from Richard Metzger at DangerousMinds:
Medical insurance mandates are nothing new, as Einer Elhauge, a professor at Harvard Law Schoo, explains at The New Republic:In making the legal case against Obamacare’s individual mandate, challengers have argued that the framers of our Constitution would certainly have found such a measure to be unconstitutional. Nevermind that nothing in the text or history of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause indicates that Congress cannot mandate commercial purchases. The framers, challengers have claimed, thought a constitutional ban on purchase mandates was too “obvious” to mention. Their core basis for this claim is that purchase mandates are unprecedented, which they say would not be the case if it was understood this power existed.Elhauge joined an amicus brief supporting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. You can (and should) read his entire piece at TNR.
But there’s a major problem with this line of argument: It just isn’t true. The founding fathers, it turns out, passed several mandates of their own. In 1790, the very first Congress—which incidentally included 20 framers—passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. This law was then signed by another framer: President George Washington. That’s right, the father of our country had no difficulty imposing a health insurance mandate.
This brings to light some extraordinary “lost history” that the Reichwing needs to consider as they hone their threadbare, tissue-thin arguments to deny healthcare to their fellow man…