Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Health insurance mandate alarms some

Among some libertarians and conservatives, the most troubling aspect of the pending healthcare reform bills is the prospect of a federal requirement that Americans buy insurance. "What next? Can Congress order you to buy spinach?" asked Roger Pilon, director of constitutional studies at the Cato Institute. He and other defenders of limited federal power foresee a constitutional challenge to the mandate to buy insurance based on the claim that Congress' power to regulate commerce does not extend to forcing citizens to buy a commercial product. "I think the individual mandate will be challenged. And it will be a close call," Pilon said. In recent weeks, the debate over how to bring about affordable health coverage for all has overshadowed the novelty of a federal requirement to purchase insurance. When the Clinton administration considered such a plan in 1994, the Congressional Budget Office said it "would be an unprecedented form of federal action. . . . The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States." The newly unveiled House bill would set a tax penalty of as much as 2.5% of adjusted income for people who do not have health insurance as of 2013. The Senate Finance Committee scaled down its penalty, but settled on a maximum of $750 per adult, or $1,500 for a household...read more

No comments:

Post a Comment