The “individual mandate,” i.e. the federal government forcing everyone to buy a good or service that they otherwise would not, seems a classic case of over-reach by an out of control band of would-be socialists. There is nothing in the Constitution to require an individual citizen, just sitting there, just living, to engage in commerce.
It is clear that Congress has the right to regulate interstate commerce. That right is enumerated in Article I, Section 8, Clause 3. It is also clear that if I don’t buy health insurance, I am most assuredly not engaging in interstate commerce and hence, by definition, not subject to the Commerce Clause.
Note I wrote “enumerated.” As in, specified. Does Congress have rights not so enumerated? Not according to the Tenth Amendment:
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Therefore, a state may require an individual within its borders to buy health insurance; the Congress (“the United States”) may not.
This is the common sense reading of the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment. Now, I realize that mere words in the Constitution are considered by today’s “liberals” as mere suggestions. Interpretation by lefty intellectual giants such as the “Constitutional scholar and community organizer” who happens to be president does not make it right.
Would it be a good thing if everyone buys health insurance? Possibly, especially if most who do are relatively healthy and don’t actually use that insurance. It would, indeed, help mitigate against the inevitable rise in insurance premiums as companies must pay out more for pre-existing conditions and on the removal of the lifetime cap (both not bad things, but they will cost more).
But that is hardly sufficient to override the black-letter law enshrined in the Constitution: The individual mandate is clearly unconstitutional.