Transcript...@Supreme Court: The Health Care Law And The Individual MandateGENERAL VERRILLI: I don't think that that's a fair characterization of the actions of Congress here, Justice Kagan. On the December 23rd, a point of constitutional order was called to, in fact, with respect to this law. The floor sponsor, Senator Baucus, defended it as an exercise of the taxing power. In his response to the point of order, the Senate voted 60 to 39 on that proposition.
It's got this little number in it...
The legislative history is replete with members of Congress explaining that this law is constitutional as an exercise of the taxing power. It was attacked as a tax by its opponents. So I don't think this is a situation where you can say that Congress was avoiding any mention of the tax power.
It would be one thing if Congress explicitly disavowed an exercise of the tax power. But given that it hasn't done so, it seems to me that it's not only is it fair to read this as an exercise of the tax power, but this Court has got an obligation to construe it as an exercise of the tax power, if it can be upheld on that basis.
Sounds to me like Congress knew it was a tax during debate.
@It Was Always a Tax
In part...Mr. President, the bill before us is clearly an appropriate exercise of the commerce clause. We further believe Congress has power to enact this legislation pursuant to the taxing and spending powers.
Snip...House Democrats likewise argued that Obamacare is constitutionally justified as an exercise of Congresss power to levy taxes and spend money. Thus, Rep. George Miller of California said: The bill contains an individual mandate to either obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. This provision is grounded in Congresss taxing power but is also necessary and properindeed, a critical linchpinto the overall effort to reform the health care market and bring associated costs under control throughout interstate commerce.
A really good article, IMO. The brief that administration lawyers filed on behalf of President Obama argued at length that the mandate is a tax. At risk of boring our readers, I am going to reproduce that entire section of the brief. You shouldnt feel obliged to read it all, but it is actually quite interesting:
Be sure to read this...
II. THE MINIMUM COVERAGE PROVISION IS INDEPENDENTLY AUTHORIZED BY CONGRESSS TAXING POWER
A. The Minimum Coverage Provision Operates As A Tax Law
I rather liked this towards the end... Hey, thats what you get for reading a web site that is written by lawyers. But even if you didnt follow all of that, I am sure you got the point: the Obama administration argued vigorously, and at considerable length, that the Obamacare mandate is a tax. For Obama and his surrogates to deny now that Obamacare is a tax, or to express surprise that the Supreme Court has so held, is beyond disingenuous. Of course, such dishonesty is par for the course for the president and his minions.
posted on 07/05/2012 4:16:49 PM PDT
(Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
Roberts still caused a large disturbance in The Force.
posted on 07/05/2012 4:22:19 PM PDT
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