Supreme Court upholds healthcare law as tax measure

The Los Angeles Times and CBS News have the simplest and most concise telling of the story that I have found so far, Supreme Court upholds healthcare law as tax measure.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of President Obama’s healthcare law Thursday, ruling the government may impose tax penalties on persons who do not have health insurance.

If you want to get ahead of CBS News, see how fast you can read the 193 page decision.

You don’t suppose any of the media will cover the story of how they all read “the body language” of the Supreme Court Justices to mis-predict the outcome?

So the Supreme Court isn’t completely hopeless after all. Despite the poor presentation of the Obama administration, the court did manage to find its own reasons why this law is Constitutional. (I have to walk that last statement back. Upon reading some of the 193 page decision, I see that the tax angle was part of the Government’s case.)

On page 15 of the decision, I found:

The Government advances two theories for the proposition that Congress had constitutional authority to enact the individual mandate. First, the Government argues that Congress had the power to enact the mandate under the Commerce Clause. Under that theory, Congress may order individuals to buy health insurance because the failure to do so affects interstate commerce, and could undercut the Affordable Care Act’s other reforms. Second, the Government argues that if the commerce power does not support the mandate, we should nonetheless uphold it as an exercise of Congress’s power to tax. According to the Government, even if Congress lacks the power to direct individuals to buy insurance, the only effect of the individual mandate is to raise taxes on those who do not do so, and thus the law may be upheld as a tax.


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