Avik Roy: Obamacare’s Dark Secret: The Individual Mandate is Too Weak

You’ve been hearing a lot of talk in the last few months about whether or not Obamacare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. The Affordable Care Act bills the mandate as an “individual responsibility requirement” whose alleged purpose is to prevent “free-riders” from burdening the system with uncompensated emergency-room care. But all of this talk about the Commerce Clause has obscured the individual mandate’s fatal flaw: it’s too weak. And that will cause a significant increase in the cost of most Americans’ health insurance.

You’ve heard that Obamacare has a requirement that every American, as a condition of being alive, purchase health insurance. But what you haven’t heard is that the mandate has so many loopholes and exemptions that we should stop talking about broccoli, and start talking about Swiss cheese.

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