Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate as a TaxROBERT PEAR
New York Times
Jul. 18, 2010
Black Guy Walks Into Starbucks, Calls Them 'Racist,' Demands Free Coffee, Gets It Immediately
Laura Ingraham Interviews Comedian Who Requested Free Coffee From Starbucks As 'Reparations'
UK Journalist Visits Syria, Local Doc Tells Him Douma Victims Suffered From Oxygen Starvation, Not 'Chem Attack'
Syria Says U.S.-Led Strike Destroyed Pharmaceutical Research Institute Working On Cancer Drugs
David Hogg's Call For Boycott of Investment Giants BlackRock and Vanguard Falls Flat
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.
Under the legislation signed by President Obama in March, most Americans will have to maintain "minimum essential coverage" starting in 2014. Many people will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them pay premiums.
In a brief defending the law, the Justice Department says the requirement for people to carry insurance or pay the penalty is "a valid exercise" of Congress's power to impose taxes.
Full article here