The Founders’ healthcare mandates
Posted by Charles II on May 2, 2012
In 1790, a Congress including 20 Founders passed a law requiring that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. Washington signed it into law.
In 1792, another law signed by Washington required that all able-bodied men buy a firearm. (So much for the argument that Congress can’t force us to participate in commerce.)
And in 1798, a Congress with five framers passed a law requiring that all seamen buy hospital insurance for themselves. Adams signed this legislation.
Not only did most framers support these federal mandates to buy firearms and health insurance, but there is no evidence that any of the few framers who voted against these mandates ever objected on constitutional grounds. Presumably one would have done so if there was some unstated original understanding that such federal mandates were unconstitutional. Moreover, no one thought these past purchase mandates were problematic enough to challenge legally.
To bad the Solicitor General didn’t make these arguments when it was his turn at bat. But if the Court rejects the Affordable Healthcare Act, we will all know that it is based on the lie that the Founders would never make anyone do anything.
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