Regulations limit freedom, regardless of who passes them.
As Rick Santorum has pointed out, states can enact all sorts of laws — including laws banning contraception — without violating the Constitution. That document places strict limits on what Congress can do, not what the states can do. Romney, incidentally, has always said his plan would be a bad idea nationally…
No one is claiming that the Constitution gives each person an unalienable right not to buy insurance.
States have been forcing people to do things from the beginning of the republic: drilling for the militia, taking blood tests before marriage, paying for public schools, registering property titles and waiting in line for six hours at the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to drive.
What. The. Fuck?
A bad law is a bad law no matter which level (State or Federal) at which it is passed.
Look, the reason why I support more state control is because the folks on the ground often are better at sorting out what’s going on. I’d rather have, for example, local control of fisheries rather than state mandated standards: the locals tend to have much better knowledge on the ground–though I don’t mind oversight in order to insure everyone is being honest. But since the passage of the 14th Amendment, the courts have increasingly interpreted clause 1 as extending the freedoms outlined in the Constitution to the state level. It’s why the courts have interpreted the First Amendment’s guarantees of religious freedom as applying to the state level, even though historically states have, in the past, used religious tests for voting rights and for the right to hold office.
A law that constrains one to belong to a militia or to buy health care insurance or whatever is a bad law no matter what level it is passed on. And if you are willing to put up with a State Mandate, then who cares if it is administered on the Federal level?
As a footnote, the bug in RomneyCare is that the mandate to buy insurance was designed to solve the problem of those who want insurance or wish to switch insurance providers who have a pre-existing condition. But attempting to expand the pool of coverage isn’t the right answer, in my opinion: creating a State- (or Federal-) operated high-risk insurance pool that backstops insurance providers, along with a lifetime cap on people who are insured before they spill over into that common insurance pool, would reduce the risk to insurance providers while making sure that the “social good” of effectively unlimited health care insurance to those handful of poor souls who need it are both covered.
(By this I mean when you buy insurance, you have a lifetime cap on the amount of insurance the insurance companies have to pay out. Call that cap “$1 million”, though it could be larger or smaller. The point is, once you hit that lifetime cap–you continue to have insurance through your company, but the company pays for your medical bills from the common state-run high-risk pool. And because insurance companies draw from this pool, it is actually in another insurance company’s best interest to take your business if you need to change jobs or change insurance providers (because you lost your job and are switching to private insurance) if you have run up more bills–because the amount of money that insurance company is on the hook for if you switch has shrunk to whatever is left on your lifetime cap.
At the Federal level, if this was combined with (a) deregulating interstate insurance–or rather, allowing health care insurance providers to operate across state lines, and (b) the creation of a federal insurance administration system that allows individuals who have exceeded their lifetime cap to switch to that administration if they have no insurance, while (c) prohibiting insurance companies who participate in the federal high-risk pool from denying pre-existing conditions for all plans–group and private, this would resolve many of the problems we have been trying to fix since before HIPAA passed in 1996, which was supposed to fix the problem with pre-existing conditions as well.)