This morning in my Introduction to American Politics we discussed the various arguments for and against the Constitutionality of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. This included an examination of the history of the individual mandate as a policy idea, considering arguments from attorneys who argued both for and against the ACA in district courts as well as some of the arguments made against by Tea Party Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah.
By the end of the class, only about 10% of my students thought that the individual mandate was Constitutional. However, about 80% of those who thought it was unconstitutional still said they supported the individual mandate and thought it was a good idea worth keeping.
For me, I interpret this as further evidence that most people don’t seem to care as much about the process of how government policy comes about, they care about the results and outcome.