Individual Mandate Precedent

History buffs and constitutional scholars, check out this article on The Health Care Blog.  It notes a mandate for early American citizens to outfit themselves for the militia, and compares this to the mandate in the recent health care act to purchase private health insurance.  The constitutional challenges will likely need to consider this precedent, although it does seem a stretch.  Check out:

The Original Individual Mandate, Circa 1792


Check out the comments also, and post any thoughts in the comments here.  Enjoy.

One Response to Individual Mandate Precedent

  1. Though it might be a legal precedent, there are issues beyond precedent that make me unhappy with the current “healthcare reform.”

    While uninsured I was diagnosed with a chronic illness. Because of it, I fall into my state’s medicaid pool with a large spend-down instead of being eligible to purchase on exchanges (according to my state’s method of handling “people like me”). My state is NOTORIOUS for not paying anyone who is a Medicaid patient, so I can find no specialists who will actually accept it as coverage. So, where it actually puts me for any practical purposes is paying nearly $500/month for individual health insurance and STILL paying $220 for office visits. Not sure if/how my meds would be covered. In the end, though, it’s a losing proposition.

    My husband’s company offered him “insurance,” anticipating that they would be required to do so anyhow. His insurance costs him $90.00/month. It has a $5000 annual maximum, requires he pay the first $50 of every office visit (with no insurance my current GP charges me only $48.00 as a cash patient), and has a cap of $400 for outpatient surgery and $1000 for in-patient hospital care.

    We decided there was no reason to even TRY to sign me up for it – I would exhaust the policy within a month or two if it covered pre-existing conditions, and since it doesn’t, and has such limited coverage, it also isn’t really worth getting.

    If I had practical coverage available that I could afford with my current medical expenses, I would be interested in getting it. I was a covered, medically insured patient (and usually my family) from age 20 to age 39 with very few gaps in coverage. A company choosing to no longer provide health insurance to increase its bottom line is the biggest thing that put me in this situation, and my medical expenses make it difficult to afford $900/month premiums…

    Are you suggesting that I should choose between insurance and food? Either way, either the Medicaid with high spend-down but still paying all my medical expenses to receive coverage, or buying a plan and waiting a year to get coverage, require choosing between affording my already pared-down lifestyle or selling my car, turning off all utilities but water and power (no heat), and living on macaroni and cheese with tuna.

    For some reason, it just doesn’t seem fair or reasonable to me…

Leave a reply