The mandate revised?
(A silver lining? Or is it a lead-based paint lining?)
If the mandate is really just a tax, is this true?
Lurking in the background is a way to decide the case on tax law grounds. No one can be prosecuted, punished or fined for violating the mandate. In fact, the word “mandate” does not appear in the law. In “practical operation,” the administration argued, it’s just a tax law.
If the mandate is really just a tax, that would be supported by the Constitution, which says Congress “shall have the power to lay and collect taxes … to provide for the common defense and general welfare.”
So, in the end, the justices could agree the law’s required tax payments are constitutional, while also making clear the government does not have broad power to mandate purchases.
If true, this would all make Obamacare turn on what in practical operation means.
Could such a tax be overturned—or reduced to the point of insignificance—by a simple Congressional majority?
And generally, don’t you have to have a transaction to have a tax (taxes on held property perhaps being the exception)? How can the government tax income, death, sales, capital gains, or dividends if there are none?
Or does Obamacare now allow the government to squeeze blood from a turnip?
Finally, in plain the language of the Beltway, is this a simple case of if it ain’t funded, it ain’t? (Sorry for all the questions.)
In practice I doubt the above arguments/questions will carry the anti-Obamacare
mandate tax day. Unless intervened on by reality, the government only ratchets in one direction: more.