Why Broccoli Matters

Many supporters of ObamaCare fatuously dismiss what broccoli has done to raise doubt about the wisdom of the individual mandate to purchase health insurance and, more broadly, the limits of the law.  This might be due in part to Justice Antonin Scalia, who formally introduced broccoli to the public debate last week and, in doing so, misconstrued his point when he suggested that "everybody has to buy food sooner or later, so you define the market as food.  Therefore, everybody is in the market.  Therefore, you can make people buy broccoli." The broccoli issue is not about regulating the food market.  It's about the uniqueness of the health care market, an observation frequently made by ObamaCare supporters in an attempt to establish a limiting principle.  The argument goes like this: because non-participants in the market (i.e., "free riders") present a risk that must be accounted for, it is appropriate to require these individuals to enroll for coverage or pay...(Read Full Article)