Skip to comments.The Mandate After the Court [Robertsís decision may end up killing Obamacare after all]
Posted on 07/16/2012 4:00:08 PM PDT by SoFloFreeper
Last months Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare left champions of that law breathing a sigh of relief, while its opponents a majority of the public were left frustrated. It seemed at first glance as though the chief justices tortured opinion had saved the individual mandate, and with it the broader statute. But Obamacares champions should take a closer look at what the Court left them with, because on their own terms, the law is now set to collapse.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Here is another excerpt:
Essentially, the Court struck down the mandate while retaining the penalty. So those champions of Obamacare who relied on behavioral economics to argue that the laws individual mandate could be sufficient to avert an insurance death spiral must now contend with the fact that the Court has closed off that argument.
In the wake of the Roberts decision, participation in Obamacares insurance scheme is optional. Rather than a requirement to buy coverage backed with a penalty for violators, the law now offers Americans two equally lawful and legitimate options: buy expensive insurance (which Obamacare will make all the more expensive), or pay a modest (and still largely unenforceable) tax and just buy insurance for the same price later if you need it. Presented as a choice, not a command, this provision will invite a straightforward comparison, and for many Americans the choice it would pose would be a very easy one.
Had Roberts followed the Constitution, LIKE HE VOWED TO GOD TO DO, he would have struck down the law in total.
No amount of spin can undo the massive damage he has done with his lawless ruling!
The “invisible hand” that gives direction and meaning to (relatively free) market transactions may yet give the architects a back-handed smack upside the head. It does look like an escape valve, however unintentional, was built into the letter of this rather convoluted law after all.
When and if obamacare is fully implemented could it be fought under the 14th amend. equal protection clause?
Since the enforcement part of OCare is a tax, they cannot tax the Catholic Church.
Therefore, forcing Catholic hospitals to pay for insurance that includes abortions should be dead on the tax argument alone...
And Roberts did it with the collusion of the Liberal Justices. What a revoltin’ state of affairs.
Not even close. Still the same old blather. I hope the authors tell the IRS how unenforceable this tax is when they come knocking on the door.
I'm not sure the government can buy health insurance for its own employees now!
That’s a spin akin to saying we are fortunate that Obama was elected president because he showed us the evils of socialism.
15 gallons of Chanel no5 cannot make that turd of a decision quit stinking like what it is.
I thought that Roberts opinion in striking down the mandate via the commerce clause clause was essentially his own. The other 4 conservatives struck down the commerce clause argument for the mandate as well, but they did not join with Roberts in their opinion because of the infantile and moronic rift created by Roberts. My understanding is that SC precedent does require a majority, concurrent opinion, so Roberts basically did nothing good here (other than allowing states not to be extorted by the Feds over Medicaid). So in the future, the libs could still use the commerce clause for more federal usurpations.
Roberts s a big lib and a disgrace, and if Romney is elected, I hope Roberts resigns fom the court.
Nope, I ain’t buyin’ it. There is no twist, no spin, no nuanced interpretation that can remove the stench from that anti-Constitutional decision.
Roberts settled his reputation with it, and the rest of us are left to deal with the garbage he refused to take out.
No, it is enforceable. The IRS will take the penalty out of your bank account or raid your house or business to collect it. They can probably do it all electronically in most cases. They will take it out of any direct deposit coming into your account.
That whole argument is crap.
Wow. What convoluted reasoning. No one knows nor cares that the Supreme Court said that Congress cannot mandate buying health insurance. The Supreme Court left the law in place, and everyone understands that. It sure looks like the mandate was approved.
While it is true that many people will opt to pay the penalty instead of buying insurance, that would have been the case without a court decision. Mandate or not, that choice was always there, and remains.
The decision was a travesty. On the one hand, Roberts said that Congress could not use the Commerce Clause to justify intruding further into our lives. On the other hand, Roberts said that if they just include a tax in there somewhere, they can do anything they want to do. He closed one door which was dubious to begin with, and opened another door which can only be closed by a Constitutional Amendment.
Where necessary to make a regulation of interstate commerce effective, Congress may regulate even those intrastate activities that do not themselves substantially affect interstate commerce.
Scalia, concurring in Raich
Put simply, Congress may tax and spend. This grant gives the Federal Government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate. The Federal Government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid, or otherwise control. See, e.g., License Tax Cases, 5 Wall. 462, 471 (1867). And in exercising its spending power, Congress may offer funds to the States, and may condition those offers on compliance with specified conditions. See, e.g., College Savings Bank v. Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Ed. Expense Bd., 527 U. S. 666, 686 (1999) . These offers may well induce the States to adopt policies that the Federal Government itself could not impose. See, e.g., South Dakota v. Dole, 483 U. S. 203206 (1987) (conditioning federal highway funds on States raising their drinking age to 21).
This is not entirely accurate. The Church is free from property taxes, but payroll, stipends, and liquidation of some assets are taxable.
Ah, but why is the "legal obligation" only "perceived" if it is "lawful"? And why should we "pause to calculate"? And especially, how can a "mandate" be a mandate if it can't be enforced, but if it CAN be enforced, how is the enforceable mandate NOT a penalty if it isn't paid?
Well, maybe because all ya'll Roberts-haters... let's see, how to put this... can't find your ass with both hands? don't know what you're talking about? Missed what Roberts said right in front of your faces? Are flat-out wrong about what you think the ruling means?
Yeah, something like that.
But lemme tellya, the writers of this article know exactly what Roberts did - that's why they can so carefully construct those squirrelly sentences I quoted above from them.
Want to know what they know? Want to bring your blood pressure down?
Then read: How Chief Justice Roberts Saved America
After all, if you're going to get mad, get mad about the right thing.
Property taxes have never been collected by the federal government, have they? Churches do not have to pay taxes on their income as a non-profit tax exempt entity, IIRC.
I’m only an engineer... not a fancy pants lawyer.
Having fully read your treatise, I’m not sure if you’ve engaged in the equivalent of a judicial conspiracy rant or properly and accurately explained the workings of a brilliant mind.
When Roberts’ ruling came out and the hysterical screaming began, I was thoughtfully pleased that we could not be mandated to do something. I also agreed that Congress has the power to tax and therefore the power to remove taxes. And I agreed that it was up to us, the American people, to drive our own taxation system via our constitutionally provided political system. So I haven’t gone apepoop about Roberts legislating from the bench cause it seemed to me he specifically avoided that accusation and put responsibility squarely where it belongs.
So (correct me if I’m wrong}, individuals are technically free to ignore the tax knowing that while the IRS can bluster and posture, it knows full well it would lose any case whereby individuals are generalized as presumed corporations for the purpose of collection of taxes above and beyond the specific case of income tax.
This strikes me as an Occam’s Razor situation whereby many courts would side with the IRS. So how likely is it that Roberts’ brilliant loophole will prove effective?
Your response is eagerly awaited.
That is correct, the federal government does not collect property tax. Local governments such as cities and states however, cannot tax Church property. Income is also exempt, from collections and donations, ect. Payroll and taxable employee benefits are not exempt from taxation.
Your argument, unfortunately, is flawed. The only enforcement part of Obama/Pelosicare declared a tax is the mandate on individuals. A separate mandate applies to employers, but the Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of that mandate because the petitioners did not bring that argument to the Court.
Moreover, the government can tax the Catholic Church as much as it taxes any other entity. The Sixteenth Amendment (income tax) supersedes the First Amendment (freedom of religion), and in any case, this Administration considers religious liberty as a nullity. Only a special provision of the tax code grants the Church an exemption from income taxation, and the Church must comply with certain regulations to qualify. For example, the Church cannot maintain her tax exemption and support or oppose a political candidate or any other political issue; a special exception allows black Protestant churches to agitate for Democrats yet retain their exemption.
Catholic hospitals, however, do not qualify as churches under the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act and the regulations promulgated thereunder. They must comply with the legislation as ordinary businesses. If they object to the abortion mandate, then they must pay gargantuan fines. The Catholic Church, her institutions, and her faithful cannot provide abortifacients, contraception, sterilization, and abortion as these are intrinsically evil.
That leaves these groups several options. They can continue to operate without employing anyone; the requirement to provide these procedures applies only to employees. For a hospital, that’s impractical right now, although I suppose that a tremendous surge in vocations of medically qualified persons to religious orders may displace the current staff.
Alternatively, the hospitals may pay a special tax ($2,000 per employee) and simply not offer health insurance (for reasons unrelated to opposition to abortion, which carries a special punitive fine). The employees then each pay a tax of not less than $695/person (or $2085/family) and simply decline medical attention. That arrangement may prove economically viable, especially if other employers drop their coverage. Essentially, health insurance becomes too expensive, so the employer pays a tax, reduces wages to compensate for the tax, and have each employee pay a special tax from the wages. Technically, if the hospital employs fewer than 50 persons, or if no employee nor spouse nor dependent of any employee receives a subsidy on any exchange, then the hospital need not pay the $2,000/employee tax. In the case of hospitals, this arrangement may prove particularly enticing if the hospital then can offer or provide some limited form of healthcare to employees, their spouses, and their children; however, I’m not sure how legal that might be.
I agree. Trying to find excuses for Roberts is rediculous. He was worried about what the President, Dem Senators, and left wing would say about him. The right move was to throw this thing out and Obama would be spending his time trying to figure out what he could do thru executive orders to implement what he could. Now he has this hurdle cleared. The Republicans would be spending time writing another bill and this Bain Capital nonsense wouldn’t have nearly the attention it has garned.