One of the big right wing talking points of late has been that the individual mandate is not constitutional, because the constitution does not specifically say "the federal government may impose an individual mandate for the purposes of insuring all eligible Americans." Happily, whether things are or are not constitutional is the sort of thing Senate staff check out before putting them in bills, and in a floor statement today, Baucus laid out his staff's findings on the subject. His arguments follow the jump.
As executive director of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, Jon Kingsdale has more responsibility for the implementation of the Massachusetts health-care reforms than arguably anyone else in the state. And since the basic structure of the Massachusetts plan is similar to the structure of both the House and Senate plans, Kingsdale's experience in the Bay State is as good a guide as national reformers can hope to draw on. I reached Kingsdale over the weekend.
Avik S. A. Roy - Avik S. A. Roy is a health care analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. and a policy advisor for the Heartland Institute who has written for National Review, Forbes, and National Affairs.
The Center for American Progress, the Service Employees International Union, and Wal-Mart joined forces today to release a letter (PDF) endorsing the dual ideas of an employer mandate to provide health insurance and “triggers” to automatically reduce costs if health care spending gets too high (more on that here).