Can Congress require every person to buy health insurance? In short, no. The Constitution assigns only limited, enumerated powers to Congress and none, including the power to regulate interstate commerce or to impose taxes, would support a federal mandate requiring anyone who is otherwise without health insurance to buy it? Even if Obamacare passes, it will be overturned as unconstitutional. Central Planning is antithetical to the founders intention.
The Federalist Society gives a compelling argument against the individual mandate. Here is a favorite exerpt:
As part of comprehensive legislation to change the health care system in the United States, several key congressional leaders – and President Obama – are proposing a new federal law to require every American to purchase health care insurance coverage, a so-called “individual mandate.” Failure to comply with this mandate to purchase health insurance would subject a person to fines, penalties, or excise taxes. This individual mandate, if passed, would be an unprecedented federal directive that might call into question the constitutionality of such an action under Congress’s taxation or interstate commerce “regulatory” authority, as well the ramifications of such a mandate under the First Amendment’s “free exercise” protections and Fifth Amendment protections against governmental “takings.”