Individual mandate may be unconstitutional

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In a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, two former Justice Dept. attorneys argue that the individual mandate included in national health reforms could be overturned by federal courts as “profoundly unconstitutional.” The attorneys make different points than the CT Health Policy Project’s paper last year, arguing that the mandate is an unfair cross-generational subsidy, infringes on personal liberties and is politically motivated. We argued that it is an unfair burden on low income people, difficult to administer or enforce, and poor public policy. It requires people who don’t have extra money to buy a product (it now seems likely from only private sources) that, if history serves, may never cover their needs if they become ill. Those consumers will have to rely on government to enforce the value of their mandatory purchase; they can be forgiven for being skeptical. It is also based on the myth that the uninsured are just greedy, selfish people who could buy insurance but prefer to spend their money elsewhere. It is a classic case of blaming the victim.
Ellen Andrews