Category Archives: mandatory insurance

ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption

From the WSJ:

ObamaCare’s implementers continue to roam the battlefield and shoot their own wounded, and the latest casualty is the core of the Affordable Care Act—the individual mandate. To wit, last week the Administration quietly excused millions of people from the requirement to purchase health insurance or else pay a tax penalty.

More: ObamaCare’s Secret Mandate Exemption – WSJ.com.

Via the NCPA.

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Obama Administration Delays Individual Mandate for People Whose Insurance Policies Were Canceled

From Reason.com:

People whose health insurance plans were canceled as a result of Obamacare will not be subject to Obamacare’s penalty for being uninsured next year, the administration announced tonight. People whose plans were canceled and are having difficulty paying for a new plan will also be allowed to purchase catastrophic health plans from the exchanges, which had previously been available only to people under the age of 30. …

… it’s hard to justify offering this exemption to the previously insured but not to those who were previously uninsured. A person’s plan is canceled, and as a result that person is not subject to the mandate. But if that person was not insured this year, a person who is otherwise exactly the same is subject to the fine? Good luck selling that one.

via Obama Administration Delays Individual Mandate for People Whose Insurance Policies Were Canceled – Hit & Run : Reason.com.

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How Much Is The Obamacare Mandate Going To Cost You? – Forbes

At Forbes.com, Grace-Marie Turner outlines the income-dependent penalties (“taxes”) for not buying a legal medical insurance policy:

So just how much is that new ObamaCare tax going to cost you? For some people, a lot more than you have been hearing.

The individual mandate section of the health overhaul law outlines the structure of the “taxes” that must be paid by those who don’t buy government-approved health insurance – starting at $95 a year the first year for individuals. Many people are thinking it will be much cheaper to simply pay the tax than to buy policies that will cost thousands of dollars more. …

Surely every family will be making its own calculations and cost-benefit analyses involving the health insurance mandate. McKinsey & Company has reported that as many as 30 to 40 million Americans could forgo health insurance, with some figuring they can purchase a policy whenever they are facing expensive medical bills.

More:  How Much Is The Obamacare Mandate Going To Cost You? – Forbes.

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Can the IRS Can Use Liens and Incarceration to Enforce ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate?

So says Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute:

A recent [Washington Post] article [“Could the health-care law work without the individual mandate?”, Mar. 28, A8] claims the IRS “will be barred from using … collection tools such as placing liens or threatening incarceration” to enforce compliance with the requirement that Americans obtain health insurance. Not so.

Suppose the IRS assesses me a $1,000 penalty for failing to obtain health insurance. It is true that the law prohibits the IRS from using liens or incarceration to collect *that* $1,000. But, money being fungible, the IRS may simply deem my first $1,000 of income-tax withholding to be payment of that penalty. As a result, I would owe an additional $1,000 in *income tax* at the end of the year, and the IRS could come after me with every tool at its disposal, including liens and incarceration.

Yes, I just copied the full text from his post here: Yes, the IRS Can Use Liens and Incarceration to Enforce ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate | Cato @ Liberty.

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Dave Kopel Explains SCOTUS ObamaCare Decision

Jon Caldara is joined by Dave Kopel, constitutional law professor and attorney of record for two (count ‘em, two) Independence Institute amicus briefs in the Obamacare Supreme Court case, to dissect and explain the court’s rulings on the controversial health care law.

For more of Kopel’s response, see: Dave Kopel Responds to ObamaCare Decision

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Dave Kopel Responds to ObamaCare Decision

From Jon Caldara:

Hey everyone. I know today’s Supreme Court ObamaCare decision is a lot to stomach right now, but I wanted to share with you our Constitutional Law scholar Dave Kopel’s statement on the issue. It should soften the blow considerably.

The Court’s decision against the Medicaid mandate means that Colorado has the right to choose whether or not to drastically expand state spending on Medicaid; Congress cannot coerce Coloradans to do so. The Medicaid mandate decision stops Congress from misusing of its Spending power to violate the 10th Amendment rights of the States; and it is the first time since 1936 that the Court has enforced significant constitutional limits on the Spending power.
The Medicaid mandate would have required Colorado to provide Medicaid to able-bodied childless adults. Simply put, this mandate would have put Colorado on a short path to insolvency.

The Independence Institute is gratified that the Court agreed with both of our amicus briefs, on the Medicaid mandate and on the Necessary and Proper Clause. On the Medicaid mandate, the Court strongly affirmed the fundamental constitutional principle, detailed in our brief, that the States are separate and independent sovereigns. The decision is in line with the Court’s record over the last two decades years in protecting state sovereignty. The Independence Institute has a long record of advocacy in this field; for example, in 1997, II Research Director Dave Kopel and Colorado Attorney General Gale Norton (herself a former Senior Fellow at II), co-authored an amicus brief for eight States in Printz v. United States. There, a 5-4 majority of the Court held that Congress could not order state and local law enforcement officers to carry out federal background checks on handgun buyers.

Today’s decision on the Medicaid mandate was 7-2, with Justices Breyer and Kagan joining the majority. This is one sign of how the Independence Institute’s long-term work is paying off.

The Court also agreed with our amicus brief on the Necessary and Proper Clause. As the research of our Senior Fellow Rob Natelson has explained, the Necessary and Proper Clause confers no additional powers on Congress. The Clause simply restates the general principle that Congress can exercise powers which are merely “incidental” to Congress’s enumerated powers. For example, since the Constitution gives Congress to power to establish the rules of bankruptcy, Congress can enact laws against bankruptcy fraud. The Court’s adoption the originalist interpretation developed by Natelson is the most important decision on the Necessary and Proper Clause since McCulloch v. Maryland in 1819.

Of course we were disappointed that the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate under a different theory–not that the mandate is a “Necessary and Proper” regulation of interstate commerce, but instead that the mandate is merely a tax.

While the socialists are celebrating the individual mandate that they love and that most Americans loathe, let’s consider the bottom line, according to Lyle Deniston, the most-esteemed and most senior Supreme Court journalist in the United States: “The rejection of the Commerce Clause and Nec. and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress’s authority to pass social welfare laws. Using the tax code — especially in the current political environment — to promote social welfare is going to be a very chancy proposition.”

There are more legal challenges coming to other parts of Obamacare. The political challenges are going to continue too, and the Independence Institute is going to remain at the forefront–in the courts, and in the court of public opinion–fighting for the day when there will be no more Obamacare, and for the day when all Americans will truly enjoy patient protection and affordable care.

Read more of Kopel’s thoughts about the decision at the SCOTUSblog: Major limits on the Congress’s powers, in an opinion worthy of John Marshall.

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The dubious policy assumptions behind ObamaCare’s legal defense

The July print edition of Reason magazine includes “Wonky Justice,” by Peter Suderman, that summarizes the “dubious policy assumptions behind ObamaCare’s legal defense.” Here’s a quick summary:

ObamaCare’s legal defense relies as much on policy arguments—about the nature of uncompensated medical care, the role of Medicaid, and the interaction of the law’s various provisions—as it does on constitutional reasoning. But the policy case is just as dubious as the constitutional one.

Suderman concludes, based on the Administration’s statements, that the Supreme Court, if it strikes down any part of ObamaCare, should strike down the whole thing.

Read the whole article.

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Thomas Sowell: Obama lies about Supreme Court & health care

Thomas Sowell writes:

[T]he Supreme Court can declare acts of Congress null and void if these acts violate the Constitution.

They have been doing so for more than two centuries. It is the foundation of American constitutional law. There is no way that Barack Obama has never heard of it or really believes it to be “unprecedented” after two centuries of countless precedents.

In short, he is simply lying.

Now there are different kinds of liars. If we must have lying Presidents of the United States, I prefer that they be like Richard Nixon. You could just look at him and tell that he was lying.

On accusations of judicial activism, Sowell writes:

Second, the “judicial activism” that conservatives have complained about was judges making rulings based on how they felt personally about the issue at hand, rather than about what the Constitution of the United States said.

In recent years, great efforts have been made to redefine “judicial activism” in terms of judges declaring laws unconstitutional, instead of “deferring” to Congress or other government institutions. …

As for Supreme Court justices being unelected, that has been true since the Constitution was created. That was done deliberately, so that they could render their judgments without fear of political repercussions.

Read the whole article: RealClearPolitics – Political Word Games.

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Memo to Justice Kagan: Taxes Are Coercive

At the Objective Standard blog, Ari Armstrong writes:

Apparently Justice Elena Kagan is oblivious to the obvious fact that taxes are coercive, in that they forcibly take wealth away from the owners of that wealth and give it to others. …

[Kagan] patently ignores the fact that the federal government collects “its” money by force, by threatening to lock people in cages if they don’t pay up, whereas the employer earns his money by trading value for value in the marketplace.

Read the whole post: Memo to Justice Kagan: Taxes Are Coercive.

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Supreme Court & Health Care: Force Begets Force Under Health Mandates

At the Objective Standard blog, Ari Armstrong writes:

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday pertaining to the ObamaCare insurance mandate. At issue is whether the federal government may force people to purchase health insurance. The arguments demonstrate that the mandate is a response to the problems created by other government controls of health care and insurance.

Then he provides two excellent examples, and a quote by Justice Sonia Sotomayor that displays statism by implying that if something is worth doing, government must force people do it. Armstrong concludes:

The Supreme Court should do its job and limit Congress to its specifically enumerated powers. And regardless of how the Court rules, Congress—rather than attempt to mitigate the consequences of its existing controls by means of a new mandate—should roll back all its controls, protect rather than violate freedom of contract in the health insurance market, and leave Americans free to choose how to finance their own health care and whether and to what extent to provide charity.

Read the whole post: Force Begets Force Under Health Mandates.

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