Left wonders: Maybe we shouldn’t have put a mandate in ObamaCare

Some Democrats, such as Paul Starr, a former health-care adviser to Bill Clinton, argued last year that the party should ditch mandates to put the bill on firmer ground, perhaps by adding an opt-out that let Americans elect to forgo insurance so long as they agree not to apply for subsidies to buy it if they get sick. President Obama himself originally shied away from endorsing a mandate during the 2008 campaign, in contrast with Hillary Clinton’s plan…

Several legal experts, however, have suggested to The Daily Beast that the courts have become politicized to the point that it’s impossible to rule out the laws’ unpopularity among Republicans potentially influencing individual judges. Ultimately, the Supreme Court is likely to decide the matter before the mandate takes effect in 2014.

“I personally think the suit ought to lose as a matter of settled law,” Aziz Huq, a professor law at the University of Chicago said. “But I think two years ago if someone had said there will be a groundswell conservative movement that sweeps Democrats across the country out of office and will be accompanied by calls to rewrite the 14th Amendment and have state legislators appoint senators I would have said you’re on crack.”