Fairly short diary, but an interesting bit of history.
This link is to the text to the Militia Act of 1792, in which Congress sets forth a requirement for citizens to purchase goods from a private company.
I note this purely to mark an argument that can possibly be used to counter claims that the HCR is unconstitutional on the grounds that it requires citizens to purchase goods or service.
The relevant text after the jump.
Section I of the second part of the act, which begins:
The Militia Act of 1792, Passed May 8, 1792, providing federal standards for the organization of the Militia.
An ACT more effectually to provide for the National Defence, by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States.
That every citizen, so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch, with a box therein, to contain not less than twenty four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball; or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch, and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; (emp mine) and shall appear so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack. That the commissioned Officers shall severally be armed with a sword or hanger, and espontoon; and that from and after five years from the passing of this Act, all muskets from arming the militia as is herein required, shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound; and every citizen so enrolled, and providing himself with the arms, ammunition and accoutrements, required as aforesaid, shall hold the same exempted from all suits, distresses, executions or sales, for debt or for the payment of taxes.Take from it what you will, the authority to pass HCR can easily be covered under the General Welfare clause, but this appears to be the first instance of Govt. requiring it's citizens to purchase a product.