Conservative Justices Pose Tough Questions On Health Care Mandate
Sharp questioning posed by conservative justices bring doubt about the survival of the health care mandate.
The biggest issue, to which the justices returned repeatedly during two hours of arguments in a packed courtroom, was whether the government can force people to buy insurance. And if so, could other mandates – to buy broccoli, burial insurance and cellphones, for example – be far behind?
“Purchase insurance in this case, something else in the next case,” Roberts said.
“If the government can do this, what else can it not do?” Scalia asked.
Kennedy at one point said that allowing the government mandate would “change the relationship” between the government and U.S. citizens.
“Do you not have a heavy burden of justification to show authorization under the Constitution” for the individual mandate? asked Kennedy.
At another point, however, he also acknowledged the complexity of resolving the issue of paying for America’s health care needs.