Lost in the afterglow/ruins of enthusiasm/doom over today’s SCOTUS hearing on the Individual Mandate in the Affordable Care Act is this surprising agreement (my emphasis added):
GENERAL VERRILLI: But I think it’s common ground between us and the Respondents that this is an interstate market in which everybody participates. And they agree that — that Congress could impose the insurance requirement at the point of sale. And this is just a question of timing, and whether Congress’s - whether the necessary and proper authority gives Congress, because of the particular features of this market, the ability to impose the — the insurance, the need for insurance, the maintenance of insurance before you show up to get health care rather than at the moment you get up to show -
The “Respondents” would be the law’s opponents. Essentially, everyone agrees that Congress has the constitutional authority to compel purchase of health insurance at the time of sale. That, in effect, arguing the mandate’s validity under the Commerce Clause is not a question of whether the federal government can compel you to have health insurance, but when. How is this not surprising or noteworthy to anyone else?