So someone please tell me this- if it is perfectly ok for the government to mandate that everyone has health insurance, then why not make some sort of mandate on retirement savings? I think you could make the same argument for both.
I suppose you haven't seen the latest public opinion polls about the Affordable Health Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). More than half the population want it either repealed or seriously changed. And health insurance companies are warning of premium increases possibly exceeding 100% once it's fully implemented next year. Add to that, even some legislators who voted for it
have voiced concerns that if it isn't changed it is going to be a "trainwreck." Finally, there are many people who don't think the government has the right to mandate that we have to purchase a product, such as insurance. You can't compare it to the requirement for car insurance. In the case of car insurance, if
you wish to own and operate a car, then
the state may mandate that you have auto insurance (i.e., driving a motor vehicle on public roads is a privilege). If you don't want to pay for car insurance, you don't have to drive ... you can walk, use taxis or public transportation, ride a bicycle, etc. But if someone doesn't wish to purchase health insurance (not a good idea, but some young people gamble that they're not likely of needing it; other people can't afford it, particularly if the mandate requires coverage for practically everything, not just hospitalization), what is his alternative? Leave the country? Commit suicide (which, by the way, is illegal)? So, instead he will be extorted into paying a tax penalty to subsidize a benefit for others that he himself doesn't have. And, if you recall the Supreme Court's ruling, it was only on the grounds of Congress' taxation powers that "Obamacare" passed constitutional muster. This from an administration that prior to the case reaching the Supreme Court was saying that the law was not
a tax. So many people feel hoodwinked.
A more constitutionally sound idea, in my opinion, would be a national health care system, paid from the same kind of payroll deduction as Medicare to fund it. Of course, that would most definitely be a new tax, it would most likely be expensive (more expensive than predicted, just as has been the case with Medicare), and it would certainly mean a government takeover of the country's entire health care system. And it would never have passed Congress anyway. At a time when we're 17 trillion dollars in debt, we simply can't afford such a plan. But it would be less constitutionally tortured than the current health care law, and it would achieve a universality that the current law lacks. When are people going to realize that insurance is for catastrophic events, and not for every little sniffle and bruise that comes along in life? If you want more insurance coverage, then pay for it yourself.
P.S. You still haven't answered my questions #1 and #3 from my first comment in this thread. Everything you've said so far is about the government's alleged right to enact such a law as you are proposing.