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Con-ning Yourself

I recently laid out my argument for the constitutionality of the individual mandate. Conceding that I’m not a constitutional lawyer, it’s entirely plausible that I’m influenced by the consequences of the policy. I think Obamacare is better than not having Obamacare. I think the individual mandate reasonably solves adverse selection in insurance and the free-rider problem. In contrast, people who think Obamacare is bad policy also just happen to think it’s unconstitutional.

As Jonathan Bernstein says:

[T]here are vanishingly few people who believe that the Affordable Care Act was a terrific piece of legislation except that it is unfortunately unconstitutional. Nor are there more than a handful who believe that the ACA is certainly permitted by the Constitution, but is otherwise a terrible idea.

So let’s put everyone to the test – not just with healthcare but with every policy.

Can you name any policy you favor but think is unconstitutional? 

  1. Bill
    March 30, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    Affirmative Action. I have mixed feelings about mandates, particularly when they jeopardize some in order to help others. Seems constitutionally fuzzy to me, especially since is rests on racial and gender bias. Does this not violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment? I really don’t know much about it though and am not prepared to have a heady debate. I do like the idea of affirmative action because it gives minorities a fighting chance in a country where they are often discriminated against.

    • April 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Interesting choice. I actually oppose affirmative action so I can’t pick that as an example for myself. One day I’ll do a post on that.

  2. Dave
    April 8, 2012 at 10:19 am

    Social Security, and the Patriot Act come to mind.

    • April 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

      Dave, you think social security is unconstitutional? Feel free to elaborate. Also, you think the patriot act is good policy?

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