A former Solicitor General appointed by President Ronald Reagan says that the conservative argument that the heath care reform law would eventually allow the government to force people to eat broccoli is "totally bogus."


Florida's Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi and others have insisted (PDF) that if the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is allowed to stand then the government could eventually also require people to "buy and consume broccoli at regular intervals" because it would positively impact interstate commerce by making consumers healthier.

Fox News host Shannon Bream on Sunday asked former Solicitor General Charles Fried if this argument would hold up in court.

"It's totally bogus," Fried replied. "Because, as Judge Sutton pointed out, everybody isn't in the working out market or in the broccoli market, but everybody is in the health care market -- or 95 percent of the population. So, they're not being forced into a market they're not in. They're being told -- they're being regulated in how they pay for things in a market that they are already in and are sure to continue to be in."

Prominent conservative Sixth Circuit of Appeals Court Judge Jeffrey Sutton ruled last year that Congress acted within the powers granted by the Constitution's Commerce Clause when it passed the Affordable Care Act.

Watch this video from Fox News, broadcast March 25, 2012.

(H/T: Media Matters)