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JudgeLet’s say for the sake of argument that Democrats in Congress are able to get their health reform legislation to President Barack Obama’s desk. Will one key element–a mandate for everyone to buy insurance coverage–withstand a Constitutional challenge? I have my doubts.

This point is critical to the success of the entire reform initiative, but I can’t help but wonder whether the conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court would permit the federal government to demand that every citizen fork over their cash to private companies for health insurance.

Given the fact that the bill requires carriers to offer coverage to all comers–even those with preexisting medical conditions–we must have mandatory coverage. Otherwise, many healthy folks would simply wait until they become ill before buying coverage.

Of course, such scams could be avoided if health insurers are permitted to charge whatever they want for coverage. If someone shows up with a serious diagnosis, they could simply be priced out of the market.

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