CNN originally reported that the Supreme Court found that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of the commerce clause and that it appeared as if the Supreme Court had struck down the individual mandate. Then CNN followed up by saying that the court actually did uphold it under the taxing clause, with a narrow reading of the U.S. Constitution. People are calling this a screw-up.
Both reports were correct.
Five to Four, the Supreme Court has said that although the individual mandate (that everyone must obtain health care coverage) does not stand via the commerce clause, in essence it stands via the provision in the U.S. Constitution for Congress to tax the American people. This is because people who do not obtain coverage will have a fine “taxed” onto their yearly income taxes, via the IRS 1040 income tax form and/or another form.
Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress is allowed to “lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.”
The Supreme Court is not saying that the health care law in and of itself is constitutional, as per Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. But instead, it is saying that taxing people who don’t have coverage is constitutional under this section because it is viewed as “Providing for the general welfare of the United States.” By saying this, they are not saying “general welfare,” as in our personal health care welfare. it is saying that the taxation is needed for the “general welfare,” as in the fiscal welfare of the United States (the money.)
In other words, the court is saying that if Congress feels that the fiscal (monetary) welfare of this nation is harmed by people who do not obtain health care coverage, that it is in the best interest of this “general welfare” of the United States to tax such people in order to make up some of the revenue that is lost each year by uncovered hospital visits, doctor visits, etc. This is because otherwise, the cost largely goes to taxpayers and people who do pay for health care coverage, which hurts the overall economy.
What was exposed:
Basically, the Supreme Court has said Obama’s health care act’s core reason for being is in fact to place a tax on people who already cannot afford health care coverage.
Obama had sworn he would not put any new taxes on anyone earning under $250,000.00 a year. Many of us were fully aware that he was lying, as were many of us fully aware that Obama’s health care act was simply a back door to taxing of the poor and an increase in the overall cost of health coverage on most everyone else. This is, of course, excluding Congress and presidents, who are all excluded from the act.
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