As we are all aware now that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is the “Law of the Land” and how Judge Roberts basically redefined the individual mandate from a penalty to a tax.

“The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage in it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”

OK, so despite being called a payment and a penalty throughout the act, he is labeling it a tax and since congress can tax we are all good, right?

Wrong, congress may have some taxing authority but it is defined and limited.  So what does the Constitution say about this?  This can be found in Article 1, Section 8:

The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

This all breaks down by the fact that the Mandate is not uniform simply because it is targeted at people not buy health insurance and then calculated by various other rules and factor.  But the 16th amendment say it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.  Well that is partially true as it relates to income.  The 16th amendment states:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.

So is it an income based tax or no?  No, and here is why.  The sole deciding factor of if you even have to pay this “tax” is determined by wether you buy the governments defined definition of health insurance.  Based on that fact alone, the 16th amendment does not apply.

From US Code Title 26, subtitle D, Ch48 § 5000A – Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage (a) Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage

(a) Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage
An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month.

(b) Shared responsibility payment

(1) In general

If a taxpayer who is an applicable individual, or an applicable individual for whom the taxpayer is liable under paragraph (3), fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months, then, except as provided in subsection (e), there is hereby imposed on the taxpayer a penalty with respect to such failures in the amount determined under subsection (c).

As you can see, the sole determining factor even being taxed has absolutely nothing to do with income.  So the makes the tax outside of the congress’ constitutionally defined taxing authority as stated in Article 1 section 8 of the Constitution and the 16th Amendment.  The only logical conclusion is that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that Judge Roberts and the half the Supreme Court got it wrong.

Do you agree or disagree?

 

Sources:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/28/supreme-court-health-care-decision_n_1585131.html

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/26/5000A

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