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From the time President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, one of the most controversial components of the law was the individual mandate. This provision requires every American who can afford insurance coverage to purchase some kind of minimally comprehensive policy. Presumably, with the other measures that the ACA will enforce (such as cost control, no pre-existing condition limitations, etc.), insurance will become affordable for a much wider group of people, and by the time the mandate goes into effect in 2014, purchasing insurance should, theoretically, be no problem. 

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