Obama's insurance requirement not the only mandate

Obama's insurance requirement not the only mandate

Credit: AP

Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., right, accompanied by Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., gestures during a health care news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009. Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., talks in the phone at right. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

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Associated Press

Posted on April 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Updated Sunday, Apr 1 at 4:01 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The individual health insurance mandate that the Supreme Court is reviewing isn't the only federal dictate involving health care.

There's a Medicare payroll tax on workers and employers, for example, and a requirement that hospitals provide free emergency services to indigents.

Health care is full of government dictates, and some can be seen as more intrusive than the requirement in President Barack Obama's health care law.

Most of the mandates apply to service providers such as hospitals and insurers.

One federal health care mandate that affects just about everybody: Workers must pay a tax to finance Medicare, which collects about $200 billion a year.

Even the uninsured pay the Medicare tax.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wondered last week how some social policy mandates could be constitutional and others not.

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