Is health care mandate a tax?

  • Article by: D.J. TICE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 31, 2012 - 5:26 PM
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hobie2Mar. 31, 12 6:30 PM

So "there shall be a tax on every eligible person who may have health care insurance, and that tax shall be in the amount of the insurance purchased for those who do have health insurance, and a fine shall be levied on those who do not."? Kind of a stretch to call that intellectual exercise a tax, isn't it?.. "there shall be a tax on every eligible person who may eat bread, and that tax shall be in the amount of the bread purchased for those who do eat bread, and a fine shall be levied on those who do not." If that balloon flies, where does it stop?... Point is - With the present laws and with that law left intact except for that "tax", children under 18 and seniors over 66, persons wards of the state, all persons working for any government including military and military retirees, any post-high-school student that doesn't specifically opt out, and all but a fifth of the US workforce - is insured... We are talking about insuring the remaining one-fifth of the US workforce with that requirement. That's it.

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minn12Mar. 31, 12 6:38 PM

Completely clueless article. Tice misses the overarching Constitutional point: Can the federal government make you BUY A PRODUCT simply for being alive? The answer is NO. Such power is nowhere to be found in the Constitution, despite liberal courts trying to stretch the Commerce Clause beyond recognition. Doesn't matter if the penalty is a 'tax' or a 'fee' or a 'fine'.

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johneramone4Mar. 31, 12 8:31 PM

If the justices based their ruling solely on the basis of constitutionality ths law will go be shot down 9-0. unfortunatley the more left leaming justices have traditionally been more influenced by their own ideology.

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rockoftruthMar. 31, 12 8:56 PM

Tax, penalty, or donation it may not matter what it is called. The question before the court is this a legal act. Legal or Illegal that is the question.

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jimcrackcornMar. 31, 12 9:22 PM

D J,instead of crafting a health insurance provisions for all Americans,Obama instead handed it over to Pelosi and her union ilks...he made no attempt to compromise with the Republicans regarding tort reform or cross state purchasing (such as Auto insurance). A basic health care insurance policy covering catastrophic medical emergencies with an option to purchase additional coverage would have passed Congress...instead your buddies,the unions,took over and handed you a can of worms,which you gladly accepted.And the genius,Peposi,said pass it so that we can eventually read it and find out what it contains.

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nonewtaxesMar. 31, 1210:17 PM

This case is over. The administration lost. We need affordable healthcare. Time for congress to put on their big boy pants, and work on legislation that gets our costs in line with other western nations. This will take time and effort. The solution must be supported by both parties. No member of congress should vote on the replacement measure until they have read it. Is thin too mush to ask?

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gandalf48Apr. 1, 1212:14 AM

Here are some simple bi-partisan solutions to healthcare...first allow individuals to pay for healthcare premiums tax free just like a business can. Second allow the free market to work and create a uniform system among all the states (remember the commerce clause?). Finally force all medical institutions to come up with standard costs for all procedures so anyone can see the true cost of healthcare and not have it hidden behind an insurance company (who oddly enough actually determines the cost of most healthcare procedures).

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lordhawhaw1Apr. 1, 12 5:56 AM

Is the health care mandate a tax? I don't know DJ... Is the Constitution a document containing the boundaries to Federal authority or is the Constitution just full of optional useful suggestions for the government?

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takenoticeApr. 1, 12 8:05 AM

johneramone4: "unfortunatley the more left leaming justices have traditionally been more influenced by their own ideology." You are obviously not a scholar of constitutional law and the current Supreme Court justices. Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito, all appointed by conservative presidents, always vote as bloc. Add Kennedy who is mostly right-wing and you have the five ideologues who brought us the most despised Supreme Court decision ever (opposed by over 70% of Americans). So your diatribe really applies much more accurately to the right-wing justices, jon.

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my4centsApr. 1, 12 8:06 AM

The Constitutionality of this bill goes beyond whether someone wants to rename this fee a tax (By the way - Obama promised not to raise taxes on any earning less than $200K). Rename this a tax if you like - the problem is with forcing citizens to buy a product - or punishing them for not doing so. That is not the same as giving an incentive to purchase something (a tax break for buying an electric car, for instance). This bill places a burden on people who choose not to purchase a government-designed product. In fact-maybe their next move is to tax everyone who does not by a Chevrolet. Finally, comparing this to the MN Tobacco Fee/tax is ridiculous. The state of MN does not operate under the same constitutional restrictions as the Federal Government.

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