SCOTUS Strikes Down Individual Mandate in ObamaCare, But Upholds the Rest as a Tax

A majority found that the individual mandate violates the Commerce Clause, but it still survives as a permissible tax.

A PDF of the decision HERE.

In other words, you can’t be forced to buy government-mandated healthcare, but the government will impose a penalty tax if you don’t have your own insurance.  The IRS will come after you. Don’t think so? You must not have read the ObamaCare bill:


Subtitle A—Shared Responsibility



(a) IN GENERAL.—Subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new part:



‘‘Sec. 59B. Tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.

‘‘(a) TAX IMPOSED.—In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of—

‘‘(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over

  (2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.

The ruling leaves in place 21 tax increases in the health-care law:

….costing more than $675 billion over the next 10 years, according to the House Ways and Means Committee. Of those, 12 tax hikes would affect families earning less than $250,000 per year, the panel said, including a “Cadillac tax” on high-cost insurance plans, a tax on insurance providers, and an excise tax on medical device manufacturers.

Georgetown University law professor Randy Barnett:

Today’s decision validates our claim that a Congressional power to compel that all Americans engage in commerce was a constitutional bridge too far. By rewriting the law to make it a “tax,” the Court has now thrown ObamaCare into the political process where the People will decide whether this so-called “tax” will stand. And the People will also decide whether future Supreme Court nominees will pledge to enforce the Constitution’s restrictions on the power of Congress.

We are so fucked.

Justice Kennedy wrote the dissent. He, along with Justices Scalia, Thomas, and Alito, would have struck down the entire Act. Roberts, who is supposed to be one of the most conservative justices on the bench,  sided with the tax imposition:

‘Congress had the power to impose the exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power, and that Section 5000A need not be read to do more than impose a tax. This is sufficient to sustain it. ‘

But didn’t Obama claim that the ObamaCare mandate was “not a tax”?

ObamaCare is being contrived  under Article I, Section. 8, of the Constitution:

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;

And the 16th Amendment:

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.

The bottom line is that this bad ObamaCare law will have devastating effects on the country, whether you sign on to the government healthcare system, or not.

If you choose ObamaCare, get ready to deal with a Death Panel.

Under ObamaCare, there will be a Darwinization of medicine. Government claims agents will be appointed to decide whether or not your life is worth saving or if it’s “necessary” to provide treatment. The government will decide which doctor you will have, what kind of treatment will be allocated, and when. Like Canada. Like Britain. Like Germany. You will have no choice.
The health care industry is bracing for the 2014 socialist-driven avalanche by cutting back services, laying off workers, and refusing new Medicare patients.

From the Wall Street Journal:

A divided Supreme Court largely upheld the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s health-care law, in one of the most anticipated high-court rulings in a generation.

It upheld the mandate as a tax, in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts. The justices also found fault with part of the health-care law’s expansion of Medicaid, a joint federal-state insurance program for the poor. The justices made some changes to the Medicaid portion of the law.

The court said Congress was acting within its powers under the Constitution when it required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty—the provision at the center of the two-year legal battle.

……The exchanges are set to open in 2014, the same year insurers will have to accept all customers regardless of their medical histories. The insurance mandate will also take effect that year. People must show when they file tax returns for 2014 that they had coverage during that year or pay a tax penalty. The size of the penalty will rise over time and eventually reach a maximum of several thousand dollars a year.

Also starting in 2014, companies with more than 50 workers will have to pay penalties starting at $2,000 per employee if they didn’t offer a set level of health benefits.

Unless this travesty is repealed before 2014, you can expect the economic burden on businesses, small ones in particular, to be overwhelming. People who cannot afford health insurance to begin with, are really screwed.

A government takeover of healthcare is killing the economy, healthcare costs are rising not just in spite of it, but because of it, and freedom of choice for American citizens has just been squashed by a SCOTUS that has no moral or Constitutional compass.

Obama created a commerce (i.e. “activity) which is  not allowed by the Constitution.  There’s nothing remotely “individual” about the ObamaCare mandate.  The Constitution does not give Congress the power to require that Americans purchase government mandated services, including health insurance.   Nor does it permit the federal government to force citizens to use their own money to purchase government mandated services. Period.

Just to clarify things a bit:  Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Commerce Clause:

Clause 3: To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;…

It had to do with the establishment of federal rules to ensure fair practices in the trade of goods across state boundaries.  It has nothing to do with a government-created commerce which forces citizens, by law, to purchase said commerce.  Furthermore,  government interference is limited by the  Tenth Amendment, which provides that any powers that are not enumerated in the Constitution are reserved for the states.

The Commerce Clause has been twisted and manipulated to justify the use of federal laws that have little to do with interstate commerce.

Leftwingnuts believe the Constitution shouldn’t limit  the government’s power to impose oppressive regulation on individual economic freedom.

It’s not up to the government to insure anybody or to force anyone to get health insurance. The founders wrote a Constitution that places limits on the federal government, not a document that was meant to create a Nanny State. The trouble with ObamaCare, besides the fact that it’s an overreaching socialist intrusion, is that it gives the government the opportunity to inflict horrendous legislation as long as it is labeled a “tax”.

Remember when weapons-grade stupid Nancy Pelosi said this:

Congress held no hearing on the plan’s constitutionality until nearly a year after it was signed into law. Representative Nancy Pelosi, then the House speaker, scoffed when a reporter asked what part of the Constitution empowered Congress to force Americans to buy health insurance. “Are you serious?” she asked with disdain. “Are you serious?”

Pelosi has never read the Constitution. Seriously.

Remember Patrick Leahy’s hubris: “We have plenty of authority.”

Remember John Conyers idiotic “it’s in the “good and welfare clause”?

Remember scumbag Alcee Hastings’ incredible arrogance: “All this talk about rules. . . .When the deal goes down . . . we make ‘em up as we go along.”

Remember the despicable tyrants who trampled the Constitution?:


The socialist dictatorship that rammed this through the legislature needs to be flushed. The SCOTUS needs an overhaul. And Obama needs to be kicked out of D.C. on his scrawny ass before he completes the destruction of America.

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5 thoughts on “SCOTUS Strikes Down Individual Mandate in ObamaCare, But Upholds the Rest as a Tax”

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  3. off the reservation

    I think this whole ruling stinks to high heaven. Again, more of our freedoms seized so that we the hard workers of this country can be made slaves to the Democrat vote buying machine.

    However, I cannot lay blame for this at the feet of Justice Roberts. The Democrat Party cooked up this latest piece of shit legislation to take us further down the road to Communism. The progressive members of Congress (meaning the liberals) crafted the 16th Amendment in 1909. From that point on, Congress could levy direct taxes at a whim, for any particular reason, and redistribute the revenue inequitably in any manner they saw fit. Roberts recognized this shit for what it really is. The law is enforced by the Internal Revenue Service as part of the Tax Code. A criteria is set for the tax, except this time it is not strictly determined by one’s financial status.

    Justice Roberts made it perfectly clear what we already knew to be true. The Federal Government cannot force anyone to participate in commerce. However, one should realize that the 16th amendment makes it possible for the USeless Federal Govt to pass a law making it mandatory for all citizens to pay a special automobile tax unless they opt to by a car made by Government Motors. It is this totally fucked up menagerie of amendments to our Constitution beyond the original Bill of Rights that lays the ground work for this happen.

    The only really fair thing that can come of this is for a repeal of the 16th Amendment to be put in place. The Fair Tax is already on the table as a replacement. If the 16th Amendment were repealed, all of ObamaCare would be null and void.

    And maybe, just maybe, Justice Roberts has supplied the motivation for the rest of us to stop these thieves in Congress. Otherwise, this ruling will eventually pale in the shadow of events that send us spiraling down into the ultimate tyranny of Communism,

  4. off the reservation

    A couple of points here.

    Politicians lie. The bigger the lie, the better. Obama lies in ways not natural and to a level never before seen. The 16th Amendment gave them power to take everything away from the hard working people and use that to buy votes from the many lazy liberals slobs that they can find (including illegal aliens).

    Second point. Conservatives can almost always be called upon to apply the law, no matter how bad it is. Liberals always spout the bull shit phrase of “if you do not like the law then petition to have it changed.” All the while, liberals are getting around it by changing the meaning of words, obfuscating meanings, and equivocating the actions of one person with another. Liberals get what they want by any sick and twisted mechanism they can use to steal it.

    Unfortunately as a conservative, Roberts believed that he was duty-bound, by his oath, to interpret the law correctly, not add to it. He found that under the 16th Amendment, our government can lay taxes on the population using any, nonuniform strategy, they so choose. It occurs that this was always a tax, despite the lies being spewed by Obama, Pelosi, Ried, et. al.

    The 16th Amendment is one of the primary keys to the socialist take over of our country. Repeal that and these Democrat methods of taking from earners to buy the votes of the lazy slobs goes away.

    There is no justice in our system any longer. In a system without justice, the only response is open, bloody, rebellion.

    1. OTR:
      Conservatives should also be called upon to apply the will of the American people, and not allow the Constitution to be hijacked by a tyrannical government.
      The 16th Amendment, like the Commerce Act, has been wielded like a billy club against basic American freedoms. Obama and his merry band of socialist thugs may have won this round, but they’ll get KO’d in November and when ObamaCare gets repealed.

      SFC MAC

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