The minimum coverage provision, commonly referred to as the individual mandate, would require most Americans to buy health insurance by Jan. 1, 2014 or pay a fine with their tax return. This provision was designed to ensure universal health coverage without causing premium prices to skyrocket.
The Obama administration says the mandate is constitutional under the Commerce Clause — which gives Congress the power to regulate commerce — and the Necessary and Proper Clause, which supports Congress' commerce power, according to the report. The administration also argues that the fine for not complying with the individual mandate is a tax; the mandate is thus constitutional under the General Welfare Clause, which grants Congress the power to levy taxes, according to the federal government.
Opponents of the individual mandate claim the mandate and penalty do not regulate commerce but try to force people into commerce, and that they are not tax provisions, invalidating the administration's arguments.
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