The National Individual Health Insurance Mandate

Hastings Center Report 40 (5):8-9 (2010)
On March 23, 2010, President Obama signed into law the nation's first comprehensive health care reform bill, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Within weeks, twenty states filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of its most politically charged feature—an individual purchase mandate. By 2014, the bill requires most individuals to have health insurance. With certain exceptions (pertaining to income level and religious objections), individuals without qualifying coverage will pay an annual tax penalty reaching the greater of $695 ($2,085 per family maximum) or 2.5 percent of household income.1If anything, the tax penalty is too low compared with the cost of insurance, so it may not provide ..
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