Obamacare Individual Mandate Upheld as a Tax

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court declared constitutional Obamacare’s mandate that individuals purchase health insurance because the mandate is within the scope of Congress’ taxing authority.  (Click here to read the opinion).

Chief Justice Roberts wrote that the individual mandate exceeded Congress’ power under the commerce clause, but that the penalty for failure to obey could be called a “tax,” and therefore did not exceed Congress’ taxing authority.

However, the purpose of Obamacare is not to raise revenue, it is to modify behavior.  Its purpose is to make us do something.  If the taxing authority can be twisted to tax us for not doing something, then the government can force us to do anything.  Quoting Chief Justice Roberts: “Every day individuals do not do an infinite number of things.”  (Page 20).  Shall we be taxed for all those things we fail to do?  Where will it end?

Did not buy a house or go to college?  Pay a “tax.”  Did not purchase health insurance?  Pay a “tax.”  Did not join a health club?  Pay a “tax.”  Did not lose excess weight?  Pay a “tax.”  Did not eat enough vegetables?  Pay a “tax.”  Did not buy a General Motors car?  Pay a “tax.”  Did not pay for your neighbor’s abortion?  Pay a “tax.”  This “logic” moves us from a government of limited powers to a government of unlimited power.

The income taxing authority of Congress is not the authority to order our lives.  If this continues, someday we will be taxed at 100%, and we will get some of our money back only when we prove that we did as we were told.