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The Obama administration says requiring most people to purchase health insurance (with income-related subsidies) falls directly under its constitutional powers to regulate commerce. To the administration, it’s all about free riders. People who don’t have insurance drive up costs for those who do, and everybody will need to access care at some point in their lives.
The individual mandate won’t be the only star of the show at the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments on the health law. It will share billing with three other major issues awaiting the justices’ review.