In July, 1798, Congress passed, and President John Adams signed into law “An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen,” authorizing the creation of a marine hospital service, and mandating privately employed sailors to purchase healthcare insurance.
This legislation also created America’s first payroll tax, as a ship’s owner was required to deduct 20 cents from each sailor’s monthly pay and forward those receipts to the service, which in turn provided injured sailors hospital care. Failure to pay or account properly was discouraged by requiring a law violating owner or ship’s captain to pay a 100 dollar fine.
This historical fact demolishes claims of “unprecedented” and “The Constitution nowhere authorizes the United States to mandate, either directly or under threat of penalty…”
Perhaps these somewhat incompetent attorneys general might wish to amend their lawsuits to conform to the 1798 precedent, and demand that the mandate and fines be linked to implementing a federal single payer healthcare insurance plan.
The other option is to name Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison et al. in the lawsuits. However, it might be difficult to convince a judge, or the public, that those men didn’t know the limits of the Constitution.