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In 2010 something happened in this country that has never happened before: Congress required that every person enter into a contractual relationship with a private company. I realize that writers make lots of factual claims that readers are wise to be skeptical about. I can prove, however, that an economic mandate like this one is unprecedented. If this mandate had ever happened before, everyone reading this passage would know all the contracts the federal government requires them to make, upon pain of a penalty enforced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). No reader, however, can recite any such mandate and neither could any reader's parents or grandparents because this has never been done before.

It is not as though the federal government never requires American citizens to do anything. They must register for the military (and serve if called), submit a tax form, fill out a census form, and serve on a jury. Additionally, they must join a posse organized by a United States Marshall. The existence and nature of these very few duties, however, illuminates the truly extraordinary and objectionable nature of the individual insurance mandate. Each of these duties is necessary for the operation of government itself, and each has traditionally been widely recognized as inherent in being a citizen of the United States.