There are times when people come forward with arguments that on their face appear to make some sense but on reflection are found to be totally without merit. That’s the case of the argument against the individual mandate to purchase health insurance in the health reform Act. We are told that it is unconstitutional and another example of government overstepping the bounds of decency. In truth, it is purely rational. First, very very few people in this country go without health insurance by choice. They would be crazy to do so. They go without insurance because they are unable to obtain insurance at all or at a cost they can afford. The few people who voluntarily go without health insurance do so because they are betting that they will never be sick enough to need health insurance or that if they do become seriously ill due to accident or unanticipated circumstances, the rest of us will somehow take care of them. It is hardly an attitude that most of us condone or want to support. The health reform legislation we have just passed says two things. First, it says if you can’t get insurance you can afford we will help you do so, not just because it is the right thing to do but also because in the long run it is cheaper for us to do so. Second, it says if you refuse to purchase insurance even when you can afford to do so, then we will impose a small tax or fine on you for your irresponsible behavior which will cover a small part of our costs of covering your medical expenses in the case of an accident or unexpected illness which very likely will occur at some point in your life. This isn’t a radical or socialist or communist or anythingist idea, it is just common sense. Those who are making a big deal out of the individual mandate are not doing so because they really believe it is such a bad idea. They are doing so for purely political reasons. It is one of those arguments that on their face sound good and they are betting that few of us will ever stop to question whether their argument makes any sense. We should. We must.