Does the GOP's and Tea Party's reverence for the founding fathers extend to John Adams? If so, they've got some rethinking to do.
[A]s Forbes blogger Rick Ungar writes, mandating the ownership of health insurance isn't entirely unprecedented, much less unconstitutional. In 1798, President John Adams signed "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen," which required privately employed sailors to pay a tax to fund their medical care:
In July of 1798, Congress passed — and President John Adams signed — "An Act for the Relief of Sick and Disabled Seamen." The law authorized the creation of a government operated marine hospital service and mandated that privately employed sailors be required to purchase health care insurance. [...]
As for Congress' understanding of the limits of the Constitution at the time the Act was passed, it is worth noting that Thomas Jefferson was the President of the Senate during the 5th Congress while Jonathan Dayton, the youngest man to sign the United States Constitution, was the Speaker of the House.
As Paul J. O'Rourke suggested previously, perhaps conservatives should "name Presidents John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison et al. in the lawsuits," too.
I think they'll probably just ignore this inconvenient little bit of history. And work on scrubbing that bit of history out of the textbooks.