‘Tax’ Term Looms Over Health Law Decision
By upholding the individual mandate as a tax, the Supreme Court's ruling on the health law could be a potent political weapon for conservatives, news organizations report.
The Fiscal Times: Upholding The Conservative Centerpiece Of Reform
For nearly a century, progressives have dreamed of enacting a universal insurance scheme that provides affordable access to health care for all Americans. That's what led reform advocate Ron Pollack of Families USA on Thursday to call the Supreme Court decision "a hallelujah moment" (Goozner, 6/29).
The New York Times: Justices Allow The Term 'Tax' To Embrace 'Penalty'
But by calling the penalty for not buying health insurance a tax, the Supreme Court on Thursday effectively created a tax that people will pay only if they do not buy something. That decision led some opponents of the health care law to proclaim that it was a large tax increase, something the sponsors of the bill had explicitly denied when the law was passed (Norris, 6/28).
The Fiscal Times: Why The Health Care Mandate 'Tax' Is A Paper Tiger
The financial consequences to small businesses, investors and consumers are now top of mind following today's Supreme Court ruling that left intact almost all of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. Attorney Mike Carvin, who argued against the ACA before the high court, told Fox News that as a result of the decision, "Obamacare will go into effect absent a political solution and will impose enormous costs on small businesses. It will lead them to do one of two things: Either never get over 50 employees, which means they might have to fire some people; or get over 50 employees and pay onerous health insurance; or, they may just drop health insurance entirely and pay the penalty" (Mackey, 6/28).
The Hill: High Court Gives New Weapon On Taxes
Republicans have seized on the Supreme Court's decision that the health insurance mandate is a tax, believing it will help them argue a second term for President Obama would be devastating for the economy. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney employed the line of attack shortly after the ruling came down, asserting "Obamacare raises taxes on the American people by approximately $500 billion" (Stanage and Parnes, 6/29).
Reuters: Supreme Court Ruling Casts Tax Shadow Over U.S. Health Care Law
Republicans seized on a momentous U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Thursday to accuse President Barack Obama of hiding a tax increase in his health care law, an argument likely to intensify a congressional tax policy war already underway. The court ruled the 2010 law was valid because Congress has the power to impose taxes. The Obama administration played down the tax factor, but Republican opponents pounced on the decision, seeking to elicit political points from a legal issue (Dixon and Drawbaugh, 6/28).