(CHICAGO TRIBUNE) — An attorney challenging President Barack Obama’s landmark healthcare law before the U.S. Supreme Court said on Thursday that Congress could require Americans to buy a car or other product if people were compelled to obtain medical insurance.

But a former Obama administration attorney dismissed those concerns, calling them “absurd hypotheticals,” and defended the insurance purchase requirement in the 2010 law as part of a comprehensive scheme to address a national problem of soaring healthcare costs.

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