Hatch said if the federal government starts ordering Americans to purchase specific products without being able to plausibly justify that mandate through the Commerce Clause of the Constitution which empowers Congress to regulate interstate commerce, it will mean “we’ve lost our freedoms, and that means the federal government can do anything it wants to do to us.”
TAPPER: But as the Senate puts its bill — its final bill together and as a House and Senate prepare to vote on a — on a — after the conference committee, they should know, does the president think jail time is inappropriate...
OBAMA: Well, I'm — I'm not sure that's the biggest question that they're asking right now...
Obama prefers to frame the issue as a question of personal responsibility:
I think the general broad principle is simply that people who are paying for their health insurance aren't subsidizing folks who simply choose not to until they get sick and then suddenly they expect free health insurance. That's — that's basic concept of responsibility that I think most Americans abide by.
...I think I put out the principle that penalties are appropriate for people who try to free ride the system and force others to pay for their health insurance.
Interesting. Somehow Obama managed to set aside his concern for personal responsibility when he approved the "largest one-year increase in government handouts in American history." Those who free ride the welfare system are some of the biggest winners in Obama's taxpayer-funded lottery:
[The] "stimulus" bill abolishes the limits on the amount of federal money for the so-called Emergency Fund, which ships welfare cash to states.
"Out of any money in the Treasury of the United States not otherwise appropriated, there are appropriated such sums as are necessary for payment to the Emergency Fund," ...In other words, the only limit on welfare payments would be the Treasury itself.
A President committed to personal responsibility would be inclined to take the Federal Government out of the equation altogether, leaving individuals free to decide whether to purchase health insurance, seek help from charity, or pay for health care out of pocket.
What did we do, back during the years when most Americans had no medical insurance? I did what most people did. I depended on a “single payer” — myself. When I didn’t have the money, I paid off my medical bills in installments.The birth of my first child was not covered by medical insurance. I paid off the bill, month by month, until the time finally came when I could tell my wife that the baby was now ours, free and clear.
In a country where everything imaginable is bought and paid for on credit, why is it suddenly a national crisis if some people cannot pay cash up front for medical treatment?
Personal responsibility is clearly not the issue at the heart of the Democrats push for health care reform. As William Jacobson notes, the Democrats' perverse health care agenda is a "once-in-a-lifetime chance for the Democrats to achieve a permanent, economically-enslaved majority."