Supreme court rules that penalty in Obamacare is a tax

June 29, 2012

Today, the US supreme court ruled that the Affordable Health Care Act – which requires most people to purchase health insurance – oversteps the federal government’s right to regulate interstate commerce.

However, in the opinion of the court, the penalty that enforces the controversial ‘individual mandate’ falls within the federal government’s constitutional power over taxation.

In a surprising twist, the controversial mandate will draw its ligitimacy from the constitutional power to levy taxes which the Congress has difficulty exercising over corporate profits or personal income.

The Affordable Health Care Act is an alternative solution to the problem of providing universal access to health insurance that avoids the redistributive state-managed health insurance plans which exist in other industrial nations.

Let’s push the political posturing aside and examine this law for what it does: Under Obamacare constitutional state power is deployed in the service of a kind of financialization. The law orders people to enter into a relationship with private corporations (insurance providers) spurring the formation of broadly inclusive markets for insurential products that will finance health products and services.

According to the Rachel Maddow Show the individual mandate was originally a brainchild of the Republican party.  It was apparently adopted by Democrats as a gesture of bipartisanship.


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