limiting principle, how can I link something which is not there?

  6. The limiting principle comes from the fact that we have universal health care (meaning actual medical treatment) which ties the market for health coverage (i.e. paying the bills for your own actual use of health care) is tied into interstate commerce. When you show me how we have, say, universal access to brocoli then we can entertain the Constitutional validity of a mandate to eat green, tree-like veggies.

  7. Boonton,
    Doesn’t work. Didn’t work before. Two problems (at least).

    When you show me how we have, say, universal access to brocoli …

    Who can’t obtain broccoli? We seem to have universal access to green cruciferous veggies.

    And second, yes, we don’t universally buy broccoli, but we do in fact all buy food. The Obamacare bill decides that some insurance is not sufficient … and you have to buy better, and if you don’t you are penalized. So, again, what principle decides that the government cannot decide that a healthy diet requires broccoli and therefore if your diet does not include it, you must be penalized?

  8. David,
    Uhm, apparently the same guy beat you up. Look, you pointed out many times in the past years that you didn’t like maths and consider yourself not skilled at it. I tried to make light of that and gave myself a chance to remind readers (via link) of bijection/injection/surjection and how countability is defined … which are interesting and basic notions. Is the term “visceral” in your reply also hyperbole … ’cause I sure hope so.

    More seriously, I thought you liked the guy. I’d never heard of him, and I thought I’d link to it to provide more visibility to that. Do you or do you not want me to link you when you highlight a fellow like that?

  9. Who can’t obtain broccoli? We seem to have universal access to green cruciferous veggies.,

    Really? If I have no money in my pocket a farmer is legally obligated to top off my naked salad with some fresh broccoli? Forgive me but this is like the tenth time I’ve been thru this with you…

    And second, yes, we don’t universally buy broccoli, but we do in fact all buy food.

    In theory we could all buy tickets to the next Hungar Games movie and generous movie theatres could issue tickets to poor and homeless people who don’t have the cash to buy their own tickets. Nonetheless, even if that odd thing came to pass and the population achieved 100% conumption of viewing the movie, there would be no legal obligation on theatre owners to provide universal viewing of the movie nor would individuals have a legal claim to a viewing of the movie regardless of ability to pay.

  10. So, again, what principle decides that the government cannot decide that a healthy diet requires broccoli and therefore if your diet does not include it, you must be penalized?

    Again you seem to be intellectually unable to tell the difference between health and health coverage. There’s 3 different things here:

    1. Health – whether or not your body is working correctly. Do you suffer from diseases, injuries, maldaies etc.

    2. Health care – Services provided by doctors, nurses, drugs, and so on. One would hope they would produce #1 in you, but they may not.

    3. Health coverage – paying for #2 on both an individual and society wide level.

    Your broccoli example seems to be a category error on your part. You’re trying to imagine a gov’t policy to mandate health which is a different type of animal and probably a much more complicated Constitutional question to analyze.

  11. Boonton,

    If I have no money in my pocket a farmer is legally obligated to top off my naked salad with some fresh broccoli?

    So? If I desire healthcare and cannot pay I don’t get it either. Try walking into your doctor and tell him (a) your back itches and (b) you won’t pay for his looking at it. He is not legally obligated to look at anything but you walking out the door. And we do (if you notice) have “universal” food coverage, i.e., food stamps. With which you can buy your broccoli.

    Are you saying, with your suggested categories, that the government would be OK to require you to pay for broccoli but not to eat it (because we universally eat food).?

  12. Boonton,

    Again you seem to be intellectually unable to tell the difference between health and health coverage.

    No. You seem to be intellectually unable to realized that #2 and #3 are not separate the way you think they are.

  13. So? If I desire healthcare and cannot pay I don’t get it either. Try walking into your doctor and tell him (a) your back itches and (b) you won’t pay for his looking at it.

    The doctor’s ability to deny you service is only legally protected to the degree that your life is not in immediate danger. Collapse on the street in front of him holding your chest, writhing in pain, and he is not allowd to walk away. Likewise nor is the hospital, private or public, entitled to turn you away.

    And we do (if you notice) have “universal” food coverage, i.e., food stamps. With which you can buy your broccoli.

    True but since this is a category error it doesn’t really impact here. The farmer is not obligated to accept your food stamps instead of cash for broccoli…nor is the farmer even required to grow broccoli as a condition of being allowed to farm!

    Are you saying, with your suggested categories, that the government would be OK to require you to pay for broccoli but not to eat it (because we universally eat food).?

    Are you suggesting the gov’t may provide food stamps but not require everyone to pay for it? By insisting on mingling health care with health coverage you are just sowing confusion about this issue *in order* to avoid thinking clearly about it.

  14. Boonton,

    Collapse on the street in front of him holding your chest, writhing in pain, and he is not allowd to walk away.

    I’m not sure that he is any different than you on the street … if you come into his office perhaps he can’t turn you away. Can no MD drive past a highway accident? I think they can. In fact on the contrary there are legal implications they shoulder if they do stop. Can a grocer turn away a person in danger of starvation?

    The farmer is not obligated to accept your food stamps instead of cash for broccoli…nor is the farmer even required to grow broccoli as a condition of being allowed to farm!

    So what? Can the grocer (not the farmer, because I don’t know anyone who buys food from farmers) be required to provide inexpensive broccoli? Can you be required to buy it? If not, by what principle?

    This food discussion while interesting about what the government does now. The question isn’t what they are doing now … but what limit. Again you’ve not let me know what limits are in place … what is the principle by which you limit the commerce clause if the government can mandate you to buy something you don’t choose to (or even plan to use).

  15. Can a grocer turn away a person in danger of starvation?

    yes

    I’m not sure that he is any different than you on the street … if you come into his office perhaps he can’t turn you away. Can no MD drive past a highway accident?

    Possibly not if there’s no evidence that first responders are on the scene or en route.

    So what? Can the grocer (not the farmer, because I don’t know anyone who buys food from farmers) be required to provide inexpensive broccoli? Can you be required to buy it? If not, by what principle?

    Your category error is showing. There’s no mandate to go to a doctor. No mandate for a doctor to be a doctor. Or, for that matter, even a mandate for a doctor to accept insurance. Let alone a requirement that they provide anything at a price that’s ‘inexpensive’, whatever that may mean.

    what is the principle by which you limit the commerce clause if the government can mandate you to buy something you don’t choose to (or even plan to use).

    Let’s try to expand this discussion a bit, if all goes well I’ll zoom back in on commerce. Take fire protection or defense. Do you agree that the gov’t may declare that a particular area will be provided for in terms of defense or fire protection? If so do you agree that there’s no ‘right’ for a citizen in that area to, say, declare that since he doesn’t care if Soviet missiles destroy his property he should have the right to opt out of whatever portion of taxes goes towards defense?

  16. Boonton,

    yes

    Ah, but could the government mandate that he can’t? And I’m not sure you’re even correct. You cite that a Doctor can’t turn away a patient in danger of losing his life. But what GP/office ever has a patients in danger of imminent death? Your example applies only to emergency rooms. Your GP might be in trouble if he/she accepted a patient in imminent danger, because he/she knowingly accepted a patient into their care for which he/she is not equipped to handle, e.g., most GPs don’t have an operating theater, general anasthestics, on-site labs, and so on.

    Possibly not if there’s no evidence that first responders are on the scene or en route.

    Bull. I’m fairly certain that doctors are advised not to stop. If they do, they can be sued (and their insurance typically won’t cover).

    If so do you agree that there’s no ‘right’ for a citizen in that area to, say, declare that since he doesn’t care if Soviet missiles destroy his property he should have the right to opt out of whatever portion of taxes goes towards defense?

    I don’t see where you’re going on this. We’re talking about limits to the commerce clause. The Volokh conspiracy has noted that the “tax” option isn’t exercised by the government’s defense because this isn’t a legal tax … but I haven’t any insight on what he’s talking about there. Fire proctection? Recall that case where a house burned because the owner had opted out of paying for fire protection? Hmmm. Bad example perhaps?

    I’m still not seeing a principle by which you limit the commerce clause. See? No principle … just as I keep claiming. (you say we univerally need healthcare (which btw is false) in a way in which we don’t universally need food). You keep objecting that broccoli isn’t analogous. OK. Fine. Yet both are (apparently) universal, in fact food is actually universal and healthcare is not. What then is the analogous food requirement as to requiring that you purchase a government mandated qualifying insurance product?

  17. Regarding a person laying in the street (either from an auto accident or heart attack). You’re confusing the requirements placed on different types of health providers (the doctor who may just be passing by versus the EMS worker or cop) with health coverage. The person without money, without coverage, is nevertheless entitled to health care if he is laying in the street. The mechanics of how the law gets him health care is besides the point.

    His ‘right’ to go without health coverage is not the same as his ‘right’ not to buy broccoli in that he maintains a right to demand health care if he absolutely needs it. Even if the person claims, while healthy, promises really hard, to never use health care unless he can pay for it….the fact remains he has a claim to health care should he need it. Unlike his descision to not buy broccoli, which imposes only a cost on him, his decision imposes a cost upon all others in society. In this he is very much like the chap in the center of the country who declares he doesn’t care if the country is invaded so please refund all national defense related taxes. Fact is if you this guy is allowed to do this, he will piggyback the burden of defense on his neighbors.

    So right off the bat the ‘limiting principle’ you’re demanding to see is pretty clear. If you have a right to utilize the good or service even if you decline (or cannot) to take steps to provide for your ability to pay for it then the gov’t may use its right to regulate commerce to limit one’s ability to ‘offload’ costs.

    Clearly this is not the case with broccoli. It’s not really the case with food either (although gov’t programs like food stamps combined with relatively cheap food and ample charity make it harder to literally starve to death in the US).

  18. Boonton,
    I think you need to check you’re liberal compatriots on the point that you have a right to healthcare in a way you do not have a right to food. I think you’re going to lose your progressive/liberal ID card making that claim.

    Try again.

  19. Ah, but could the government mandate that he can’t? And I’m not sure you’re even correct. You cite that a Doctor can’t turn away a patient in danger of losing his life. But what GP/office ever has a patients in danger of imminent death? Your example applies only to emergency rooms.

    It only seems to be limited to ERs because most people whose lives are in danger are either in an ER or will be in a short amount of time. It is quite easy to imagine, though, patients near death in doctors offices. Out of the tens of thousands of doctors offices in the US you really think it has never happened that a person doubled over in the waiting room? It probably has happened and it has probably also happened that a person who was just turned away for lack of insurance might double over. I believe in such a case a doctor could end up losing his right to practice if he refused CPR on the grounds that the patient wasn’t going to pay him.

    As for whether or not the gov’t could create a right to demand food from grocers whether or not one could pay for it….that’s an interesting question but not really relevant to the question at hand. What is being challenged here is not the requirement that doctors and hospitals provide health care regardless of ability to pay, but some form of coverage mandate. Have any of those who challenged the law in court asserted a right of doctors and other health care providers be as free as grocers to deny health care? If not then it sounds like you’re barking up a pretty hypothetical tree. If I allow you to keep it in this fight then I’m going to insist you allow me to keep the tax argument.

    Bull. I’m fairly certain that doctors are advised not to stop. If they do, they can be sued (and their insurance typically won’t cover).

    I think they are required to aid. Here’s a slightly different hypothetical, imagine a doctor trapped in an elevator with a pregnant woman. Is he advised not to render aid if she goes into labor? If she bleeds out and dies because she didn’t have insurance and he thought his malpractice insurance might not cover him if he touched her I don’t think his status as a doctor will be very secure in the near future.

    Fire proctection? Recall that case where a house burned because the owner had opted out of paying for fire protection? Hmmm. Bad example perhaps?

    Actually not at all. The house burned down in a rural area where the local gov’t had decided that owners who didn’t get protection could be allowed to suffer the costs of their decision. But most jurisdictions are not like that and if you have a Constitutional principle that would say the town or state or country couldn’t mandate fire protection nows the time to articulate it or I will be justified in assuming you have none.

    See? No principle … just as I keep claiming. (you say we univerally need healthcare (which btw is false) in a way in which we don’t universally need food).

    curious, I never said anything about any universal ‘needs’. Yet you seem to constantly be inserting that. Perhaps your subconsciously trying to steer the argument towards a place where it would be easier for you to stand your ground. Perhaps you’re not really trying to pay attention to the argument as much as you are in trying to win it.

  20. I think you need to check you’re liberal compatriots on the point that you have a right to healthcare in a way you do not have a right to food.

    They might misunderstand as easily as you but I don’t think it’s an issue. There’s been little exploration of a ‘right to food’ because the cost to provide food universally inside the US is so modest that it has just not come up. There is no actual gov’t program that absolutely gurantees you a right to food. But unlike health care the law hasn’t really confronted the question of what the starving person who has tried all available options (food stamps, getting a job, charity etc.) and is still starving may be allowed to do?

    As odd as it seems you can’t assume a ‘right to food’ just because no one in the US is likely to starve to death any time soon because they are no legal options that would allow them to secure food.

    Just for fun, though, assume you did assume such a right. The limiting principle would still apply. If people had a right to demand food even if they had no funds to pay for it, the gov’t would have a right to require the individual to make some provision to pay for food to lower the risk that they would simply offload their costs onto their fellow citizens.

    Your argument isn’t just that we may end up with a silly ‘broccoli coverage mandate’ somehow but that there’s no limit…..i.e. the gov’t could mandate everyone buy Direct TV’s NFL Ticket, for example. But your assertion only works if you can show that there is absolutely no good or service that anyone can legally be denied if they can’t pay for it. Gotta do better than just veggies to demonstrate that.

  21. Boonton,
    Is this why you assume that the state should provide free abortions? Because women have a “right” to one?

    So, if I’m reading you correctly, the commerce clause allows you to require us to buy anything that is a right for us have, i.e., we have to buy healthcare because healthcare is a right? Which just begs the question, how do you limit what you consider a right? A few years ago, those on the left claimed that having broadband was a right. Does that mean we can all be required to obtain it … you know so that those who cannot afford it can be given it on the nickle of all those who can afford it (but don’t want it) getting it too?

    Your principle isn’t limitable in that you’re side of the aisle seems willy nilly ready append to the list of those things which we deserve as rights.

    But your assertion only works if you can show that there is absolutely no good or service that anyone can legally be denied if they can’t pay for it. Gotta do better than just veggies to demonstrate that.

    Uhm, taxing people for defense does not require the commerce clause, or everyone to purchase a gun.

  22. Is this why you assume that the state should provide free abortions? Because women have a “right” to one?

    Don’t recall assuming that.

    So, if I’m reading you correctly, the commerce clause allows you to require us to buy anything that is a right for us have, i.e., we have to buy healthcare because healthcare is a right?

    You are reading incorrectly.

    Uhm, taxing people for defense does not require the commerce clause, or everyone to purchase a gun.

    Well we have several other clauses in play there when it comes to defense….but let’s go back to basics since you don’t seem ready to ‘pull back’ and look at the forest. Identify the law that entitles me to a gun if I can’t afford one and, for whatever reason, I cannot find anyone who is willing to either give me one for free or give me money to buy one? You can’t. As such a ‘everyone must buy a gun’ law wouldn’t apply if it was enacted just on the commerce clause. Hence your argument that the mandate is ‘unlimited’ fails.

  23. Boonton,
    Everyone can afford a gun. A gun can cost as little as a few hundred dollars. A very good target pistol is about 500. A match gun might cost 3 times that.

    You are reading incorrectly.

    Then I’m not understanding how rights enter into your commerce clause reading.

    Don’t recall assuming that.

    This follows from your claim that “if you have a right to X” the government must (a) give you X if you can’t pay for it and (b) can require everyone who can afford X to pitch in for those who can’t pay. The question is what limits your “rights” list? What sorts of things enter in.

  24. Everyone can afford a gun. A gun can cost as little as a few hundred dollars.

    Not the issue. I asked you to identify the law that entitles me to a gun. That the current state of the economy combined with economies of scale of mass production make it very easy for just about anyone to afford the price of a new gun is irrelevant. Cheap guns are not cheap because some law mandates that gun prices be set so they are affordable to everyone.

    This follows from your claim that “if you have a right to X” the government must (a) give you X if you can’t pay for it and (b) can require everyone who can afford X to pitch in for those who can’t pay.

    ‘Cept there isn’t a right to abortion if you can’t pay for it. I know women myself who wanted to have an abortion at some point in their lives and found they couldn’t get one because they couldn’t afford it.

    Look, here’s where you’re messing up here. You’re claiming the commerce clause can’t justify the mandate because if it did then it would be unlimited. Why would it be unlimited? Because you assert there is no ‘limiting principle’ that could be asserted that would cover health care coverage but wouldn’t cover everything else under the sun from broccoli to Xboxes to Starbucks coffee.

    You’re argument fails then should I produce a single candidate for a ‘limiting principle’ that covers health care but doesn’t cover *everything* else. I did. You have a legal right to demand health care (or at least many types of health care) regardless of your ability to pay for it. This creates a system where people can be free loaders, asserting today that they don’t want health coverage but tomorrow when they are having a heart attack they will call 911 and get care leaving a host of private and public entities to foot the bill. In fact this is just what one of the plantiffs did in the SC case. Assert that they didn’t want health coverage and it was their right to do so. But when they ended up getting sick they declared ‘medical bankruptcy’.

    Now maybe you can assert that my proposed limiting principle can be applied in a few other places like food. That doesn’t help you, though. Even if it did cover a few other things like food, it wouldn’t apply in most other things. There is, for example, no way you can assert, say, an XBox would be covered…even though a used Xbox costs equal too or less than a gun which you say is affordable for everyone. My limiting principle doesn’t have to be just limited to health care, but your assertion that there is no limit means if I find but one thing that wouldn’t be covered by it, your assertion is disproven.

  25. Also I think your ‘free abortion’ comment again illustrates how you confuse the difference between health care and health coverage.

    Consider what you’re trying to say. The gov’t mandates that you buy health insurance. You go to a doctor and have an abortion. When it comes time to pay, you whip out your insurance card, the woman takes down your info and wishes you a good day.

    So where’s the ‘for free’? If you didn’t use the coverage, you’d pay for it with your money. If you use the coverage, well that’s coverage that you were mandated to buy. So then how is the abortion ‘for free’? It’s only free in the psychological sense that your mind is used to pulling out your wallet but here you walk out without having to pay any cash or use your credit card.

  26. Boonton,
    You need to be more consistent, the only thing you are consistent at doing is complaining I’m not making sense. When you complain

    Not the issue. I asked you to identify the law that entitles me to a gun. That the current state of the economy combined with economies of scale of mass production make it very easy for just about anyone to afford the price of a new gun is irrelevant.

    Let’s see. The broccoli example doesn’t work for you because broccoli cheap, but your gun scenario somehow mysteriously avoids this problem.

    ‘Cept there isn’t a right to abortion if you can’t pay for it. I know women myself who wanted to have an abortion at some point in their lives and found they couldn’t get one because they couldn’t afford it.

    and

    Also I think your ‘free abortion’ comment again illustrates how you confuse the difference between health care and health coverage.

    This doesn’t go together. You’re being consistent again, in that you aren’t making any sense.

    Look the best I can get to an articulation of your proposed limiting principle is that if the government sets some requirements/rights/standards which in and of themselves are Constitutional then the Constitutionality of those regulations which are required to put in practice and insure that those regulations are fiscally sound is assumed by the Constitutionality of the former. Is that it? The “results” of Obamacare, i.e., that everyone gets healthcare coverage are “Constitutionally sound” therefore anything you need to enact to make that work (commerce clause, tax on existence or a “you must buy X” mandates) are Constitutional because the “test” is the Constitutionality of the results. First off, I don’t think that way of legal thinking is either sound or has any historical basis. I’ll wait until you confirm or deny that’s your limiting principle.

    Or is the “free loader” thing the key. Any regulations/requirements (like a law requiring doctors to provide emergency medical care) can result in free loaders. Any regulations enacted to eliminate the free loader are Constitutional by virtue of the Constitutionality of the requirement. Is that it?

    If the above isn’t your limiting principle, you need to lay it out again. The translation (your head, to words, from words, to my head) isn’t working.

    My limiting principle doesn’t have to be just limited to health care, but your assertion that there is no limit means if I find but one thing that wouldn’t be covered by it, your assertion is disproven.

    Your limiting principle, needs to be a principle, a method which can applied generally. I’m not seeing it.

  27. Boonton,

    Also I think your ‘free abortion’ comment again illustrates how you confuse the difference between health care and health coverage.

    You confuse things by separating them. Your “Car Experience” and “Car Costs” are separate in the same way as health care/coverage, which is to say they aren’t. You don’t have a supercar driving experience? Why? Because your “coverage” isn’t good enough for a supercar. Costs and experience, care and coverage are not separable like you imagine.

  28. Let’s see. The broccoli example doesn’t work for you because broccoli cheap, but your gun scenario somehow mysteriously avoids this problem.

    Errr no, go back and read why the broccoli hypothetical doesn’t work. It doesn’t work not because it’s cheap but because there is no law that entitles one to demand broccoli. As cheap as it may be, if I spend all my money on other things there’s no legal entitlement to demand broccoli from either farmers, grocers or whatnot. The gun example follows the same pattern.

    You are the one trying to say there is an entitlement to broccoli and guns because…well golly gee anyone can afford either. Let’s leave aside the fact that a new gun at least cost over $100 and $600, the amount of the supposedly liberty quashing ‘mandate’, is quite reasonable cost for a new gun of quality. The cheapness of guns or broccoli is not due to any law mandating their availability. It is due to the particular economics of both industry that allow those products to be relatively cheap compared to say, diamonds or first edition Superman comic books.

    This doesn’t go together

    It doesn’t becaue the health law mandate does not cover abortions so I’m at a loss to see how they are being offered for ‘free’. More to the point, just say you were required to buy abortion coverage. How would you be getting abortions ‘for free’ then?

    I think what you’re trying to say here is my limiting principle is faulty because health coverage will cover some things that you technically don’t have a legal right to demand. For example, if you can’t afford a regular doctors appointment you may not be able to demand or get insulin for your diabetes from a pharmacy. But if you fall down in the street from high blood sugar, you will be rushed to an ER where they will give you insulin to save your life even though you can’t afford it. Therefore the gov’t may mandate you have coverage to pay for a $20,000 ER visit to address your near death experience but the gov’t can’t mandate you be covered for routine care that may avoid the $20K ER visit for a fraction of the cost.

    If this is what you want to go with let me know, I think it’s a rather frivilious objection but before I demolish it let me show you the respect of letting you decline to embrace it.

    Look the best I can get to an articulation of your proposed limiting principle is that if the government sets some requirements/rights/standards which in and of themselves are Constitutional then the Constitutionality of those regulations which are required to put in practice and insure that those regulations are fiscally sound is assumed by the Constitutionality of the former. Is that it?

    Why not just let me articulate it? If you have some legal right to demand a good or service regardless of your ability to pay for it, then the gov’t has the right to mandate that you secure coverage for such a good or service. If you can show me that I have a right to say “I need a gun, even though I don’t have any money to pay for it but since I need it now I will take it” then I will say the gov’t has a right to mandate universal ‘gun coverage’ requiring all citizens to either post a bond to pay for a new gun or secure some type of insurance that will pay for a new gun. ‘Fiscally sound’ here doesn’t enter into it.

    Or is the “free loader” thing the key. Any regulations/requirements (like a law requiring doctors to provide emergency medical care) can result in free loaders. Any regulations enacted to eliminate the free loader are Constitutional by virtue of the Constitutionality of the requirement. Is that it?

    Actually you just admited there’s a limiting principle. If there’s no requirement, then there’s no free loader problem. Whether or not the requirement is Constitutional is irrelevant. There’s no requirement to provide broccoli, guns, cable TV or many other goods and services. Hence there’s your limiting principle doing quite a bit of limiting. But what if gov’t wanted to pass a law requiring grocers to provide broccoli to the slackers who blew all their money on other nonesense? Call me when it happens. What of the Constitutionality of the requirement on doctors? What of it? Such laws long predate Obama care, and none of those challenging the law in court have asserted that the requirement(s) that have been common in state and federal law for centuries are unconstitutional. That strongly hints the requirement to provide medical care regardless of ability to pay is probably perfectly Constitutional. Whether or not a hypothetical requirement to provide broccoli, guns, or chewing gum would also be Constitutional is a nifty topic for you to write a paper on for a Constitutional Law class, it’s not relevant to the actual real life case at hand.

    On what qualifies as winning here:

    Your limiting principle, needs to be a principle, a method which can applied generally. I’m not seeing it.

    You asserted there’s no limiting principle. If a trillion things can be mandated but one thing cannot, there’s a limit and your assertion is disproven. Simple proof by contradiction:

    1. If X is unlimited permission, then nothing is unprotected by it.

    2. The set of things X gives permission too must include all elements, the set of things not granted permission must therefore be a null set.

    3. At least one element does not enjoy permission via X. Therefore the set of things not granted permission is not empty or null. Therefore #1 must be false.

    You confuse things by separating them. Your “Car Experience” and “Car Costs” are separate in the same way as health care/coverage, which is to say they aren’t. You don’t have a supercar driving experience? Why? Because your “coverage” isn’t good enough for a supercar. Costs and experience, care and coverage are not separable like you imagine.

    You seem to have argued yourself into a box here. If cost and coverage converge so much that their meanings blur, then a requirement that you be provided health care regardless of your ability to pay (say if you fall down in a mall suffering a heart attack) is the same, in a sense, as requiring universal health coverage. The mandate then just rearranges the accounting of that cost in a way that’s a bit more fair via preventing intentional and unintentional freeloaders and the mandate might simply be viewed then as a tax to pay for what is already a type of universal coverage.

    Consider the 3rd Amendment carefully:

    No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

    Just say the 3rd was never passed. consider:

    1. Everyone enjoys universal coverage-benefit of defense from invasion. Per your reasoning these two terms mean nearly the same thing in many contexts.

    2. This universal defense can be paid for either via direct taxes for the full cost of the army (universe A). Or by taxes that cover only a fraction of the army with the expenses of housing and feeding the army born by homeowners who are mandated to quarter troops (universe B)

    Universes A and B are the same. Universe B is only unconstitutional because an amendment specifically prohibiting it was enacted….(and note that quartering is not actually unconstitutional, it’s actually permitted provided it’s a time of war and the manner is detailed in an actual law presumably passed by Congress as opposed to, say, the whims of a General or President).

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