Many moons ago (don't ask me to find the exact post) I wondered on this blog whether it was Constitutional for the Massachusetts health insurance mandate to force people to buy health insurance. In other words, it doesn't feel right that a government compels its citizens to buy something. Yes, you can force people to buy auto insurance to drive a car but - it you're dead-set against this expense - you don't have to drive a car. On the other hand, everybody in the Bay State must obtain health insurance if they don't already have it through an employer.
As the public option fades from the national debate, it's looking more like the Administration may try to duplicate the Massachusetts model. But then I read this in today's WashPost: "Illegal health reform"
But can Congress require every American to buy health insurance?In short, no.
Say what now? The lawyers writing the article stipulate that the government can raise taxes to pay for a health care system although not to "penalize conduct" and "the federal government doesn't have the power to regulate Americans simply because they are there." Since we'll get no guidance from the Obama Justice Department, I think I'm going to have to check in with some of the law blogs.