National Journal | Is A Health Care Mandate Constitutional?

December 13, 2009

Stuart Taylor. Is A Health Care Mandate Constitutional? National Journal. December 12, 2009.

A healthy 20-something might ask: Can the government really order me to spend more than $5,500 a year to buy comprehensive health insurance just because I live in the United States, even though the most I might need or want is catastrophic coverage costing less than $800?

Can they really force me to pay a big penalty “tax” if I won’t buy government-approved insurance? And can they use my money to subsidize people who are twice my age, and obese or sick, even if they have more money than I do?

The answers are yes, yes, and that’s the point! according to most of the experts who have weighed in on whether the Supreme Court would uphold a mandate for individuals to buy comprehensive health insurance unless they’re already covered by employer-based plans. They cite the justices’ very broad reading since the New Deal of Congress’s powers to regulate interstate commerce and to tax and spend. More…