One of the libertarian arguments against conscription is that it is a tax levied exclusively on the young (and young men particularly, back in the day). The government uses its coercive powers to force the young to supply labor at below market rates. This tax was rationalized using all sorts of high-sounding rhetoric.
The just passed health care legislation bears considerable similarity to conscription. Here, the government uses its coercive powers to force the young to consume a service at an above market rate (in order to subsidize consumption by others). We again hear the high-sounding rhetoric to cover this outright theft from one cohort of the population. (One difference with conscription is that this tax hits young women harder than young men. So much for the feminism of those who are among the law’s most fervent advocates.) The indirect effects will also affect the young disproportionately; the inevitable tax burden will slow economic growth, dramatically reducing the lifetime incomes of those just entering the labor force.
When can we expect teens and twenty somethings to start burning their insurance cards? Ironic, no, that this legislation was produced primarily by boomers who cut their political teeth on opposition to the draft? What’s that old expression? Never trust anybody over 30? Methinks that saying might gain new currency once the implications of this law begin to be understood, especially by those who will pay the highest price.