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The Individual Health Insurance Mandate and the Constitution

In three years, the Affordable Health Care Act will require almost all Americans to have health insurance. If you don't get insurance at work, you'll have to buy it from one of the exchanges selling policies. Or maybe you won't have to it a lawsuit in Florida is decided the way former Gov. Jim Gibbons and Gov. Brian Sandoval hope. The two Republicans have encouraged and endorsed the work of Las Vegas attorney Mark Hutchison in joining Nevada to the suit and seeking to strike important provisions of the health reform plan as unconstitutional. So what are the arguments? And why do Democrats and many legal experts continue to say that the law is clearly constitutional. What happens if the courts agree? So far federal courts have decided the issue both ways, which means that it is inevitably going to end up on the docket of the United States Supreme Court. We talk with the lawyer heading Nevada's efforts and a critic of the lawsuit.

Mark Hutchison, Special Lead Counsel for Nevada, Florida v. The Department of Health And Human Services
Andrew Koppelman, John Paul Stevens Professor of Law, Northwestern University School of Law

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Wednesday, January 5, 2011