The government argues that health care is somehow different than other types of goods and services. Because everyone will one day need health care and may not be able to afford it, and because emergency rooms are obligated by law to provide care regardless of ability to pay, then it is said to be “necessary’’ to require that all persons purchase health insurance today to avoid shifting costs to others.
But even assuming this claim is accurate, it does not provide a constitutional limitation on a power to impose economic mandates. If the Supreme Court upholds the power to impose this insurance mandate on the people, it will not evaluate the next use of economic mandates to see if that circumstance is similar to or different from health care. Once the power to conscript Americans to enter into contractual relations with private companies is accepted here, it will be accepted any time Congress deems economic mandates to be convenient to its regulation of the national economy.