"The Affordable Care Act has provided a tremendous opportunity to expand access, improve quality and reduce the cost of health care for all Marylanders, but a key driver of rising costs is the number of individuals who do not have insurance coverage, putting the burden of their care on all taxpayers," Brown said in an email. "Encouraging individual responsibility and connecting people to affordable private health insurance will help bend the curve of rising health costs and ensure a more stable health care system for everyone. I believe the Affordable Care Act and its provisions are constitutional, and I welcome this week's consideration by the Supreme Court."
Back at Hopkins, Henry argued that Congress can tackle this problem because individual actions are affecting the economy as a whole and states can't solve the issue on their own.
Seven states in recent years have tried by ordering insurers to cover everyone, despite pre-existing conditions. But they did not order the healthy to buy coverage before they became sick, which would have spread the risk. Many insurers chose to stop offering policies in those states.
Even Massachusetts, which did include an individual mandate in its health care law, doesn't provide a usable model for other states, Henry said. She said the state was wealthier and healthier than most other states and had a relatively low number of uninsured.
"It's not an experience other states can replicate," she said.
Baltimore Sun reporter Michael Dresser and Tribune news services contributed to this article.
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