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View Diary: So If Mandates Are An Overreach.... (22 comments)

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  •  It would have been straightforward to impose a tax (0+ / 0-)

    But the administration did not want to impose a tax, possibly because it could be seen as a violation of its pledge not to raise taxes on households with less than $250,000 of income.

    At the time of passage of the bill, the administration characterized the potential monetary consequences of not purchasing insurance as a penalty and not a tax.

    In court, the administration has argued that the monetary consequences are constitutionally permitted by the federal government's power to "lay and collect taxes."

    As noted by commenters, the auto liability insurance mandate, required by state law as a condition of driving a vehicle, is a significantly different  between a federal government mandate to purchase health insurance.

    WASHINGTON — When Congress required most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, Democrats denied that they were creating a new tax. But in court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the requirement as an exercise of the government’s “power to lay and collect taxes.”

    And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.

    Administration officials say the tax argument is a linchpin of their legal case in defense of the health care overhaul and its individual mandate, now being challenged in court by more than 20 states and several private organizations.

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