Health care reform advocates say the individual purchase mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is vital to its success. Opponents question whether the mandate exceeds the power of Congress under the Constitution's Commerce Clause. The debate raises intriguing questions.
Can the federal government require citizens to purchase health insurance from private carriers in the interest of the public good? Is this a matter of partisan politics, or one about the power of the states versus the power of the federal government? We will explore these questions and more with The Honorable Bob McDonnell, Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Honorable Edward Rendell, former governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in conversation with Jeffrey Rosen, Professor of Law at The George Washington University Law School and legal affairs editor for The New Republic.