Can the government force you to buy insurance?

I was commenting on the health care issue in a discussion about the “right” to health care. A rhetorical question I ask is whether the government is allowed by the Constitution to force individuals to purchase health insurance?

Liberals almost always knee-jerk and state that the government requires auto insurance for all drivers. It is an apples/oranges comparison. You have no right to drive. You are granted the privilege to drive if you meet certain criteria. You must have adequate vision, demonstrate knowledge of traffic laws, and pass a practical operator’s test. Additionally, you have to have liability insurance in case you injure someone else or their property. You don’t have to have insurance against your own losses (collision/comprehensive). If you don’t meet those criteria, you do not attain the privilege.

I would argue that you do have a right to be alive and that the right is actually stated explicitly in the Declaration of Independence. The Democrats want to require everyone to purchase health insurance. Are individuals required to purchase insurance because they are alive? Is the penalty for not buying into the system forfeiture of your right to live? I am trying to think of anything that the Constitution requires any citizen to purchase. Answer: There is nothing. Since there is no way to require people to buy health insurance and have it pass a constitutional challenge, the Democrats want to get around this by paying for the entire system requiring health care coverage with tax revenues. Taxes are allowed to be collected by the Constitution. That is the reason that the Democrats want the “public option”.  If the Democrats attempt to force people to buy insurance on the market, they will lose in the Supreme Court. Therefore, they want a single payer system which they can control. Therefore, once again, this whole debate is exposed as a health care reform in name only. Controlling health care reimbursement allows the camel’s nose into every tent.