Today I found the following through the New Republic:
Of note is the third sentence, in which Congress orders all able-bodied men to acquire a firearm. Mandate issued to enforce powers under one of the militia powers, not the commerce power.
It is also claimed that the Congress in 1790 required ships at sea to provide “health insurance.” This seems like quite a stretch, as the statute merely required that sea-going ships carry a medicine chest.
Finally, TNR argues that there was an INDIVIDUAL MANDATE of all things imposed on seamen by the Congress of 1798. Also a bit of a stretch. It seems more like there was a tax of 20 cents/month/seaman imposed, to be withheld from the wages of the seamen, and to be used to pay for medical care for disabled seamen.
Anyway, it seems odd that things like this bubble up after briefing and argument at the Supreme Court– particularly the Militia Act of 1790, which does some damage to the notion that a “mandate” is beyond the power to regulate.