What did the US Supreme Court think was worthy of a dozen mentions in its recent ruling on Barack Obama’s health care reforms? (Clue: my headline which was rather a spoiler.)
Chief Justice Roberts jumps right into what Justice Ginsburg calls “the broccoli horrible,” meaning the invocation of broccoli as the sickening consequence of unrestrained big government. Opposing the idea that the Commerce Clause allows Congress to regulate a consumer’s inactivity, he repeats what is by now the familiar taunting query of the right: What would stop a government that can make you buy health insurance from also making you buy healthy vegetables? [New Yorker]
Of course the idea of the government making the purchase of something mandatory is nothing new in the UK. Think motor vehicles and insurance for a start.
Even bearing in mind Harold Wilson’s dictum about a week, however, I’m fairly certain that the UK will continue to be a test case for how mandatory purchase rules do not sprout enforced broccoli consumption regulations.
Now, I’m off to enjoy the Wikipedia marvel that is the broccoli talk page once more.