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Monday, March 22, 2010

3-22-2010 (Monday)

   /ˈmændeɪt/ Show Spelled [man-deyt] Show IPA noun, verb,-dat·ed, -dat·ing.
a command or authorization to act in a particular way on a public issue given by the electorate to its representative: The president had a clear mandate to end the war.
a command from a superior court or official to a lower one.
an authoritative order or command: a royal mandate.
(in the League of Nations) a commission given to a nation to administer the government and affairs of a former Turkish territory or German colony.
a mandated territory or colony.
Roman Catholic Church. an order issued by the pope, esp. one commanding the preferment of a certain person to a benefice.
Roman and Civil Law. a contract by which one engages gratuitously to perform services for another.
(in modern civil law) any contract by which a person undertakes to perform services for another.
Roman Law. an order or decree by the emperor, esp. to governors of provinces.

"Mandate." Dictionary.com Unabridged. Random House, Inc. 22 Mar. 2010. .

There was a rather large event this weekend. One that generated a lot of heat on both sides of the political aisle. That issue was the reformation of health care. Now I am waiting to see what this all means in the long term. It seems that for the majority of those against it this heralds the beginning of "Socialism" in America and the end of our great nation. Those who are in favor of this seem to feel that this is evidence that "change" can happen and that America will finally have the health care system that they should.

I am not here to debate either of those points. Though if my readers want to, please feel free to do so in the comments section. What I would like to talk about is the word "Mandate". As I listened to and read and watched things pertaining to the Health Care debate of the last year. It seemed that one of the biggest objections for those opposed to it was that health insurance would be mandated. Now I live in Oregon and in Oregon car insurance is mandated.

"Oregon's mandatory insurance law ORS 806.010 requires every driver to insure their vehicle. The minimum liability insurance a driver must have is:

Type Amount
Bodily injury and property damage liability

$25,000 per person;
$50,000 per crash for bodily injury to others; and
$20,000 per crash for damage to the property of others

State law also requires every motor vehicle liability policy to provide:

Type Amount
Personal Injury Protection (for reasonable and necessary medical, dental and other expenses one year after a crash)

$15,000 per person
Uninsured Motorist Coverage

$25,000 per person;
$50,000 per crash for bodily injury

You must certify that you have this insurance each time you register a motor vehicle, or when you buy a light vehicle trip permit. You must also certify that you will comply with Oregon's motor vehicle insurance requirements as long as a vehicle is registered in your name, or for the duration of the permit.

Some motor vehicles are exempt from financial responsibility requirements. Those exemptions can be found in ORS 806.020."

Also in Oregon if you drive a motorcycle you must wear a helmet another mandatory law. Now one of the core ways that both of these laws were put into practice was the idea that uninsured motorists and helmetless drivers raise the cost for the rest of us if we mandate these things then the cost will eventually be kept lower. Now I was not around for the debate on those and I am not sure if that has been the case or not. But I wonder if the fight for mandating car insurance was a heated as the fight has been for health care. Now I know that in the case of car insurance the federal government has left it up to each state to decide the laws on car insurance. I believe that car insurance is mandated in each state. So I wonder what makes health insurance different then car insurance in this case. Is it strictly because cars are a machine and there isn't the emotional connect?

I know several states are already moving to file cases against a federal mandate for health insurance. I do not have a problem with that. I think states should have the ability to make their own laws. If New York wants to ban the use of table salt and they vote it through okay. That is how it works. Sometimes things will get voted on that we do not like but ideally then they can be revisited and changed. I did not mean to get sidetracked on that.

My main question is this one. What is the difference between mandating car insurance vs mandating health insurance? Are both equally bad? Would it be okay if each state was doing it on it's own? Is the problem that the Fed has mandated it and that goes against the Constitution? I really want to know what is the difference?
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