It looks like the Mandate was shot down as the Commerce Clause applies, but was upheld as a tax. It seems that the court may have punted, 5-4 with John Roberts joining the liberals, the decision down the road to 2014 when the Mandate goes into effect
(CNN) Question: Can the court decide the constitutionality of health care now, or does it have to wait a few years?
To answer, the court had to decide whether a penalty the law imposes on people who do not have health insurance amounts to a tax.
A previously obscure law mandated that the legality of a tax cannot be challenged until it is imposed, and the health care law doesn’t call for penalties until 2014.
There are other parts of Obamacare that have been shot down and others upheld. That said, the ruling on the Mandate is not necessarily a win for Obama and the Democrats. Calling the Mandate a tax will not sit well with the American people, who already hate the legislation. People do not like to be taxed. Liberals say they love taxes, but only as long as that guy over there is getting taxed. They don’t like taxes for themselves. And, overall, people surely do not want to be taxed for economic inactivity, and certainly not for simply being born in America.
Look at the silver lining: (NMP) Obama and the Democrats will have a tough time campaigning on taxing people for being born American. Not a winning campaign talking point. Especially since Obama argued that it wasn’t a tax.
And this decision will, in fact, fire up Republicans and conservatives to win the Presidency and Senate in November.
Interestingly, according to SCOTUSblog live feed and other reports, Justice Kennedy voted to kill the whole bill. Ace is reporting that when it comes to the medicaid expansion, the Federal government cannot penalize States for not accepting the expansion.
We’re going to have to wait throughout the day for the full details of the decision to be digested.
You stay classy, Democrats
Patrick Gaspard is the executive director of the DNC.
Ed Morrissey: It’s an interesting argument, but one that should have Americans worried. Basically, this is a tax that you have to pay to private companies. For all of the screaming the Right did over single-payer — and for good, outcome-based reasons — at least the taxes raised to fund it would go directly to government. The Supreme Court has signed off on what is, in very practical terms, a tax levied by the insurance industry on Americans simply for existing. It’s an amazing, and fearsome, decision that really should have both Right and Left horrified.
Doug Powers: This doesn’t mean we’re stuck with Obamacare forever — it means that November 6th just got much more important, and I didn’t think that was possible.