Remember back a few years ago when Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare by declaring that the penalty was essentially a “tax”?
Obamacare’s opponents hated that. It wasn’t a tax, it was a penalty, and it was unconstitutional.
But Roberts didn’t see it that way, and Obamacare survived based largely on Robert’s interpretation of the law.
Now, that decision might well prove to be Obamacare’s downfall and the GOP-led Congress works to destroy Obamacare by eliminating the individual mandate in their tax plan.
See – if the mandate – and subsequent penalty – is a tax, then it’s perfectly reasonable to include it in a tax plan.
And now the left is pissed.
Democrats are attacking Republican lawmakers, claiming they’re trying to “disguise” their repeal of the individual mandate – which would save $300 billion over the next decade.
“This is turning a tax bill into a health care bill, with our colleagues getting an hour’s worth of notice,” Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the top Democrat on the Finance Committee, told The New York Times.
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New Yor) said the move was a “back door approach to get Trumpcare,” whatever that means.
He blasted the move, saying in a statement, “Republicans just can’t help themselves. They’re so determined to provide tax giveaways to the rich that they’re willing to raise premiums on millions of middle-class Americans and kick 13 million people off their health care.”
Yeah, same old complaint.
Topher Spiro with the leftist Center for American Progress, accused Republicans of shifting the “tax bill” to a “health care bill.”
The tax bill is now a health care bill. Same rotting carcass. pic.twitter.com/wqbzBojQfC
— Topher Spiro (@TopherSpiro) November 15, 2017
But Sen. John Thune retorted that the defense of Obamacare’s constitutionality – that the mandate is a tax, means it’s perfectly reasonable to include it in a tax bill.
“My understanding is the individual mandate is a tax collected by the IRS,” Thune said flatly.
“Repealing the individual mandate as part of tax reform will provide working families in Louisiana with even more tax relief,” agreed Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.). “In 2015, more than 100,000 Louisianans paid a fine for not having health insurance. About 37 percent made less than $25,000 a year, and 78 percent made less than $50,000.”
“Getting rid of Obamacare’s tax on people who choose not to buy a plan or can’t afford the premiums is the right thing to do. It’s also another step toward our promise to improve our health care system. I will continue working with my Finance Committee colleagues to make our tax cut bill even better for working families.” From The Hill:
Louisiana’s Republican Sen. John Kennedy said the savings of including the individual mandate repeal in the tax plan could “give relief to those middle and upper middle taxpayers who are not getting as much relief as they should” because of the bill’s elimination of state and local tax deductions.
So it appears that the tax decision about the individual mandate that the left adored has come back to bite them on the butt. If it’s a tax, then it can be repealed in a “tax bill.”
Sorry, Democrats, you lose this round!