That was a battle lost, but I am not so sure a war lost. Obummercare got redefined as a tax, in the grand Roberts cop out. (Four others, including the problematic Kennedy, agreed in opining that there was no way to salvage this hunk of ordure.) But there is a second chance to approach such taxing: not all taxes are constitutional (you couldn’t tax someone for being a Jew, for instance). That issue didn’t get explicitly brought up before the USSC in that infamous case. Look now at what, say, Hobby Lobby is now being “taxed” into doing for the sake of its owners’ faith. There is still a chance for the USSC to do something sane, after having kicked the can an unseemly distance down the road.
You’re right. It is a direct tax on insurance policy ownership status, is not apportioned among the states according to population, and therefore is illegal. But what are the chances it gets struck down? Zero. You and I both know it will be deemed an income tax, and in that world anything goes except something like a Jew Tax like you mention.
There is still the hope it could be struck down on religious grounds of religious freedom. But then they’ll say, hey, the Quakers can’t refuse to pay for taxes that fund wars, so what are you complaining about? You can’t dictate policy from the pulpit. Healthcare is a matter if life and death, blah, blah, blah.
Basically, if Obamacare cab pass because Roberts says, hey, the mandate *could* be a tax, any old reason will do. The mandate was only the most obvious way it was unconstitutional. Did they even hither inquiringly where the Constitution said they nay do whatever else is in the bill? Did they even read the rest of the bill? Doubtful.