The Affordable Care Act won’t work for exactly the reason it is constitutional.
Chief Justice John Roberts pleased many of his detractors by ruling that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional because it is a tax. However, the goal of the ACA – better health for more Americans – will not be reached for exactly the reason the Robert’s said the individual mandate is constitutional.
Roberts’ reasoning hinges on the fact that the mandate is not punitive, but rather suggestive – that is, not having insurance is not illegal, but simply taxable.
In his opinion, Roberts says there are no “negative legal consequences” for not buying insurance other than paying the tax.
“The Government agrees with that reading, confirming that if someone chooses to pay rather than obtain health insurance, they have fully complied with the law,” he writes.
Roberts cites a Congressional Budget Office estimate that four million people will pay the penalty instead of buying insurance.
“We would expect Congress to be troubled by that prospect if such conduct were unlawful,” he writes. “That Congress apparently regards such extensive failure to comply with the mandate as tolerable suggests that Congress did not think it was creating four million outlaws.”
Read the rest at Doublethink.