I’m often amazed at the weakness of arguments before the Supreme Court. Today, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, attempting to help out the Obama Administration’s fumbling solicitor-general, made the weakest argument I’ve ever heard.
First, Ginsberg’s statement:
Mr. Verrilli, I thought that your main point is that, unlike food or any other market, when you made the choice not to buy insurance, even though you have every intent in the world to self-insure, to save for it, when disaster strikes, you may not have the money.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ginsburg-and-kennedy-questions-on-obamacare-2012-3#ixzz1qLDgvyX0
Ginsberg accurately described the government’s case. But in so doing, she made the plaintiffs’ case.
Food is at least as important as medical care.
- Food is a vital necessity.
- Food can be provided from a variety of sources.
- People can honestly intend to provide for their own food and fail.
- When people are unable to feed themselves—when their crops fail, the goat dies, etc.—other people feel compelled to help them. (Thank God, literally.)
Ginsberg and Solicitor-General Verilli insult our intelligence in their arguments. They seem to say that medical care is more necessary to life than food. Yet, without food, we die.
I can fully intend to feed myself. I buy chickens for eggs and meat, goats for milk. I plant a huge, beautiful garden with heirloom seeds. I dig a well. Then someone steals my goats, the chickens die of some communicable chicken disease, and a hail storm destroys my garden.
On the other hand, maybe the Obama Administration and Ginsberg aren’t arguing this case—maybe they’re arguing the next one, when HHS and FDA order us to buy certain foods.
The argument that medical care—or, more accurately, medical insurance—is unique holds no water. If it’s unfair to burden the insured with the medical costs of the uninsured, it’s unfair to burden the well fed with the food costs of the unfed. Fairness is independent of government’s involvement.
But that simple truth—like most truths in life–is too much for totalitarian worldview shared by Ginsberg, Verilli, and Obama.