I originally objected to the mandate, until I came to understand that its purpose was to keep healthy people in the pool to offset the costs of the sick. I am one of the healthy - I am sick enough to need to take a day off work maybe once every 5 years, I don't have diabetes or even bad allergies - but I think beyond myself and my own immediate needs to look at the larger picture. Some day I'll need more medical care, as will my wife, and perhaps our soon-to-be-born child. I am happy to maintain insurance, or pay the tax penalty for not having it, in order to help keep costs down now, and to insure that same protection will be there when I need it. That said, I would happily endorse a single-payer system, or better yet a Canadian- or European-style public healthcare system, and would just as happily swallow higher tax rates to pay for it.