Today in Virginia, U.S. District Judge Henry E. Hudson struck down the compulsory insurance provision of the PPACA as unconstitutional. In particular, he noted that the “tax” for noncompliance was explicitly a penalty, according to the law as written, and thus is not actually a tax. Instead, he concluded that it’s punitive, and thus compels a citizen to engage in private commerce.
The case will most likely go to the Supreme Court, where I’d expect the same result.
Based on this decision, it seems to me that simply raising the base income tax, while offering a deduction or credit for having health insurance that meets a minimum bar, would pass muster. In other words, sticks bad, carrots good. But that, of course, would require new legislation, which seems unlikely to pass under any circumstances in the next two years.
Correction: In a previous version of this article, the accompanying photo of Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was captioned as being a photo of Judge Henry E. Hudson. The photo has been corrected.
- District court rules against individual mandate (dailykos.com)
- Federal Judge: Commerce Clause cannot be used to collect for government run healthcare (bellalu0.wordpress.com)