What mandates imply

Oil and health care have something in common, but you’ll have to take a curvy ride through this little exposition to see why. This month, the US Supreme Court will disclose its decision in a challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the landmark health-care reform bill passed in 2010. At issue is the so-called individual mandate, which requires Americans to buy health insurance if their employers don’t provide it, whether or not they want to. Opponents of the law think forcing people to buy something they don’t want is unconstitutional. Supporters obviously disagree. An open question is whether the whole law collapses if the Supreme Court rejects the individual mandate....

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