Making the Complex Understandable: Obamacare Arguments at Supreme Court

Six hours of oral arguments before the US Supreme Court began today on Obamacare. It can be somewhat confusing if you do not have me to make the complex understandable. The first thing that happened today was basically an argument, a hearing on whether or not the court even has any say-so in this. This is at the court’s request, and it’s all about the fact of whether or not the mandate could be called a “tax.” Now, the regime is in a precarious position on this no matter how the ruling goes down, and I just got a note that I don’t quite understand. I mean, literally as the theme of the program was playing, this note arrived.

I’m being told that it looks like the Supreme Court will not invoke the whole concept of this being a tax, and therefore hear the arguments. My note is, “Even before the court reaches that subject it must broach the issue of the Anti-Injunction Act. This is a 145-year-old federal tax law which could bar the court from even hearing a challenge to the individual mandate.” Now, I’m told here that it looks like the Supreme Court will not invoke this which means they’ll go ahead and hear it. What is this about? The Heritage Foundation has a great explanation of this today, and the first thing on the agenda was to try to determine whether or not the Obamacare mandate is a tax.

And if it is a tax, then the regime can go ahead and say, “It’s not a mandate. We’re levying a tax on people. We have the authority, and therefore everything’s hunky-dory.” Well, fine and dandy as far as that goes. But if that were to end up being the ruling, then the regime has a challenging political problem, and that is: Obama promising all this time that nobody’s taxes would go up and nobody’s premiums would go up, and here they’ve just argued before the court that it’s a tax and they have every right to levy it. So therefore the Republicans have a built-in campaign issue regarding this. I’m told the court’s not gonna invoke this, but we’ll see.



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