The Supreme Court ruling that the ObamaCare mandate is Constitutional because it is a tax increases the power of the federal government through the sixteenth amendment. The upholding of the mandate on taxing power grounds grants Congress even more expansive power than if it were upheld on Commerce Clause grounds. This decision allows the federal government to mandate American citizens buy a product even though it violates the Commerce Clause by taxing people who do not buy the product. Confused? That is because Roberts ruling is a masterful play on words. The ruling sides with Democrats, but Roberts reasoning gives the GOP political ammunition to attack an unpopular law and another broken promise made by the President (he will not tax the middle class).
The bottom line is this decision gives Congress a lot of power. This is what the Roberts ruling concluded: “Under that theory, the mandate is not a legal command to buy insurance. Rather, it makes going without insurance just another thing the Government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning income. And if the mandate is in effect just a tax hike on certain taxpayers who do not have health insurance, it may be within Congress’s constitutional power to tax.”
What can we conclude from this statement? First, the gas or income tax Roberts refers to is different than being taxed on something we did not earn or buy. This is comparing apples to oranges. Roberts should give examples where people are taxed for not buying a product. Roberts is saying a tax is the same as a fine or penalty – but are they the same? Remember all lower court decisions on the case concluded the mandate was not a tax. Secondly, Roberts’ interpretation and play on words yields more power to the Constitution’s sixteenth amendment over the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. Where in the Constitution do the founding fathers or the drafters of the sixteenth amendment give more credence to one right, amendment, or clause over another? It does not. Hence, one would conclude if one Constitutional amendment, right, or clause fails to apply to a law then the law is unconstitutional regardless of the legality of other Constitutional amendments, rights, or clauses within the same law. If a law violates one provision of the Constitution it should be deemed as unconstitutional (at least that provision) even if the rest of the law upholds the constitution. This is the trouble with words; they are used to create crafty loopholes that may sound logical when they are not. Words are cleverly manipulated to find a truth when there is none. Thirdly, the Roberts ruling only considers statistical significance to a small population of people that are not part of the healthcare system. There are four groups of people under ObamaCare: Those without insurance who elect not to buy insurance (this is the only group Roberts refers to, to vindicate ObamaCare and they account for less than 5% of the U.S. population); those without insurance who elect to be part of the Medicaid expansion; those with insurance who decide to move to Medicaid expansion; and those with insurance who elect to stay with their current insurance provider. Fourthly, the logical statement for the ObamaCare law is it is not legal under the Commerce Clause for the federal government to force citizens to buy health insurance, but it is legal for the federal government to tax citizens for not buying health insurance. If this is true, then what is stopping the federal government from taxing citizens for not having 100 yards of duct tape in their cars or in their homes? It sounds ridiculous, but duct tape can be viewed by the government as a necessary safety product that can used in first aid or to patch up any kind of dangerous leak temporarily. Can Congress tax us for not eating broccoli? What is stopping Congress from bypassing the Commerce Clause by using this tax claim in the future to manipulate interstate commerce? On the other hand, some feel the rejection of the Commerce Clause and Necessary and Proper Clause should be understood as a major blow to Congress's authority to pass social welfare laws. This is false because this ruling enables the power of taxing to be used to circumvent the Commerce Clause. The Obamacare decision is definitely another expansion of federal power because it gives the government limitless taxing power.
In the Roberts ruling he said “We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the nation’s elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions.” “It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.” This I agree with Roberts. But it should also be true that Roberts and Supreme Court Justices should not make decisions that increase the power of one provision of the Constitution over another; defy mathematical statistical significance and logic; interpret an outcome that is not proposed in the law; or compare apples to oranges.