There is not a one, single example in the history of the United States to which any jurist in this country can point where the Federal government mandated, under the Commerce Clause, that an individual enter into a third-party contract with a private entity for the provision/procurement of a government-approved good or service as a condition of good citizenship. Not. One. Single. One.
No one denies the right of the Federal government to regulate the insurance industry. Indeed, the Supreme Court has already held that the Federal government has the power to regulate the insurance industry under the Commerce Clause. It did so in United States v South-Eastern Underwriters Association, 322 U.S. 533 (1944). As any learned jurist knows or a marginally capable user of Google can discover, the reason that the Federal government has not been regulating the insurance industry in the ensuing decades is due to the party of President Barack Obama, the party of the little guy.
Following the Court’s ruling in South-Eastern Underwriters, Democrats in Congress and President Truman passed and signed into law the McCarran–Ferguson Act of 1945, which exempted the business of insurance from most Federal regulation, including Federal anti-trust laws to a limited extent.
If you’ve ever wondered why there are so few health insurance companies in your state or why you can’t purchase insurance across statelines, you can thank a Democrat. The ‘Party of the Workingman’ loved creating oligopolies for their buddies back home. So what if Joe down at the petrol station has to pay a few more bucks a week and gets less service? Where’s he going to go? He’s a captive customer…thanks to our pardners in Washington.
All of this, however, has nothing to do with the the ability of the Federal government to mandate individuals purchase health insurance. No one denies that the Federal government can regulate the transportation of gasoline by BP; yet, has one person ever argued that, pursuant to the Commerce Clause, the government can compel Americans to enter the petrol market and purchase BP products? What about the people, who do not drive?
Further, the idea that the Commerce Clause is some sort of catch-all that can be used to regulate anything that tangentially affects interstate commerce is a flatout falsehood and makes those, who argue it look pathetically ignorant. Anyone familiar with Federalism is aware that the Federal government cannot force states to lower speed limits, raise driving ages, lower the legal blood alcohol level, or increase the drinking age. This is true even though a drunk teenager driver speeding on an elevated portion of the interstate, who crashes into a petrol truck causing a fire and structural damage to the infrastructure, which results in the closure of that stretch of the interstate for months, will have a direct and adverse impact on interstate commerce. As the Court ruled in South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U.S. 203 (1987), all the Federal government can do is to "attach reasonable conditions to funds disbursed to the states." Federal mandates, unreasonable conditions, and/or the withholding of otherwise due Federal funds would violate the Tenth Amendment.
So, let's stop playing games and trying to be cute-by-half. The Bullshit Stops Here! To quote Howie Dean, "yeeeeeeeearrrrrrhhhhh!"