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We haven't done this for a while, but with all the anti-Obamacare agitprop about to go into high gear, it's worth reprising the reason that Obamacare includes the hated individual mandate. Here's the nickel explanation of the "death spiral" that occurs if you want to make sure that everyone can get health insurance, even those with preexisting conditions:
This is just the Cliff's Notes version, in case anyone needs a reminder of why the individual mandate is part of Obamacare. There's more to the law than just this, of course. There are rules that mandate coverage levels, since otherwise insurance companies could exclude certain expensive preexisting conditions. There are new programs meant to lower the growth of health care prices. There's an expansion of Medicaid for the very poorest. There's an end to "mini-med" policies.
But the core of the law is (1) guaranteed issue, (2) community rating, (3) individual mandate, and (4) subsidies for low-income families. Everybody loves #1—even conservatives usually claim to support it—but it's impossible to have it without all the other stuff. The individual mandate follows as inescapably as morning follows the dawn. If you support the idea of requiring insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, then you also have to support the individual mandate. There's no way around it.