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Constitutional Crisis

AIR DATE: April 14, 2010

The war between Gov. Jim Gibbons and Attorney-General Catherine Cortez Masto is escalating. He wanted her to sue. She said no. Then he got his own lawyer and now the Attorney-General says the governor can't just go and get his own lawyer because it breaches state law. We try and sort out this crisis by looking at how much of it is really political and where it's likely to go from this stand-off.

Steve Sebelius, Editor, Las Vegas City Life

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Jack makes a great argument: if you have a body and refuse to insure it, you are costing those of us who DO buy insurance more money - unless you can guarantee never needing or using health care. On the surface, it's easy to yell about the gov't making us purchase things - "they have no right!" "10th Amendment!" But if you think about how our country has structured who gets what treatment when and how to pay for it, refusing to purchase insurance is irresponsible. Aren't many of these same people all about personal responsibility? Or is that just code for "I got mine, I don't care about what you don't got!" Part of living in civil society is participating in inconvenient rules for the benefit of the whole. Not only does it appear to be constitutional for our gov't to req. us to purchase insurance, but it's the responsible thing to do.
MistyApr 7, 2010 15:45:56 PM
Thanks for having Mr. Sebelius on. I've thoroughly enjoyed his learned insights on "State of Nevada" as well as "Nevada Week in Review," on Nevada PBS.

My thought is that the governor and his pro bono lawyer have a specious argument. They contend that people who don't have health insurance are innocents the government shouldn't bother, that this is the first time people who do nothing get taxed by the federal government. They then throw around the 9th and 10th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

On the contrary, I contend that the uninsured are committing economic passive aggression!

Their failure to be insured does in fact create economic activity: by me (and by everyone else with insurance). I have to pay higher premiums because of the uninsured. ER costs are higher because of their "inactivity," and federal expenditures on health are driven toward insolvency thanks in part to the crowd who either can't or won't get health insurance.

So, I don't buy the argument. If you're uninsured, We the People are giving you help, through the new health insurance reform law, to get insurance. If you don't, then you pay a tax to help pay for the drag you create on the system. The governor and his lawyer want to repeal the law that now holds the uninsured responsible. I say good! Make the free-loaders pay.

The new law doesn't trample on rights, it rights a wrong perpetrated on those with health insurance.

JackApr 7, 2010 00:00:00 AM
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