Sunday, November 08, 2009

Like thieves in the night

Late on a Saturday night, while most of America slept or was out for a night on the town, the most ethical Congress ever, under the most transparent administration ever, passed a health care reform bill that was devised in secret closed-door meetings and was opposed by a majority of their constituents. If it's any consolation, the final vote was 220-215, which doesn't bode well for passage by the Senate in its current form.

For me the most disturbing thing about this bill from a civil liberties point of view is the individual mandates provision, which mandates that all citizens carry medical insurance. Failure to do so results in heavy fines or imprisonment for up to five years (if I understand the current version correctly). I'm hoping there are libertarian legal groups with court filings already drafted ready to challenge this provision if and when it becomes law. It'll be fun to see the Supreme Court take up the question of limits to Congressional power over individual rights, especially in an election year with many House and Senate seats up for grabs.

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