The Supreme Court & the Individual Mandate

As has been widely reported, and is now being analyzed at length, the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (otherwise dubbed Obamacare) this morning. The administration had claimed that it was Constitutional with three separate arguments: the Commerce Clause, the Necessary and Proper Clause, and the Taxation Power (“lay and collect Taxes”.) Chief Justice Roberts, in delivering the opinion of the court, wrote that the law wasn’t supported by either of the first two, but was, in fact, Constitutional under the Taxation Power of Congress in the Constitution.

Although the Congress stated that it wasn’t a tax in writing the law, the Court sensibly saw past this language as a political decision to get the law passed. The expansion of Medicaid was struck down by the Court. Expect considerable discussion about overturning Obamacare from the right, and expanding it to Medicare from the left from here to the election this fall, and beyond. Let the games begin!

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