Close Close
Popular Financial Topics Discover relevant content from across the suite of ALM legal publications From the Industry More content from ThinkAdvisor and select sponsors Investment Advisor Issue Gallery Read digital editions of Investment Advisor Magazine Tax Facts Get clear, current, and reliable answers to pressing tax questions
Luminaries Awards

Life Health > Health Insurance > Your Practice

If health insurance mandates are unconstitutional, why did the Founding Fathers back them? (The New Republic)

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Opponents of the health care law claim the Founding Fathers thought a constitutional ban on purchase mandates was too “obvious” to mention. But in 1790, the first Congress—that included 20 framers of the constitution—passed a law requiring ship owners buy medical insurance for their seaman. In 1792, Congress required all able-bodied men to purchase firearms. The insurance ship owners provided their seaman covered drugs and physician services, but not hospital stays. In 1798, Congress enacted a federal law requiring seaman to buy their own hospital insurance. Challengers to the health care law argued that activity in the health care market is not enough to justify a purchase mandate. However, in 1790, shippers and seaman bought health insurance without showing they were active in any market for health insurance or health care.