JUSTICE KENNEDY: “And the government tells us that’s because the insurance market is unique. And in the next case, it’ll say the next market is unique. But I think it is true that if most questions in life are matters of degree, in the insurance and health care world, both markets stipulate two markets the young person who is uninsured is uniquely proximately very close to affecting the rates of insurance and the costs of providing medical care in a way that is not true in other industries.
Kennedy is desparately searching for some ‘limiting principle’ to carve out health care as a unique situation that would not give the government broad mandate powers in other areas, but of course, that cannot work. The government would use the mandate as a precedent and claim that it must mandate an action in another industry on the grounds that the other industry is unique also.
So if wealthy people buy expensive homes, the government could mandate rich people not be allowed to buy expensive homes because more resources will be spent on expensive homes which reduces the production of cheaper homes. The reduction of the availability of cheaper homes in the market increases the price for poorer people that can only aford cheaper, smaller homes. Solution, mandate a limit on spending on a home.
Kennedy’s comment concerned me, although he also made helpful comments.
This whole thing about the law of torts and talking about being “proximately close” to participating in the health care market by not participating in it, was straight out of left field.
You only cause costs to go up for others because government already forces the health care providers to treat you whether or not you can pay. So then he bootstraps the idea that you are causing a problem in the market, and therefore you are participating in it.
Of course, in reality you haven’t done a damn thing. It’s politicians who have decided to extend free health care to everyone via hospitals.
In reality, most people got their health insurance at work even when they were young and healthy. People didn’t shirk having insurance. Politicians then decided that because health care innovations made treatments more expensive, they had to “solve” this problem.
Without government intrusion, the market causes expensive new treatments to become cheaper over time.