Harvard Law Prof Testifies Congress Can Make You Buy Veggies and Insurance
Posted Feb 3, 2011 10:31 AM CST
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Harvard law professor Charles Fried testified before Congress on Wednesday that he’s “quite sure” the health-care law’s insurance requirement is constitutional.
Fried, who was solicitor general in the Reagan administration, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee that the commerce clause gives Congress the power to require insurance, the Talking Points Memo blog reports. Congress even has the power to require you to buy vegetables, Fried said, according to the Forbes blog The Apothecary.
“As for the veggies,” Fried said in his opening testimony, “I suppose such forced feeding would indeed be an invasion of personal liberty, but making you pay for them would not, just as making you pay for a gym membership which you can afford but do not use would not.”
Fried pointed to a 1905 case, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, in which the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Massachusetts law requiring citizens to get a smallpox vaccine or pay a $5 fine, according to MedPage Today.