Healthcare Mandates??

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36 states are already challenging this legislation on constitutional grounds, is it unconstitutional to force people to buy things from private corporations?

louisehartmann's picture
louisehartmann
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Nobody should be forced to buy anything from anyone they don't want to buy from.

That goes for government agencies as well as private corporations.

-Nigel-

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nigelpeacock
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

Right on Nigel.

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I thought where I spent my money is covered under Freedom of Expression... really I did... And health care is so intimately tied up with the individual natural Right to Life that health care is a personal choice and a need shared by all... oops those wacky Founding Fathers forgot to put the right to life in there I guess they thought that one went without saying ... More seriously:

The employer-based system is feudal and a futile place to start towards universal health care. I felt queasy as I heard the media repeat 'universal coverage' through or around every health care story for a year - I cringed as the goal became to get everyone insured rather than the actual goal of universal health care: to get everyone care. Any government mandate that says we each have to buy health insurance from our employer is neither rugged conservatism, nor cradle-to-grave liberalism - such a mandate to buy products from profit-making entities is fascist. We have let government be the velvet glove on the rule of the profit-making corporations.

There is an odd irony in the Tea Party's frenzied opposition to HCR as a socialist takeover of 1/6th of the economy when at least a quarter of US are put out by the fact that this so-called reform is like a cute little baby with one or two cute little nubs. I know that legislation is like sausage but why is the solid R Reform in the HCReform law tacked on in the student loan part ? So that it would have something that works?

There are a lot of good things in the Reconciliation Act of 2010 like the ban on sex discrimination and there is much for children and new clinics where there are none ... but the mandates are not a good thing.

The mandate is close to political suicide - it doesn't set well anywhere on the political spectrum but with the corporate rich Republicans who put it forth as an idea. The liberals and progressives are demoralized by a mandate without a strong public option - the independents probably run from suspicious through 'oh no!' to 'HELL NO!' [Tea Party]. And the right - having got the mandate for the insurance thanatocracy - the right dishonorable Republicants will now proudly and angrily attack the Democrats (for passing the Republican mandate) with an energized base, from now till the mid-terms, running with their standard political plan "If it's not working - it's not a big enough lie!"

Perhaps we can try People Power Constitutional Amendments as aikido to the Tea Party attack energy....

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Quote louisehartmann:

36 states are already challenging this legislation on constitutional grounds, is it unconstitutional to force people to buy things from private corporations?

What about car insurance?

danieladamsmith's picture
danieladamsmith
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You people are acting like it's a complete shock to you to learn that the Government uses taxes to influence people's behaviors. It's as old as taxes.

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Art
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<quote>What about car insurance?</quote>

It is a requirement if you choose to operate a motor vehicle on the roadway.

The health insurance mandate makes it a requirement if you breathe.

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Quote danieladamsmith:What about car insurance?

It is a requirement if you choose to operate a motor vehicle on the roadway.

The health insurance mandate makes it a requirement if you breathe.

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Dave M
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Quote Dave M:
Quote danieladamsmith:What about car insurance?

It is a requirement if you choose to operate a motor vehicle on the roadway.

The health insurance mandate makes it a requirement if you breathe.

The question was...Is it unconstitutional to force people to buy something from a private enterprise?

There weren't any caveats to the question.

danieladamsmith's picture
danieladamsmith
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Which constitution are you referring to?

Yes it is unconstitutional for the federal government to do that.

The federal government does not mandate car insurance.

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Dave M
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Here is an interesting article by a Law Professor on the subject.

http://www.healthreformwatch.com/2009/08/25/is-it-unconstitutional-to-ma...

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Does anyone else wonder why Barack Obama, a Constitutional scholar, would sign into law a bill which was unconstitutional?

Perhaps there is more to all of this than what we are debating on the surface?

Daniel, I found this in the article you posted, and its very interesting...

If Constitutional concerns still remain, the simplest fix (ironically) would be simply to enact social insurance (as we currently do for Medicare and social security retirement) but allow people to opt out if they purchase private insurance. Politically, of course, this is not in the cards, but the fact that social insurance faces none of the alleged Constitutional infirmities of mandating private insurance points to this basic realization: Congress is on solid Constitutional ground in expanding health insurance coverage in essentially any fashion that is politically and socially feasible.

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Quote danieladamsmith:
Quote louisehartmann:

36 states are already challenging this legislation on constitutional grounds, is it unconstitutional to force people to buy things from private corporations?

What about car insurance?

What about the police powers granted to the States which gives States authority to mandate car insurance? No such authority rests with the Federal government.

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Quote Sawdust:
Quote danieladamsmith:
Quote louisehartmann:

36 states are already challenging this legislation on constitutional grounds, is it unconstitutional to force people to buy things from private corporations?

What about car insurance?

What about the police powers granted to the States which gives States authority to mandate car insurance? No such authority rests with the Federal government.

Have a look at the article I posted. It's not the last word on the subject but it will give you an idea of the discussion.

danieladamsmith's picture
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Quote meljomur:

Does anyone else wonder why Barack Obama, a Constitutional scholar, would sign into law a bill which was unconstitutional?

Perhaps there is more to all of this than what we are debating on the surface?

Daniel, I found this in the article you posted, and its very interesting...

If Constitutional concerns still remain, the simplest fix (ironically) would be simply to enact social insurance (as we currently do for Medicare and social security retirement) but allow people to opt out if they purchase private insurance. Politically, of course, this is not in the cards, but the fact that social insurance faces none of the alleged Constitutional infirmities of mandating private insurance points to this basic realization: Congress is on solid Constitutional ground in expanding health insurance coverage in essentially any fashion that is politically and socially feasible.

Exactly Mel.

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Another example was the Americans with Disabilities Act which mandated that all business, schools, etc were required to install wheelchair accessible entrances, toilets, etc.

I know you'll hang your hat on the fact that not all people own businesses or cars....

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Here's another link to an article which had the link from the Law Professor from Seton Hall.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/11/is_the_individual_ma...

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Dan, I think I read yesterday that something like 36 states are joining in a suit against the health care bill based on a variety of issues but central to their issue is that the bill violates states rights. The police power is central to states rights. I'm not going to do dueling websites because I know that finding a website on the internet you agree with isn't research and there is plenty written on both sides of the argument. This article however outlines the states rights issue.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/29/health-care-mandate-at-c...

Regardless, it's bad law.

The oft quoted Jonathan Turley on the Death of Federalism.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2010/03/column-is-mandate-constitutional....

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Quote Sawdust:

Dan, I think I read yesterday that something like 36 states are joining in a suit against the health care bill based on a variety of issues but central to their issue is that the bill violates states rights. The police power is central to states rights. I'm not going to do dueling websites because I know that finding a website on the internet you agree with isn't research and there is plenty written on both sides of the argument. This article however outlines the states rights issue.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/29/health-care-mandate-at-c...

Regardless, it's bad law.

The oft quoted Jonathan Turley on the Death of Federalism.

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2010/03/column-is-mandate-constitutional....

I'll read whatever you post and I almost always do.

I was curious myself what people that know about constitutional law think.

I like reading arguments for and against.

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The best result of the "unconstitutional" argument will be to mandate a government program instead of buying a private product. OK.

Nonetheless, it is about AG's running for Governor more than a real piece of legal reasoning. It is written as tax law, so the sophists can both get around the point and push it depending upon which side of the game they are on.

The "deals" are less about what is in the bill and not and more about what money is not going to be dumped on the Dems negatively. It is divide and conquer in the health delivery profits. It gives minimum emotional relief.

Our Oregon AG wants to be a friend of the court for the bill. I think he is a very smart lawyer and politician and will make a great Governor in about four years.

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Obama is a very very smart man.

He plays the long game.

Conservatives are playing the short game.

Checkmate.

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The doctors are the root of this whole problem. For the longest time, the people have been FORCED to pay unjustified over-inflated medical bills, basically vulnerable patients taken advantage of because they're scared and will pay the money if they have it. Much of this cost gets passed on to the insurance companies which the people ultimately pay for through ever-increasing premium costs.

One power which insurance companies have is that they can negotiate patient costs with the doctors, so this new nationalized healthcare insurance plan will allow the government (the people) to negotiate as well and will hopefully drive down the swindling prices which doctors and hospitals have greatly enjoyed. It would not surprise me if the insurance companies and the doctors have been in cahoots all this time which would explain the insane high cost of medical treatment.

As long as we can keep the doctor lobbyists from corrupting the new nationalizied health insurance plan then everything should turn out good for the people.

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Quote Mr_Dean:The doctors are the root of this whole problem
I won't argue that MDs are not a part of the problem. I have a number of friends who are Docs, ane I get all the usual arguments. They have all those years of unpaid educational and the associated costs. They have their clinics and staff to support. Of course, they have skills that are vital to the well-being of society. I can't really say they're wrong.

Of course, the supply-and-demand aspect has to come into it and this is a result of a "conspiracy" between the AMA and the Government to restrict the production of new MDs. One friend pointed out that France experimented with unlimited admissions to Medical Colleges and that resulted in thousands of Doctors driving cabs as a second job. That doesn't seem good to me.

I finally concluded that MDs pay is probably not too much out of line. Income for non-professionals is too small.

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Quote danieladamsmith:

Another example was the Americans with Disabilities Act which mandated that all business, schools, etc were required to install wheelchair accessible entrances, toilets, etc.

I know you'll hang your hat on the fact that not all people own businesses or cars....

And its a critical fact. ADA affects those who enter into an economic transaction- for example, they choose to be building owners/sellers. The auto insurance comparison isn't germane because there is no federal mandate for auto insurance. Whether such a mandate is constitutional would depend on the constitution of the state in question. The health insurance mandate is unique in that the purchase is mandated simply because a person exists. The only thing that comes close is the requirement for males to register with Selective Service upon reaching the age of 18.

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stwo
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The prices the doctors are charging are along the same lines as government contractors charging $100 for a small screw, $10,000 for a toilet, etc. You should take a closer look at what these doctors and hospitals are charging. You don't hear much of a stink about it because that anger is mistakenly channelled to the insurance companies' high premiums. The doctor cartel is the root of the problem.

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Quote Mr_Dean:

The prices the doctors are charging are along the same lines as government contractors charging $100 for a small screw, $10,000 for a toilet, etc. You should take a closer look at what these doctors and hospitals are charging. You don't hear much of a stink about it because that anger is mistakenly channelled to the insurance companies' high premiums. The doctor cartel is the root of the problem.

I would suggest everyone take the time to understand medical industry economics. My beef has been that the whole system is screwed up because of Government interaction. You see the high price doctors and hospitals care for care. I see the reason as being government reimbursements for Medicaid/Medicare as being below cost and hospitals and Doctors overcompensating by overcharging “those who can pay”. If they didn’t do this they would soon be broke and out of business. Just looking at the evidence of this in that the Mayo Clinic lost $870 million on Medicare treatments last year and Walgreens no longer accepting Medicaid patients due to government reimbursements. It going to get worst with the Current cuts to medicare reimburements of 21.2 percent Medicare reimbursement cut in effect this month. Unless they pass the "Doctor Fix"

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One doesn't need a degree in medical economics to understand that doctors are corrupt with their pricing. The only thing one needs to do is look at his medical bill. Consumers have no choice in the matter either when the doctor/hospital cartel all offer the same high coordinated cost. The only option people have is to die and that's why they are taken advantage of by the current system. A nationalizied healthcare insurance plan has the potential of really helping the people out with these criminalistic prices, but i stress the point that it's KEY that we keep the doctor lobbyists out of the affairs of the program or they will corrupt that too just as they have apparently done with the private sector insurance companies.

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Sad to read so many irrational explanations in favor of freemen being indentured to corporations - by law. My god, if you all swallow this incredible "mandate" to do business with crooked corporations you'll simply establish a new policy that will indenture you some more.

Are we living in a democratic republic where we are legally empowered over the scoundrels that are killing us in favor of corporate money. The notion that any American lacks the guts to finally say no to such an injustice is pitiful. Look at the last decade...just the last decade and ask yourself how you feel sending money to Washington this year?

As somebody noted earlier on "How could Obama, a Constitutional scholar not know the Constitutionality of the bill he is signing"? The answer is - of course he knows, but in this country it really doesn't matter - anymore.

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Quote Dusty:As somebody noted earlier on "How could Obama, a Constitutional scholar not know the Constitutionality of the bill he is signing"? The answer is - of course he knows, but in this country it really doesn't matter - anymore.

I think he knows a lot about what isn't so.

But you're right Dusty. Fact is, all this talk is purely academic and none of it matters. Our Constitution has been lawyered out of existence by those for whom the plain text is inconvenient. It's inoperative. The Republic is but a memory.

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The ORIGINAL Boston Tea Party was a protest against a Government Mandate to purchase 18 million pounds of tea from the East India Trading Company.

I'll be amused if the mandate withstands a court challenge.

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Dane M, I morn the changes made by the Bush Crime Family. They eviscerated the Constitution by ignoring it. Right from the start - with Bush and Cheney both coming from the same state. It telegraphed the storm to come.

Kevin, the Boston Tea Party was about a tax on tea not favored by the colonists. King George III tried to tax competition out of business.

The make up of the supreme court will support anything that favors corporations. We're in real trouble.

I do wonder, though, why other "liberal" supremes aren't rushing into retirement with a president loyal sycophants believe is a clever messiah.

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One doesn't need a degree in medical economics to understand that doctors are corrupt with their pricing. The only thing one needs to do is look at his medical bill.--Mr. Dean

I'm a doctor and I'm paid an hourly wage with incentives. While I would say that doctors have done their part in escalating the costs, it's really not in 'the doctors' hands as to how the medical system gets paid--especially with hospital medicine. No matter what the hospital or the doctor charges, much of that is paid by a pro-rated system from both government and insurance companies based on diagnosis and documentation of procedures done. 'Diagnostic Related Groups' (DRG's) has been in affect for over two decades--it went into effect during Reagan's term. So, at a time when the standard line was 'private industry and no government', in medical care, government was getting more involved even to the point of regulating prices.

Now, government probably felt compelled to do something because before DRG's many doctors and hospitals were using the standards offered them by Medicare to make even more money. At that time, hospitals could bill government for things that either didn't get charged or didn't get collected as a sort-of 'end of the year' addition--and many hospitals (and doctors) collected nice sums of money for it. Of course, there was no way to easily tract the billing so government imposed the DRG price-restrictions in their place. Many insurance companies have followed suit--especially the ones that 'complement Medicare' in paying the 20% of the 'allowable charge' that Medicare pays the other 80% for.

I have no earthly idea why this is being presented as ever having been a 'free market' initiative. Medical care hasn't been that for at least the last five decades--since Medicare and Medicaid were initiated.

Also, I have no earthly idea what 'the Mayo Clinic' is talking about by 'losing 870 million dollars in Medicare'. Pro-rated payments from Medicare (and Medicaid) have been around since Reagan's Administration--no matter what the facility 'bills', Medicare pays according to the diagnosis made. How that factors into the Mayo Clinic now 'suddenly' losing 870 million dollars 'from Medicare' doesn't seem to account for the fact that that is exactly what Medicare has been doing for almost 30 years--paying what it will pay regardless of what is billed....

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OK, it is a big steaming pile of economic pathology instead of medicine practiced as a healing art. The doctors are overpaid, but have to pay too much for offices, hospital access, insurance, etc., because we are not part of a Single Payer cost/effective system.

If we owned drug research and production instead of renting it from people who take a lot of money as our landlords, we could reduce the price of drugs and have the best pharm arsenal aimed at real health concerns.

Single Payer and getting it unhooked from employment would end the billing mess and eliminate the financial disaster from the medical disaster for patients. This would greatly reduce the costs of lawsuits and free doctors to be doctors. Peer review would be about professional practice and not cya.

In the for profit system, some doctors go for the gold instead of being healers. Some have to protect themselves against financial issues related to corporate and not to real practice. But I don't see them as the real bad guys here. Yeah, they think they are the only ones who had to spend time and money in education, but most PhD's are not paid like they are. Still, most of them like being doctors and hate all the crap in the way of practicing medicine.

It is the investor class and the fiduciary vultures who have made American medicine the mess it is for the public. Having a bunch of expensive, hi-tech gadgets has not given us a great public health return. Capitalism has failed in healthcare because it is irrational to its nature. This is not a "business."

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Quote Dusty:

Kevin, the Boston Tea Party was about a tax on tea not favored by the colonists. King George III tried to tax competition out of business.

Dusty, please visit the archives - radio show section - Thom's new promo is wrong post.

The protest was not just against buying a tea they didn't like, it was mostly against a mandate law and a protectionist law that were passed near simultaneously.

I explain in detail what happened with the protestors. The protest was primarily against the British Mandate to purchase 18 million pounds of unwanted tea (as well as the threat of purchasing other goods) from the East India Trading Company, so members of the house of lords would receive private kickbacks while the british received over 180/- million in direct customs fees from the sale of the tea.

I quoted, and cited over 9 separate legitimate historical websites that say that exact same thing.

King George did NOT in fact tax competition, he outright OUTLAWED it. The British Crown gave the East India Trading Company direct legal authority to arrest and confiscate anyone or business which conducted International Trade. These laws were passed simultaneously with the Tea Act.

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I don't entirely disagree, Kevin, but the colonies were little more than royal corporate entities. What the colonists were trying to do, to use an analogy: sell big macs in Burger King.

Hope that clarifies my opinion on the matter.

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Yes, tyvm. I am sorry I misunderstood ^_^

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Kevin - 1) they never sold that Tea to the colonists, 2) I question how 18 Mlbs of tea becomes 180 MMlbs sterling - I dont know the price of tea in 1700s but the price was NOT 10 pounds sterling per pound of tea and 3) the original Tea Partiers destroyed the Private Corporate property of EITC. That said:

Quote "Kevin Conner":The British Crown gave the East India Trading Company direct legal authority to arrest and confiscate anyone or business which conducted International Trade.
This is definitely on point: the corps already claim similar enforcement power in collections, on their property and through federal contracts. The federal government has privatized prisons (enforcement) , military (a cause for revolt in 1776) and even our elections! There were a lot of reasons the Boston Tea Partiers threw the tea in the drink. I agree with you that the primary reason was the absolute Tyranny formed by the collusion of private for-profit corporations and the government. As much as I disagree with TP agenda and as weak as the mandate may be (zero enforcement and no interest) the TPers are right as rain about the tyranny.. Sadly, the TP attacks our goverment of the people instead of the corporations that make it dance to their tune. The TP rank and file would likely work to cut the strings but they are being led by the wallet to Washington to complain about their taxes thinking Congress might listen. Perhaps it will listen and restore balance to the tax structure.

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>I agree with you that the primary reason was the absolute Tyranny formed by the collusion of private for-profit corporations and the government.

The colonies were the creation of royal grants and charters - what we now call corporations. I believe the last British royal colony was Hong Kong.

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We've been through the parsing of the Tea Parties from Boston to today. Kevin, your point is mostly technical and does not change the basic reaction against the corporate dominators. The colonies were going to be starbucked. It is kind of like the question of taxes or having to buy private healthcare products. Either way, we would rather own it instead of being run by corporate.

It would also help to avoid side-tracking conversations pursuing arcane trivia that is not directly relevant.

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DRC
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Jul. 31, 2007 4:01 pm

1st, a query ... If the Constitution forbids preferential treatment of regulation of commerce to ports (cities),[quote]US Constitution

Article I Section 9 (5)

"No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another."

then how can it possibly justify showing preferential treatment to a private industry?

2nd -

Amendment 9

"The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Just because the Constitution hasn't made a numbered list of all the intrinsic rights of the people that live on this earth does not mean that they do not exist. Remember "We the People" created this government to protect those rights.

FDR (a Democratic president) championed four essential freedoms - Speech, Worship, Freedom from Fear, and Freedom from want. I believe that if a government doesn't preserve the rights of all mankind then it is tyrannical in nature and while serving itself it no longer serves the people.

3rd - (now it gets tricky) Mandated insurance has been around since 1941, the difference here is that companies/corporations must provide the insurance : ...Under a World War II-era law known as the Defense Base Act [ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_Base_Act ], companies working under U.S. contracts in Iraq or Afghanistan must purchase insurance that pays for medical care and disability benefits for workers injured on the job, as well as death benefits for those killed. Taxpayers ultimately pay the cost, [B] because the premiums are built into companies' contracts with the government. [/B]

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/apr/17/nation/na-contractors17

==========================================

also note : http://www.defensebaseact.com/

TITLE 33 > CHAPTER 18 > § 949

§ 949. Effect of unconstitutionality

If any part of this chapter is adjudged unconstitutional by the courts, and such adjudication has the effect of invalidating any payment of compensation under this chapter, the period intervening between the time the injury was sustained and the time of such adjudication shall not be computed as a part of the time prescribed by law for the commencement of any action against the employer in respect of such injury; but the amount of any compensation paid under this chapter on account of such injury shall be deducted from the amount of damages awarded in such action in respect of such injury.

http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/33/usc_sup_01_33_10_18.html

=================================================

Also .... if I was the CFO of an insurance company and the mandate to buy insurance was ruled unconstitutional I would have my lawyers sue the federal government for breach of contract and demand the monies that the company would have made.

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