Mandating Health Insurance

IS IT CONSTITUTIONAL?

A great national debate is about to be played out in the Supreme Court. The question presented is whether we may all be required to buy insurance under the Obama health-care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010. Can those citizens who refuse to buy such insurance be penalized? That issue has split lower federal courts and is on its way up.

The question turns on the powers delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, particularly the Commerce...

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About the Author

Joseph D. Becker, a founding partner of Becker, Glynn, Melamed and Muffly, a Manhattan law firm, is author of The American Law of Nations (Judis).