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Friday, April 06, 2012

Mandatory Broccoli Insurance 

I’m no big fan of Obamacare, but I thought the Solicitor General’s recent defense of it before the Supreme Court was weak. 

According to the papers, one of the Justices made reference to the broccoli bit.  Some of the opponents of the Affordable Care Act have asked whether if the federal government can require people to buy health insurance, it could also require them to eat broccoli.  The Solicitor General apparently gave that one a pass. 

Here is an answer that occurred to me: 

The only way broccoli would become relevant to the matter under discussion is this:  If broccoli was found to have curative properties, if the condition broccoli treated was episodic and unpredictable, if broccoli came to cost ten thousand dollars a head, and if society believed that everyone who needed broccoli should have it, then there might well be a need for mandatory broccoli insurance.                     

The argument sounds good to me.  I don’t know how to fit it into the constitution, but clever lawyers ought to be able to find a way.

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