The New York Times recently carried an interesting article on the Justice Department’s arguments against claims that the “health care reform” legislation is unconstitutional. The “linchpin” of the argument is that the individual mandate, which requires people to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty, is constitutional as an exercise of Congress’ broad taxing power.
The Justice Department’s argument is interesting because, while the “health care reform” legislation was being debated, President Obama and many of his congressional allies denied that the individual mandate was a tax. For example, Congress did not cite its taxing power as a basis for the legislation. Now that the legislation is being challenged, however, the Administration’s lawyers have recognized the individual mandate for what it is — a tax on individuals and their individual decisions — in order to buttress its prospects for being upheld.
Just another example of how duplicitous the legislative process can be.