Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

06 April 2012

A Very Little Knowledge In The Hands Of A Prog Is A Very Dangerous Thing ... It Usually Blows Up In Their Faces

THE_Independent wrote:  "There there was the 1700's US law that REQUIRED sailors to have health insurance in order to be a sailor."


To begin with, An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disable Seamen was directed at licenced American flagged ships engaged in commerce among the States and/or with foreign nations, and also directed at our Navy and its personnel. 

 It was NOT directed at individuals. The sailors were not merely privately employed sailors, but were employed on ships licenced by the United States and were engaged in commerce among the States and/or with foreign nations. Last time I read our Constitution, it declares that Congress has power to regulate commerce among the states and with foreign nations.

Lastly, the Act was a TAX, not a mandate to enter into a private contract with a third-party for the provision of health insurance. The wages of the seamen were levied or, in many cases, the employer paid the tax. 

The legislation reads:

§ 1. Be it enacted ……. That from and after the first day of September next, the master or owner of every ship or vessel of the United States, arriving from a foreign port into any port of the United States, shall …..

§ 2. That from and after the first day of September next, no collector shall grant to any ship or vessel whose enrollment or license for carrying on the coasting trade has expired, a new enrollment or license, before the master of such ship or vessel shall first render a true account to the collector, of the number of seamen, and the time they have severally been employed on board such ship or vessel, during the continuance of the license which has so expired, and pay to such collector twenty cents per month for every month such seamen have been severally employed as aforesaid ; which sum the said master is hereby authorized to retain out of the wages of such seamen. And if any such master shall render a false account of the number of men, and the length of time they have severally been employed, as is herein required, he shall forfeit and pay one hundred dollars.

Section 3 requires that all the withheld taxes be turned over to the U.S. Treasury on a quarterly basis, and that the revenue shall be expended in the district where it was collected. The revenue shall be spent to support sick and injured seamen.

So the Act is totally dissimilar to the Obamacare mandate. In the 1798 Act, the government imposes a tax, collects all the tax revenue, and spends the revenue as it chooses. This is a good precedent for programmes in which the government imposes a tax and then spends the money on medical programmes (e.g., Medicare), but it has nothing to do with mandating that individuals purchase a private product.

Under Section 4, if there is a surplus in a district, the surplus shall be spent in the construction of marine hospitals; the executive may combine the tax revenue with voluntary private donations of land or money for hospital construction. The President may also receive voluntary private donations for relief of the seamen, or for operation of the hospitals.

Section 5 instructs the President to select the directors of the marine hospitals. The directors shall make quarterly reports to the Secretary of the Treasury. The directors will be reimbursed for expenses, but will not receive other compensation.

Today, the 1798 Act is viewed as the beginning of the creation of the U.S. Public Health Service.

THE_Independent wrote:  "Then, in 1792, a Congress that included 17 framers passed a law requiring nearly every "free able-bodied white male citizen" age 18 to 44, within six months, "provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges," along with balls and gunpowder. A rifle could be substituted. The purpose was to establish a uniform militia.   So you don't know about the 1700's law REQUIRING all males of a certain age to PURCHASE a gun, boots, powder, backpack and other gear to be militia ready."


Yes, where does it say that any citizen had to purchase anything?  Again, it doesn't. Most men had all of that at the time. Furthermore, the authority under which Congress acted WAS NOT THE COMMERCE CLAUSE. The authority was derived from the Militia Clause in Article I, Section 8.

"To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress."

Read the committee report dated 23 August 1787 from the Constitutional Convention and you will understand.

These individuals were all draftees and the requirement was for a real and desperate need for national security. These laws were repealed once the National Guard was established.  It was also a one-time payment (for something almost every male already possessed) versus a lifetime mandate. 

Now, if you can turn Obamacare into a militia, you're all good to go! 

Related Reading:

Joan Walsh: Liar, Liar! Pants on Fire!

Former Obama Student: Obama's Ignorance of Constitution Embarrassing

Obamacare: Do Not Resuscitate

The Liberal Legal Bubble




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