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Choppin' Broccoli

Here's why the broccoli argument during the Supreme Court questioning is specious. First, it wasn't meant to answer an actual question. It was meant to point to the "slippery slope." The wise and reasoned judges could have easily ascertained why health insurance isn't like a mandate on broccoli. Therefore it was merely a tool to impress upon people a specific point of view, versus a means of eliciting any real answer that the judge needed.

Second, we should agree that everyone is or will be at some time in their life IN the healthcare market. There are two ways to be in the market; insurance or no insurance. Both have a cost. In both the costs are shared by all. Mandatory insurance or not everyone pays something; pick, premiums or taxes. Scheduled care is less costly than emergency care. So we can pay less by way of premiums or more by way of taxes. In this market the way to improve cost is simple; obtain insurance. With the brocolli argument, not everyone will be IN the broccoli market. Because there's more than one way to eat healthy.

There are many more factors. Maybe I'm allergic, or I prefer califlower. The government can't force you to actually eat something you bought. There are too many variables that acheive the same outcome for the government to reasonably regulate. It can't monitor your intake, only your purchase. Plus the fact that we still don't understand what "healthy" is at an individual level, so we can't mandate "health".

We can mandate consumption of insurance, monitor usage, and provide cost protections for when people fall into ill health. In fact the government already pays for those who fall into ill health without insurance, and they do it with our money already. So it's already a mandate of sorts. Now we're just formalizing it.