Opponents of the health care law claim the Founding Fathers thought a constitutional ban on purchase mandates was too “obvious” to mention. But in 1790, the first Congress—that included 20 framers of the constitution—passed a law requiring ship owners buy medical insurance for their seaman. In 1792, Congress required all able-bodied men to purchase firearms. The insurance ship owners provided their seaman covered drugs and physician services, but not hospital stays. In 1798, Congress enacted a federal law requiring seaman to buy their own hospital insurance. Challengers to the health care law argued that activity in the health care market is not enough to justify a purchase mandate. However, in 1790, shippers and seaman bought health insurance without showing they were active in any market for health insurance or health care.
If health insurance mandates are unconstitutional, why did the Founding Fathers back them? (The New Republic)
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