For their part, defenders of mandatory insurance haven't engaged very much, in part because courts tend to be so reluctant to strike down federal laws in the first place.
Precious few laws are ever erased from the books by the stroke of a judge's pen; lawyers use terms like the "presumption of constitutionality" and "judicial deference to the legislature" to explain this reticence.
Probably the most extensive, or at least heavily-footnoted, argument in favor of the proposal's constitutionality comes from Mark Hall, a law professor at Wake Forest University.
In a 27-page paper prepared for Georgetown University's O'Neill Institute, Hall acknowledges that the federal government "has limited powers" and a law requiring Americans to "transfer money to a private party for health or economic purposes seems to be unprecedented" because laws tend to prohibit such purchases rather than mandate them.
Once a worker is offered insurance coverage by their employers, generally through employment contracts or a company handbook, federal laws are in place to regulate the fair and equitable coverage of all individuals.
HIPAA, a federal law enacted in July of 1997, aimed to make it simpler for employees to change jobs, while remaining covered by insurance.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts passed a health care reform law in 2006 with the aim of providing health insurance to nearly all of its residents.
As such it is one of the models of the Affordable Care Act's health insurance exchanges.
The 2006 Massachusetts law successfully covered approximately two-thirds of the state's then-uninsured residents, half via federal-government-paid-for Medicaid expansion (administered by Mass Health) and half via the Connector's free and subsidized network-tiered health care insurance for those not eligible for expanded Medicaid.
Not all states, however, ascribe to this form of mandatory coverage.
At the federal level, the laws covering existing employees and their health care coverage generally only mandate fairness and equality among workers in order to prevent discrimination.