Justice Scalia Blew Off A Reuters Reporter’s Genius Question About Health Care
Abby Rogers | Sep. 19, 2012| Business Insider.com
When Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia spoke to a group of law students and reporters Monday night, he made it clear he wouldn’t talk about past cases or anything currently before the court.
But that didn’t stop a Reuters’ reporter from trying to slip in a question about health care.
And we’ve got to say, he took a pretty creative approach.
Scalia vehemently opposed the health care ruling in June, which upheld the mandate that most Americans hold health insurance or pay a penalty.
So Monday night a reporter asked Scalia how he felt about a mandate from 1790 that required mandatory health care for all seamen.
And while the rather cantankerous justice who says he rules based on the text of statutes and not on legislative history first refused to answer the question, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut for long.
Requiring merchants to insure seamen, who often acted as militiamen in the 1700s, is quite different from the current mandate that affects all Americans, according to Scalia.
But, the reporter argued, both the 1790 mandate and the current one place a burden on American citizens.
“Congress imposes a lot of burdens on the citizenry,” Scalia fired back.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/justice-scalia-wont-talk-health-care-2012-9#ixzz279KTDjVD
Congress Passes Socialized Medicine and Mandates Health Insurance -In 1798
The ink was barely dry on the PPACA when the first of many lawsuits to block the mandated health insurance provisions of the law was filed in a Florida District Court.
The pleadings, in part, read -
The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty, that all citizens and legal residents have qualifying health care coverage.
State of Florida, et al. vs. HHS
It turns out, the Founding Fathers would beg to disagree.
In July of 1798, Congress passed – and President John Adams signed – “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen.” The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance.
Keep in mind that the 5th Congress did not really need to struggle over the intentions of the drafters of the Constitutions in creating this Act as many of its members were the drafters of the Constitution.
And when the Bill came to the desk of President John Adams for signature, I think it’s safe to assume that the man in that chair had a pretty good grasp on what the framers had in mind.
Here’s how it happened.
During the early years of our union, the nation’s leaders realized that foreign trade would be essential to the young country’s ability to create a viable economy. To make it work, they relied on the nation’s private merchant ships – and the sailors that made them go – to be the instruments of this trade.
The problem was that a merchant mariner’s job was a difficult and dangerous undertaking in those days. Sailors were constantly hurting themselves, picking up weird tropical diseases, etc.
The troublesome reductions in manpower caused by back strains, twisted ankles and strange diseases often left a ship’s captain without enough sailors to get underway – a problem both bad for business and a strain on the nation’s economy.