Tag Archives: health insurance mandate

No to Broccoli Mandate, Yes to Health Insurance Mandate?


I was looking over the latest Reason-Rupe poll and found something strange: 87 percent of people think a federal broccoli mandate would be unconstitutional, while 62 percent think a health insurance mandate would be unconstitutional. That’s a 25 percent difference even though the basic principle is exactly the same. These two mandates were compared during this week’s Supreme Court oral arguments on the health care bill.

Over at the Daily Caller, I go over some possible explanations for the different results and conclude:

Public opinion has precisely nothing to do with whether a policy is a good idea or not; anyone who thinks otherwise would do well to read Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.” But since I think that government should not have the power to mandate that people buy certain products — think of the lobbying and rent-seeking by companies that stand to benefit! — it is heartening that the majority of Americans think the same way as I do about broccoli. And, to a lesser extent, health insurance.

More importantly, we’ll soon find out how the Supreme Court polls on the broccoli mandate issue. Er, health insurance mandate. Same principle.

Read the whole thing here.

How Do These People Avoid Cognitive Dissonance?

Supporters of the health care bill spend a lot of time attacking health insurance companies.

The health care bill, by the way, would legally require people to give a lot of money to those same insurance companies. A lot of money. It would be the largest corporate gift Washington has ever given out — as much as $1.5 trillion over ten years by one estimate.

Health insurers’ loudest detractors are actually their best friends, and they don’t even seem to realize it. Apparently, regulatory capture is not always a conscious process.

Is Cognitive Dissonance an Insured Condition?

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Rep. Diana DeGette is, without any apparent cognitive dissonance or trace of irony, proposing:

1) Require, by law, that people buy health insurance.

2) Remove health insurers’ antitrust exemption. But only after legally requiring everyone to buy their product.

You figure it out. Insurers are set to receive one of the largest coroporate welfare grants in history. No wonder so many firms are salivating over this year’s health care legislation. But they may pay an antitrust price for their legally mandated windfall.

Perhaps this is a warped Washington version of what one hand giveth, the other taketh away.