06/26/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Protect the Property of the Affluent, but Not the Health of the Less Affluent?

A paragraph in an editorial in today's Clarion-Ledger (Jackson, Mississippi) puts the attitude of those howling about (and suing over) the health care reform law's provision that everyone obtain health insurance in a very revealing perspective. I think it is worth passing along:

Most of these same politicians actively support state laws forcing poor people to buy automobile liability insurance to protect the property of more affluent drivers, but now balk at a law designed to force more affluent taxpayers to purchase health insurance so poor people can have health care coverage.

It's the old story of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.

Historian Robert S. McElvaine is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts & Letters at Millsaps College. A 25th anniversary edition of his classic book, The Great Depression: America, 1929-1941, with a comprehensive new introduction comparing circumstances then and now, has just been published by Three Rivers Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group.