Against the Individual Mandate

by Ramesh Ponnuru

My new column for Bloomberg View starts with a trip down memory lane:

In the most important Supreme Court case of his term in office, President Barack Obama will be defending a policy that he opposed as a candidate. . . .

Obama’s position during the primaries accorded with the elementary principle that there should be a strong presumption against ordering people to do something. Even people who, like Obama, now believe that a mandate is necessary can agree with this principle. A presumption, even a strong one, can, of course, be overcome for good reasons. In the case of the individual mandate, those reasons don’t exist. Obama was right the first time.