Holder, Sebelius: Health Care Mandate Must Stand

Forcing people to buy insurance will keep costs down, they argue
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2010 10:56 AM CST
Holder, Sebelius: Health Care Mandate Must Stand
Kathleen Sebelius and Eric Holder discuss the importance of preventing health care fraud at the first National Summit on Health Care Fraud in this file photo.   (Jose Luis Magana/AP Images for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services)

The health care reform law’s mandate forcing individuals to buy insurance is necessary and constitutional, Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius argue today in an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, defending a provision struck down in federal court yesterday. Opponents of the law “have sought to invent new constitutional theories” to fight the mandate, they write. “But these attacks are wrong on the law, and if allowed to succeed, they would have devastating consequences.”

Families who have insurance pay an average of $1,000 extra each year to pay for the emergency care of those who don’t. “This unfair cost-shifting harms the marketplace,” and for decades the Supreme Court has upheld Congress’ power to deal with similar harmful market effects. So the attacks are baseless; Holder and Sebelius liken them to the court challenges Social Security and civil rights faced. “Those challenges ultimately failed, and so will this one.” (More health insurance stories.)

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