Yes, Congress could require Americans to purchase broccoli. But who would be stupid enough to even suggest it? Does anyone actually believe that we could find 60 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House to support it?
Our country mandates many things. There are often disagreements — and it takes a majority of the House, a supermajority of the Senate, the signature of a president and occasionally a ruling on its constitutionality by the Supreme Court before a mandate can become permanent law.
Do those who suggest the possibility of a broccoli mandate really believe that there is no difference between broccoli and health insurance? Do they not recognize that an insurance mandate goes to the heart of creating actuarial insurance models that allow for universal coverage for health insurance for everyone living within our borders? And that requiring a broccoli mandate has absolutely nothing to do with actuarial modeling?
The broccoli market is not at risk of collapsing from adverse selection. Insurance markets are unique in that people outside the markets can affect their results in ways that don’t happen with other markets.