Sure, one can argue that it is constitutional on the grounds that mandated health insurance, similarly to mandated car insurance, is necessary to avoid unfair distribution of the cost of illness. Or one can argue that the health mandate is unconstitutional in placing an undue burden on people to buy something, since one can choose not to drive but no one will be exempt from the health law.
But constitutionality is not the real problem.
The real problem is that the Obama health mandate forces people to buy from a completely unworkable private health care system – in a purported attempt to spare people the unworkability of the very same private health care system. It's absurd, of course. But that is how a corporate-financed electoral system works: only ideas considered tolerable by the corporate sector stay on the table. That is why Obama, after arguing eloquently for a public option during his presidential campaign, dropped it and fled the issue after taking office when he met resistance from his sponsors (and from the even more shameless corporate shills across the aisle).
And so our president, under the watchful eye of the health care industry, offers his version of health care reform: force Americans to buy it from the very mechanism that broke it. This at a time when so much of the industrialized world has evolved to the basic realization that public health care is the most economically logical and humanly fair approach.
Yes, there is good in the Affordable Care Act. Expanding eligibility for coverage is good. Forbidding the savage denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions is good.
But the entire Act is built upon a flagrant lie: the assumption that the American corporate health insurance system can deliver care affordably and efficiently to all Americans. This is a fantasy that only corporate-financed politicians – and some gullible citizens seduced by the hallucination of mega-corporate market "freedom" – can believe. It has forced Obama into a box where he is staking his claim of full access to health care on the pointless premise of forcing people to buy health coverage in a rapacious private-ruled market. And, ironically, even this laughable version of "reform" may very well be trashed by a Supreme Court that sometimes seems nostalgic for Dickensian capitalism.
So the grand question that the top court in the land will now decide for us is: Shall we remain free to suffer without health insurance, or shall we be required by law to suffer the cruel price of purchasing it from our masters?