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26 Mar 2012 07:28 AM #1
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Health care law trial begins today
I do think that the Supreme Court will punt the case saying that it's a tax and thus can't be contested until the tax is paid. The case is too politically charged to do anything else.
Now, I do believe that the individual mandate is constitutional. It is effectively giving someone a tax break for having health insurance. This is really the same as the child tax credit, where the government mandates that I pay a higher tax because I don't have any kids.
In a sense, there is already an individual mandate, as health insurance contributions through a paycheck are not taxed, businesses can count insurance expense for employees as an expense and not get taxed on that income, and you can count insurance premiums as an itemized deduction thus reducing your taxes. The individual mandate in the health care act just makes it more of a tax break all around to have insurance.
This is besides the fact that health insurance occurs across state lines making the commerce clause come into effect. The Supreme Court has ruled in the past that the commerce clause takes effect in cases similar to this.
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