If the Supreme Court strikes down the individual mandate as unconstitutional, won't that also mean other federal mandates are unconstitutional too? Like the Medicare payroll deduction, or the mandate the says hospitals must provide emergency care to indigents?
Of course, that would fit perfectly with the Republican Party's new mantra of "let them die."
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The individual insurance requirement that the Supreme Court is reviewing isn't the first federal mandate involving health care.
There's a Medicare payroll tax on workers and employers, for example, and a requirement that hospitals provide free emergency services to indigents. Health care is full of government dictates, some arguably more intrusive than President Barack Obama's overhaul law.
It's a wrinkle that has caught the attention of the justices.
Most of the mandates apply to providers such as hospitals and insurers. For example, a 1990s law requires health plans to cover at least a 48-hour hospital stay for new mothers and their babies. Such requirements protect some consumers while indirectly raising costs for others.
One mandate affects just about everybody: Workers must pay a tax to finance Medicare, which collects about $200 billion a year.