Is the Mandate Necessary?

John Goodman in the WSJ: ” There is nothing that can be achieved with a mandate that can’t be better achieved by a carefully designed system of tax subsidies.” Goodman’s argument is strengthened by the fact that the mandate, as structured in the PPACA, would increase coverage, but come nowhere close to achieving universal coverage. The mandate will increase coverage and reduce premiums on the margin, but the same could be said of many other policy options as well.

As I’ve noted before, whether a mandate is “necessary” to increase coverage and control costs absent a single-payer system is a separate question from whether it is a “necessary and proper” means of carrying into execution the federal government’s enumerated powers.