The sponsors of the current bills are attempting, through the personal mandate, to keep the transfers entirely off budget or--through the gimmick of unconstitutional taxes or penalties they dub "shared responsibility payments"--make these transfers appear to be revenue-enhancing.
This "personal responsibility" provision of the legislation, more accurately known as the "individual mandate" because it commands all individuals to enter into a contractual relationship with a private insurance company, takes congressional power and control to a striking new level.
The Massachusetts Health Connector, the agency set up to implement the state’s health insurance reforms, estimates that on average, Massachusetts workers who buy health insurance with pretax dollars save about 41 percent.
Richard Cauchi, health program director for the National Council of State Legislatures, cited growing interest at the state level in using cafeteria plans as part of health policy.
Legal protection of patient privacy and confidentiality depends on whether or not public health concerns outweigh the interest in preserving the doctor-patient privilege.
The balancing of these interests is a particular challenge when it comes to privacy concerns associated with HIV status.
Hawaii requires most employers to offer insurance, while Massachusetts mandates most individuals to obtain some health coverage.
Maine and Vermont have partnered with private companies to provide coverage with subsidized rates for those with incomes 300% and below of the federal poverty level.
Its defenders have struggled to justify the mandate by analogizing it to existing federal laws and court decisions, but their efforts do not withstand serious scrutiny.
This report was prepared in 2009 and remains here for historical research purposes.
The government has never required people to buy any good or service as a condition of lawful residence in the United States.