Ames Debate: The Constitution and the States

by Ramesh Ponnuru

I was all set to zing Chris Wallace for another foolish question because he asked where in the Constitution the states get the power to mandate the purchase of health insurance — which is constitutionally illiterate, as Romney rightly pointed out. But I was really surprised to hear Bachmann say that it’s “clearly an unconstitutional act” for states to impose an individual mandate. Um, no, it isn’t. It’s a bad idea, but it does not violate the U.S. Constitution.