This isn’t fair — I’m going to be on the road until tonight, and I managed to mess up the WordPress app on my BlackBerry. So I won’t be able to approve comments for quite a while. But I do have three questions about legal challenges to the health-care law, and I’m hoping someone can answer them here.
1. Critics say the requirement that everyone must buy health insurance from a private company is unconstitutional. Yet no one to my knowledge has ever even raised that issue with regard to the Massachusetts law, which has the same requirement. Is there something different about the Massachusetts Constitution?
2. Under federal law, we are required to invest our money in a government-controlled retirement system (Social Security) and medical-insurance system (Medicare). Why is that constitutionally permissible if being required to buy insurance from private companies is not?
3. Is it even correct to call the insurance mandate a “requirement”? If you refuse to buy insurance, you simply pay a penalty of some sort, right? You’re not being branded as a criminal or even a civil offender as I understand it.