8 Ways to Obtain Contraception Without Violating Everyone Else’s Liberty

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the ways contraception can be obtained without violating the rights or liberties of others:

  • Pay for it out of pocket.
  • Split the costs with your significant other.
  • Buy a health insurance policy that voluntarily covers it.
  • If your employee health plan does not cover it, negotiate with your employer for contraception coverage.
  • If your employee health plan does not cover it, negotiate with your employer to be paid in cash, rather than medical benefits, and then use that cash to buy the medical benefits of your choice.
  • If your employer refuses to pay you in cash, campaign to remove the government regulations requiring your employer to pay you in benefits instead of cash.
  • If your employer refuses to pay you in cash, campaign to remove the tax benefits your employer receives for paying you in benefits instead of cash.
  • If your employer continues to refuse to pay you in cash after all government incentives against it have been removed, search for a different employer who respects your personal choice a little more.

And here is a list of the ways to obtain contraception by violating the rights and liberties of everyone else:

  • Campaign to use the force of government with the threat of taxes, prison, or violence, to mandate others to buy you contraception.
  • Steal it, or the money to buy it, with your own hand.

Yes, ladies, this same logic applies to Viagra as well.

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Will Single-Payer Solve the Obamacare Problems?

The popular response among progressives to the Obamacare trainwreck (higher costs, dropped coverage, incompetent mismanagement) is to suggest that all of this would be better if we had just enacted single-payer (i.e. nationalized/socialist) health care in the first place. But do you really think the same government that was too incompetent to manage a website and run the health insurance industry will be competent enough to run the entire health care industry directly?

If you nationalize all of this, those additional costs that Obamacare created through centrally-mandated inefficiencies won’t just go away. They’ll get worse as the government takes more of the decisions away from the health industry professionals, replacing their time-tested judgements with those of politicians. The only thing that will change to make anyone’s life easier is we’ll be paying for it through taxes rather than through insurance companies. But shuffling the costs around like that doesn’t make them go away. We will have to pay those costs, or our country will default, and then we’ll all be facing total economic devastation.

Socialist health care doesn’t fix fascist health care. It only sweeps the costs of inefficient centralized management under the rug and pretends they aren’t there.

Krugman and Social Choice

Paul Krugman is at it again (emphasis mine):

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Representative Ron Paul what we should do if a 30-year-old man who chose not to purchase health insurance suddenly found himself in need of six months of intensive care. Mr. Paul replied, “That’s what freedom is all about — taking your own risks.” Mr. Blitzer pressed him again, asking whether “society should just let him die.”

And the crowd erupted with cheers and shouts of “Yeah!”

The incident highlighted something that I don’t think most political commentators have fully absorbed: at this point, American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions.

Now, there are two things you should know about the Blitzer-Paul exchange. The first is that after the crowd weighed in, Mr. Paul basically tried to evade the question, asserting that warm-hearted doctors and charitable individuals would always make sure that people received the care they needed — or at least they would if they hadn’t been corrupted by the welfare state. Sorry, but that’s a fantasy. People who can’t afford essential medical care often fail to get it, and always have — and sometimes they die as a result.

The second is that very few of those who die from lack of medical care look like Mr. Blitzer’s hypothetical individual who could and should have bought insurance. In reality, most uninsured Americans either have low incomes and cannot afford insurance, or are rejected by insurers because they have chronic conditions.

So would people on the right be willing to let those who are uninsured through no fault of their own die from lack of care? The answer, based on recent history, is a resounding “Yeah!”

Think, in particular, of the children.

So Mr. Krugman is right about one thing: At this point, American politics is fundamentally about different moral visions. However, the question of which visions is where Krugman is being deliberately misleading. Krugman frames the issue as a binary choice between two moral visions:

Option 1: Society saves the man.

Option 2: Society lets the man die.

But that doesn’t at all represent the moral question here. Libertarians do not want “Society” to just let the man die. Krugman’s mistake (which he repeats frequently, unashamedly, and deliberately, refusing to be corrected) is his tendency to equate government with “Society.” A more honest representation of the choice would be something like this:

Option 1: Government is responsible for determining whether the man lives or dies.

Option 2: Free individuals are responsible for determining whether the man lives or dies, and may voluntarily choose according to what they believe is right and fair.

Whether “Society” is comprised of government or an association of free individuals does not determine whether or not the man lives or dies. Rather, the choices that people make within each of those moral frameworks makes that determination. So who do you want to be making those sorts of determinations? Free, voluntarily associated individuals? Or the entity that gives us so many wonderful engines of bureaucratic incompetence like the DMV?

Think, in particular, of the children!

Virginia Federal Judge Rules Individual Mandate Unconstitutional!

The arguments are based on the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and General Welfare Clause of the Constitution, which I reproduce here:

[The Congress shall have Power] To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian tribes

The Congress shall have Power – To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

Here’s the gist of the ruling:

The Necessary and Proper Clause coupled with the Commerce Clause lets Congress enforce any law assisting in the enforcement regulation of interstate commerce. However, it does not allow Congress to enforce any law necessary to make a certain regulation have a certain effect.

So, Congress has the authority to do whatever is necessary to enforce the “preexisting conditions” coverage mandates on insurers, but if that makes the market “implode” as Kathleen Sebelius’ representation argued it would in the absence of an individual mandate, that doesn’t give Congress an excuse to implement an individual mandate not otherwise allowed by the Commerce Clause. Enforcing the individual mandate may help the market function better when the other, constitutionally-allowed regulations are simultaneously in place, but that has nothing to do with the actual enforcement of those other, constitutionally-allowed regulations. Hence, the Necessary and Proper Clause cannot be used to argue for the constitutionality of an individual mandate as a necessary component for “carrying into Execution” the Commerce Clause regulations.

Additionally, the ruling states that the Secretary’s suggestion that an individual’s inactivity on health care inevitably leads to economic activity later on “lacks logical limitation” and “could apply to transportation, housing, or nutritional decisions,” putting it outside the realm of Commerce Clause jurisprudence.

Finally, the mandate is not allowed under Congress’ power to lay taxes, because it is structured as a penalty, not a revenue-gathering measure. If this measure were to work perfectly, then it would generate zero revenue, as everyone would avoid it by buying health insurance. The Secretary made exactly this argument with regards to her Commerce Clause defense. Hence, it cannot be construed as a tax, must be considered a regulatory penalty, and is not allowed through the General Welfare Clause.

So there you have it. That is why a Virginia Federal Judge has ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional.

—————

On a side note, I also would like to call attention to this line:

“The unchecked expansion of congressional power to the limits suggested by the Minimum Essential Coverage Provision would invite unbridled exercise of federal police powers.

While making this exact same assertion over the past year, I’ve been called crazy, a reactionary, a nutjob, a racist teabagger, a violator of Godwin’s Law, etc. And now a Federal judge who has reviewed this case extensively is coming to the same conclusion. I don’t think people realize how the entire idea of constitutional limits on federal power resides on this case.

Equality Before the Law

John Adams defined a republic as “a government of laws, and not of men.” What this means is that the laws apply equally to all, and are not changed arbitrarily through the whims of some autocrat.

When George W. Bush selectively awarded no-bid contracts to companies that he favored, they called it “crony-capitalism.” So what do you call it when the Health Secretary is selectively choosing which companies the law does and doesn’t apply to? One thing I’m sure it’s not called: “Equality before the law.”

This whole situation reeks of being a “bill of attainder.” If Obama’s health care law doesn’t work unless his health secretary gets to issue waivers from the regulations to favored clients, then the law doesn’t work. Let’s repeal the law and bring back a government of laws, and not of men.

Compulsory Contracts

With the NAACP and other Obama-supporters pulling the race card on the Tea Party, it was only a matter of time before it came back to bite them. Bringing to mind a time when some people were not as free as others, some black Tea Party supporters are linking the compulsory labor and surrender of property rights inherent in Obama’s policies (and especially his health care law) to slavery: [link]

The most important point that video makes is that the horrors of slavery are not about race, but about loss of freedom through compulsory labor. Race-neutral enslavement is still enslavement. And enslavement is not only wrong, but unconstitutional as well, as another eloquent libertarian explains.

And that brings us to the clincher: If the government can force us to buy the product of private health care companies just as a result of being alive, what can’t they do? What is the point of a constitution that allows the government to force you to give up your money to another private party without any sort of consensual agreement or judicial process? Does it give us the right to free speech just so we can complain to ourselves when the government forces us to buy the New York Times, a GM car, and to get a job in the medical industry so that there are people to fill the “right” of health care? That is enslavement.

To interpret the constitution as allowing the government to allow such things is simply incorrect. The 10th Amendment exists to ensure that the document is interpreted as an enumeration of limited powers, rather than as an enumeration of limited freedoms, as the Democrats and authoritarian-leaning judges have interpreted it. This is a debate about the fundamental nature of our Republic, as to whether it should be constitutional, or enslaved by the whims of democratically-elected dictators.

Should America Bid Farewell to Exceptional Freedom?

Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin gave this speech on March 31st:

Last week, on March 21st, Congress enacted a new Intolerable Act. Congress passed the Health Care bill – or I should say, one political party passed it – over a swelling revolt by the American people. The reform is an atrocity. It mandates that every American must buy health insurance, under IRS scrutiny. It sets up an army of federal bureaucrats who ultimately decide for you how you should receive Health Care, what kind, and how much…or whether you don’t qualify at all. Never has our government claimed the power to decide when each of us has lived well enough or long enough to be refused life-saving medical assistance.

This presumptuous reform has put this nation … once dedicated to the life and freedom of every person … on a long decline toward the same mediocrity that the social welfare states of Europe have become.

Americans are preparing to fight another American Revolution, this time, a peaceful one with election ballots…but the “causes” of both are the same:

Should unchecked centralized government be allowed to grow and grow in power … or should its powers be limited and returned to the people?

Should irresponsible leaders in a distant capital be encouraged to run up scandalous debts without limit that crush jobs and stall prosperity … or should the reckless be turned out of office and a new government elected to live within its means?

Should America bid farewell to exceptional freedom and follow the retreat to European social welfare paternalism … or should we make a new start, in the faith that boundless opportunities belong to the workers, the builders, the industrious, and the free?

We are at the beginning of an election campaign like you’ve never seen before!

We are challenged to answer again the momentous questions our Founders raised when they launched mankind’s noblest experiment in human freedom. They made a fundamental choice and changed history for the better. Now it’s our high calling to make that choice: between managed scarcity, or solid growth … between living in dependency on government handouts, or taking responsibility for our lives … between confiscating the earnings of some and spreading them around, or securing everyone’s right to the rewards of their work … between bureaucratic central government, or self-government … between the European social welfare state or the American idea of free market democracy.

What kind of nation do we wish to be? What kind of society will we hand down to our children and future generations? In the coming watershed election, the nature of this unique and exceptional land is at stake. We will choose one of two different paths. And once we make that choice, there’s no going back.

This is not the kind of election I would prefer. But it was forced on us by the leaders of our government.

These leaders are walking America down a new path … creating entitlements and promising benefits that model the United States after the European Union: a welfare state society where most people pay little or no taxes but become dependent on government benefits … where tax reduction is impossible because more people have a stake in the welfare state than in free enterprise … where high unemployment is accepted as a way of life, and the spirit of risk-taking is smothered by a tangle of red tape from an all-providing centralized government.

True, the United States has been moving slowly toward this path a long time. And Democrats and Republicans share the blame. Now we are approaching a “tipping point.” Once we pass it, we will become a different people. Before the “tipping point,” Americans remain independent and take responsibility for their own well-being. Once we have gone beyond the “tipping point,” that self-sufficient outlook will be gradually transformed into a soft despotism a lot like Europe’s social welfare states. Soft despotism isn’t cruel or mean, it’s kindly and sympathetic. It doesn’t help anyone take charge of life, but it does keep everyone in a happy state of childhood. A growing centralized bureaucracy will provide for everyone’s needs, care for everyone’s heath, direct everyone’s career, arrange everyone’s important private affairs, and work for everyone’s pleasure.

The only hitch is, government must be the sole supplier of everyone’s happiness … the shepherd over this flock of sheep.

Am I exaggerating? Are we really reaching this “tipping point”? Exact and precise measures cannot be made, but an eye-opening study by the Tax Foundation, a reliable and non-partisan research group, tells us that in 2004, 20 percent of US households were getting about 75 percent of their income from the federal government. In other words, one out of five families in America is already government dependent. Another 20 percent were receiving almost 40 percent of their income from federal programs, so another one in five has become government reliant for their livelihood.

It continues. I urge every American to read the entirety of the article and ask yourself the rhetorical questions posed in it. Paul Ryan is a smart man- he had Obama on his toes at the Health Care Summit  and he’s the one who exposed the deceitful gimmicks used by the Democrats to get the answer they wanted from the CBO. I don’t agree with everything in Rep. Ryan’s proposed solution, but he is right that we are at the tipping point, where we have a choice between a nation built on individual freedom and a nation hanging from the precarious limb of government support. We are approaching the end of an era, and it’s up to all of us to decide what the future will look like.

I, for one, choose freedom.