Magazine March 20, 2017, Issue

Mandate for Confusion

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On compulsion in health care

Obamacare’s most disliked component is the “individual mandate” to buy health insurance. It is a provision that very nearly got the entire law struck down in court. Now some conservatives are warning that Republican plans to replace Obamacare may include their own versions of an individual mandate. The critics are wrong. But it’s not surprising that this subject has inspired misunderstanding. The individual mandate has been mired in confusion from the beginning.

Confusion, and worse. President Obama, while he was trying to get the law enacted, insisted that its penalties for people who do not buy insurance did not amount to …

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners

City Desk

A City of Shopkeepers

The city is full of walk-in businesses — shops, stores, eateries, bars, banks, fix-it places. That means the streets are full of business names. Many belong to chains — Victoria’s ...


Politics & Policy


Pain and Punishment Psychiatrist Sally Satel’s piece “Treating Opioid Addiction” (March 6) favors “benign paternalism” in public policy regarding what some have hysterically called an “epidemic” but Dr. Satel more soberly ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We’re told the envelope given to Warren Beatty actually contained Nate Silver’s projection. ‐ To replace Michael Flynn as national-security adviser, Donald Trump selected someone uniquely suited for the position. ...
Politics & Policy


GLOUCESTER Lizard-voiced, the seagull, esurient And flush with light, cuts through sapphire and salt Waves, to gratify pure appetite. Granite endures like graves. Briars bloom. On planks and shelves, books dock like sailing ships And wait ...


The Dossier Deceit

The Dossier Deceit

John Durham’s latest indictment reinforces that the Russian collusion conspiracy was built on a preposterous foundation.

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