With ObamaCare, Liberals Love Their MegaCorps
I do not understand why so many liberals are cheering and whooping and hollering over last week’s SCOTUS decision on Obamacare. Perhaps it’s because Chief Justice John Roberts more or less rewrote the law to change the penalty into a tax. As we all know, liberals love to “tax and spend” (as long as its other people’s money.) We also know that they absolutely loathe big corporations, as we saw during Occupy Wall Street, as well as all the tax arguments that have been bandied about in order to deal with the deficit (not with Obamacare; that’s a whole ‘nother conversation.)
Yet, last week, Ed Morrissey noted something that should have all liberals crying about this law, rather than hooraying it:
After months and months of focusing on Anthony Kennedy as the weak link in the conservative chain at the Supreme Court, it turns out that Chief Justice John Roberts was the one the Right needed to fear. With the more centrist Kennedy dissenting, Roberts signed off on the individual mandate in ObamaCare, not as part of Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause, or even the ludicrous reference to the “Good and Welfare Clause” from some Democrats, but from the more mundane and substantial power to tax. The opinion actually ruled that the mandate violatesthe Commerce Clause, but as a tax that no longer matters.
It’s an interesting argument, but one that should have Americans worried. Basically, this is a tax that you have to pay to private companies. For all of the screaming the Right did over single-payer — and for good, outcome-based reasons — at least the money paid by taxpayers would go directly to government [see update II]. The Supreme Court has signed off on what is, in very practical terms, a tax levied by the insurance industry on Americans simply for existing. It’s an amazing, and fearsome, decision that really should have both Right and Left horrified.
Nevertheless, this is the law of the land. We can now look forward to taxes levied by the auto industry for not having bought a new car in the last seven years, the liquor industry for buying too few bottles of wine to maintain your health, and by the agricultural industry for not buying that damned broccoli after all. We might even have Obama attempt to impose a tax for not buying enough contraception; we can call that the Trojan tax.
My argument is this: the tax isn’t just on non-compliance, which is what Roberts and the court ruled constitutional. The law forces people to give money to private industry, in the form of buying health insurance. That’s a tax too, imposed by force on Americans, in this case the force of the penalties and the legal consequences of not paying them.
In fact, Verrilli spent much of the second day of oral arguments (March 27) urging the justices to uphold Obamacare’s individual mandate as “an exercise of the taxing power.” He also told the justices on the first day of arguments that if uninsured Americans “pay the tax, then they are in compliance with the law.” By Verrilli’s account, Obamacare’s individual mandate is unlike any other penalty government imposes. The mere payment of a fine never “legalizes” illegal parking, dumping or fishing — cars must still be moved, trash relocated and fish surrendered. But in the case of Obama’s insurance law, payment alone satisfies all legal requirements, with no further action necessary.
So what we have here is, what appears to be, nothing more than a cash grab for the insurance industry. Oh, and don’t forget Big Pharma, either. They helped write the law, after all, they’re going to get some major benefits.
What this means is that liberals have created that law that orders the goverment to force average Americans to give more money to big, wealthy, well-connected and likely corrupt corporations. The “Wall Street fat cats” get more money, straight from the citizen, via government force.
I wonder if liberals have thought about this. I wonder if they realize they’ve empowered their worst enemies. That they’re playing into the hands of those entites they rail about daily.