Under the [Wickard v. Filburn] decision, Seidman points out, Congress was allowed to compel people to stop producing their own wheat and buy it on the interstate market. Seidman argues that under this precedent, the individual mandate is constitutional, because health reform does the same.Compelling to stop is distinguishable from compelling to start. Stopping something assumes there was some thing happening that needed to be stopped, whereas compelling to start something acknowledges that there was no thing happening to begin with.
This remains at the crux of the argument: activity vs. inactivity, and Wickard v. Filburn offers no such obvious solution to that dilemma, whether the Commerce Clause empowers the regulation of inactivity.
Seidman points to Medicare Advantage, and notes that it's supported by taxation which, of course, is compelled by the Federal government. Under Medicare Advantage, this money is used by the Federal government to purchase health insurance. "We require people to give money to the Federal government, which then gives it to insurance companies," he says.The taxing power argument already failed in the district court.*
* Seidman's example would work in support of a single-payer system.