Main | Monday, March 26, 2012

Teabaggers Rally Outside Of Supreme Court As "Obamacare" Repeal Case Begins

The Supreme Court today began hearing the case to repeal the Affordable Care Act on the basis of its constitutionality.
The public sessions started Monday with 90 minutes of lively debate on a legally dense, but nonetheless important, question. It boils down to whether the health care law's key provision is a "tax" that could prevent the court from considering the broader constitutional questions. The key provision involved is the "individual mandate" requiring most Americans to purchase some form of health insurance or face a substantial tax penalty. An obscure federal law known as the Anti-Injunction Act, which dates back to 1867, bars claimants from asking for a refund on a tax until that tax has been collected and paid.

This "gateway" issue could stop the current legal fight in its tracks if the justices think the minimum coverage requirement amounts to a tax. Several of them seemed reluctant Monday to take that route. "This not about a tax penalty. The suit challenges the 'must-buy' provision," or required minimum coverage, said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. "The 'must-buy' is separate from the tax penalty." However, Justice Samuel Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts suggested this was a tax after all. "The whole point (of the individual mandate) is the collection of taxes" from those who do not comply, said Roberts. "Why have a command that is toothless?"
The above photo was just tweeted out by GOProud, who is on the scene to cheer on the campaign to keep health care out of the reach of poor Americans.

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