Should the Supreme Court rule the mandatory coverage section of the health care law unconstitutional, would that mean that drivers would no longer be required to purchase drivers' licenses? It seems like one being constitutional and the other unconstitutional would be a dichotomy in the extreme. On the other hand, who ever believed the Supreme Court ever worried about such matters?
1 Answer from Attorneys
No, it would not -- because nobody is required to get a driver's license (or auto insurance, for that matter). The requirement applies only to people who want to drive on public roads.
A car can be very dangerous in the hands of someone who doesn't know how to drive. The government -- in this case the states and not the federal government -- has a completely legitimate interest in making sure people who use them on public roads know what they're doing. The also have a legitimate interest in making sure drivers are able to pay for injuries they might cause, which is why drivers can be required to buy insurance.
Lots of people don't drive or have licenses. The ones who do chose to drive, and that choice subjected them to the requirements for a license and insurance. The health insurance mandate would apply to essentially everyone, whether they want to participate or not. That's a very important distinction. And it is just one of several reasons why striking down the health insurance mandate would be consistent with requiring drivers to have licenses and insurance.
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