So many of life's decisions rest on the smallest turns of fate. The same could be said of the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The fulcrum of the administration's case before the court last month in the argument over the individual mandate lies in the notion that everyone is a health care consumer. And the arguments the left and the right make over this otherwise parenthetical notion rest on whether we're active or passive (or potential) health consumers.

And, in truth, slightly more than half of us make up less than 3 percent of health care expenditures, making most of us passive consumers. But as anyone in underwriting will tell you, insurance companies need the passive—or near non-consumers, as some call them—to fill the risk pool to pay for everyone else. It's why the mandate is so pivotal to the rest of the law, as flawed as it might be.

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