View Poll Results: Should the government be able to regulate this market in advance as stated below?

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Thread: Mandated Burial Plot

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    Mandated Burial Plot

    So talking ot my relatively apolitical wife about the health care law last night and the arguments made in court, she brought up an analogy that I actually thought was rather on point and one I wanted to expand on.

    People die. When people die, if there is no family or no one able to provide for their burial we do not simply leave the dead decaying body to lie out and about. Someone bears the cost to go forward with disposing of the body either thorugh burial or cremation. And when that's ont a family member its putting an unnecessary financial burden on portions of society. Everyone, in some fashion, will enter into this market place at some point. There is no an individual who at some point in their life will be involved in some fashion with this particular market. We don't know when an individual may enter this market, and the entrance to it could be sudden and without any forthought.

    As such, should the government be able to regulate this market in advance by mandating that every individual do one of the following two things or be levied a tax penalty?:

    1. Purchase Life Insurance, assuring that everyone who dies will have some money doled out that will cover after-death costs. To go along with this, regulation will be put on Life Insurance that it must cover ALL forms of death at least to a minimum amount, including suicide.

    2. Purchase a burial plot and coffin or pre-purchase cremation services.

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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    The question about burial insurance was the one posed by Justice Alito during Tuesday's questioning. The solicitor-general attempted to draw a distinction between health insurance and burial insurance...but my view is that they ARE legally the same, and the government CAN mandate that people purchase burial insurance if it desires (at least to the extent that it affects interstate commerce). Whether it SHOULD mandate burial insurance is a separate question for Congress to decide, but I see no constitutional problem with it.
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    So talking ot my relatively apolitical wife about the health care law last night and the arguments made in court, she brought up an analogy that I actually thought was rather on point and one I wanted to expand on.

    People die. When people die, if there is no family or no one able to provide for their burial we do not simply leave the dead decaying body to lie out and about. Someone bears the cost to go forward with disposing of the body either thorugh burial or cremation. And when that's ont a family member its putting an unnecessary financial burden on portions of society. Everyone, in some fashion, will enter into this market place at some point. There is no an individual who at some point in their life will be involved in some fashion with this particular market. We don't know when an individual may enter this market, and the entrance to it could be sudden and without any forthought.

    As such, should the government be able to regulate this market in advance by mandating that every individual do one of the following two things or be levied a tax penalty?:

    1. Purchase Life Insurance, assuring that everyone who dies will have some money doled out that will cover after-death costs. To go along with this, regulation will be put on Life Insurance that it must cover ALL forms of death at least to a minimum amount, including suicide.

    2. Purchase a burial plot and coffin or pre-purchase cremation services.
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Zyphlin View Post
    So talking ot my relatively apolitical wife about the health care law last night and the arguments made in court, she brought up an analogy that I actually thought was rather on point and one I wanted to expand on.

    People die. When people die, if there is no family or no one able to provide for their burial we do not simply leave the dead decaying body to lie out and about. Someone bears the cost to go forward with disposing of the body either thorugh burial or cremation. And when that's ont a family member its putting an unnecessary financial burden on portions of society. Everyone, in some fashion, will enter into this market place at some point. There is no an individual who at some point in their life will be involved in some fashion with this particular market. We don't know when an individual may enter this market, and the entrance to it could be sudden and without any forthought.

    As such, should the government be able to regulate this market in advance by mandating that every individual do one of the following two things or be levied a tax penalty?:

    1. Purchase Life Insurance, assuring that everyone who dies will have some money doled out that will cover after-death costs. To go along with this, regulation will be put on Life Insurance that it must cover ALL forms of death at least to a minimum amount, including suicide.

    2. Purchase a burial plot and coffin or pre-purchase cremation services.
    Using the same logic they use to support the health care mandate, this makes sense. But that they did not include such a thing shows the single focus they have, as well as makes you wonder about the 'real' intent of a 2700 page law that nobody read.
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Well, do we see conservatives saying they don't want their tax dollars going for burial plots (which they do)? One reason it wasn't include is because the cost for this is not as large a drain. And cheaper alternatives are more readily available. Here I could even be buried in my backyard. The problem is not as large, and the cost to others not as significant. So this difference is important.

    that said, should the problem ever reach the level of cost and harm to others that lack of health care does, yes the government can and should be able to. And like with health care, to not do so would mean either letting people die untreated (as with health care) or stack up outside hoping someone will bury them (as with death).

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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    The difference being that the taxpayers having to pay for burial service, it does not increase the cost of the service for the rest of us. Also there are varying options such as cremation, burial at sea,etc. So while they may seem the same on the surface, there are some differences.

    The question I have is why is the mandate in such question when you are already mandated to pay into social security?
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Arbo View Post
    Using the same logic they use to support the health care mandate, this makes sense.
    Agreed.

    But that they did not include such a thing shows the single focus they have, as well as makes you wonder about the 'real' intent of a 2700 page law that nobody read.
    Huh? So because Congress is able to do X and it's also able to do Y, any bill that includes X should also include Y?

    That doesn't make any sense. There is a difference between Congress have the power to do something, and Congress actually choosing to exercise that power.
    Last edited by Kandahar; 03-29-12 at 11:57 AM.
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Yes Congress can regulate this market. Can they mandate it in advance? No they cannot.

    Given that the indigent probably cannot afford life insurance and most indigent are near penniless when they die and given that family nor the possessions of the deceased will cover the costs of even the most basic burial, I don't see how a mandated life insurance would solve the issue. I would assume that today, the state takes care of the issue and works with local funeral homes and I'm sure those funeral homes either just break even or lose money on these burials / cremations. I'd be in favor of a tax credit for the funeral homes instead of attempting to force those who have nothing, life insurance.

    We again get into the scenario where the mandate for life insurance is passed. The person is too poor to afford it, so they are exempted (assumed), they die. We're right back where we started that the state has to pick up the tab. So the only real issue solved here is that those who have the money, or have the family who refuse to pay are covered. The poor are still paid for by society via that same burden.

    As for pre-purchasing it again falls into the same scenario, unless such a fee is automatically taken out of a persons paycheck by law to a certain amount - let's say $10,000 and is held in a trust or account (Death / Burial Account) which the government cannot touch, so that when the person dies that money is automatically used. If more is needed, it must be added by the estate or by family. That I might go for as an alternative as it's just good planning we all should be doing anyway, since we'll all end up the same sooner or later.
    I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on whats being proposed here, hed agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute. - Chuck Schumer (D). Yet, Madison and Mason wrote the Bill of Rights, according to Sheila Jackson Lee, 400 years ago. Yup, it's a fact.


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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    Quote Originally Posted by Boo Radley View Post
    that said, should the problem ever reach the level of cost and harm to others that lack of health care does, yes the government can and should be able to. And like with health care, to not do so would mean either letting people die untreated (as with health care) or stack up outside hoping someone will bury them (as with death).
    I'll ask you again here, can you show us where in the Constitution federal government has the power to force people to purchase from private industry?
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    Re: Mandated Burial Plot

    do you really think those folks without a burial plan actually get buried at taxpayer expense
    hell no
    they are cremated, and their ashes are disposed with other garbage
    who is going to complain about such an outcome
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