RUSH: Ten days ago on a spectacular edition of Open Line Friday, I said to each of you -- in response to a question I got and continue to get from many people, "What can we do, Rush? What can we do?" -- be the one in your family who is the go-to person when somebody needs a political answer. If somebody needs a political answer, you be the go-to guy -- and let me tell you how you become the go-to guy: The Heritage Foundation, me and Mark Levin's books. Television is not going to help you be a go-to guy. It's too sound bite-oriented. It's too brief. It's not nuanced and detailed enough. I got an e-mail, as I mentioned to you, over the weekend.
"Good morning, sir. We were having a discussion last night about Obamacare with a few dinner guests. We are your age. One of our guests, who is 24, insisted that since the government requires citizens to have car insurance before allowing them to register a car, then we should have no problem with the government requiring citizens to have health insurance. What would be your reply?" I wrote her back: "It is state governments which require everyone with a driver's license to have auto insurance. If you own a car but do not drive -- in other words, you have a driver -- you must be insured. If you don't own a car and you don't have a driver's license, you do not have to have auto insurance.
"And even if you break auto insurance laws, you do not go to jail for it. But in both the House and Senate bills, if you do not buy health insurance, you can be imprisoned for five years. Automobile insurance is purchased not to protect you, the buyer. Auto insurance is to provide for your victim should you ever cause an accident. Health insurance is the opposite. It is to protect the buyer from catastrophic loss brought on by illness or accident. Health insurance is, thus, in no way analogous to auto insurance because health insurance is purchased to insure the buyer against his own catastrophic loss brought on by major illness or accident. You do not buy health insurance to provide for others. You buy it for yourself.
"Can you actually insure your health? Does health insurance insure your health? It cannot possibly do so. Health insurance cannot possibly insure your health. In fact, health care insurance (formerly called 'medical insurance') is merely an instrument of neutralizing risk. Financial risk, that is; not health risks. You cannot insure your health. It was brought about by a need to insure a family's assets against a dread disease requiring care so expensive it could wipe that family out financially. As a strictly financial planning endeavor the issue never seemed to be discussed in terms of being a right or in terms of compassion, but medical insurance, as a component of financial planning, has morphed into health care as a right for everyone in the new political parlance. But it's not about health. Health insurance is not about health. You can't insure your health.
"Most important of all," I wrote back, "it's unconstitutional for the federal government to mandate that a citizen buy anything, much less put them in jail for failing to do so. What the hell is your 24-year-old guest thinking? Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government permitted to mandate that citizens buy X. The Constitution limits government! Its whole purpose is to define what government cannot do to citizens. Read the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments: The Constitution specifically limits government power and always sides with the freedom and liberty of the people. Your 24-year-old guest has been ill educated, defrauded by his schools, otherwise he wouldn't hold the view that government has the power to require all of this.
"Had he been properly educated he would understand the concepts of federalism and states' rights and thus would never take the position that he took at your dinner party. He would be robustly and adamantly opposed to all of this. The Founders feared just this type of power being amassed in Washington, and wrote the Constitution to prevent it and to protect us from fellow idiot citizens electing morons like Barack Obama. When the Constitution is violated (as it is with federal mandates on health care), someone must challenge it in court, eventually getting the case to the Supreme Court. If this does not happen, or if the people do not openly revolt over this, then the Constitution is weakened, its original purpose diluted and destroyed. Individual freedom and liberty is lost.
"Other than that, everything's hunky-dory."
RUSH: Let me ask you a question: "Why don't we have the government make everybody buy life insurance, folks?" That way nobody would die, at least by the other side's reasoning -- and isn't life more important than health? You can't get health without life, right? So why don't they require everybody to buy life insurance? Doesn't dying without life insurance cause more hardship than getting sick and running up a large bill? And why would it take 2,000 pages to make us buy life insurance? (interruption) I'm not giving them any ideas, Snerdley. They could think of more disastrous stuff than I could in a day.