Can the United States government force its citizens to buy a product from a for profit corporation and fine them if they refuse? David Swanson discusses the implications in Constitutional Challenges to Health Care Reform.
When this question goes to the Supreme Court, they will decide whether or not the United States is run by a fascist government.
It is one thing for a government to support business with tariffs, subsidies and outright pay-offs. This can always be passed off as corporate socialism. Legislating a requirement that its citizens purchase a specific product from for-profit corporations is the final step to the merger of business and government, the hallmark of fascism.
Government may provide services, such as as free medical care, and tax citizens to pay for it. This supports the greater good. But mandatory purchase of a service, especially a service not needed by a large percentage of the populace, those who are healthy and not in need of medical care, disparately supports private corporations lobbying for mandated health insurance.
This is the point where Democracy, rule by the people, passes from our grasp forever, or until the next revolution.