By Wednesday, there only remained a handful of protestors on either side to occupy the sidewalk outside of the Supreme Court, while inside, arguments over the severability of the individual mandate and PPACA's impact on Medicare were heard. Yesterday, when the individual mandate itself was discussed, we saw just how much that really is the heart of this issue. Does the government really have the authority to make all Americans buy a product, even if it is for their own best interest? It is something we have seen play out time and again on the state level, with the enforced purchase of personal auto liability coverage for car owners, and with the enforced purchase and use of helmets by motorcycle riders.
But such actions are far less common on the federal level. With health insurance, it is different, or so the federal government argues. While some states, such as Massachusetts, have implemented their own universal health care programs, the idea was that this was an issue of economic security for all Americans, regardless of state, and so the time had come for a federal solution. Regardless of the outcome, this debate is far from over.