You are hereIs the ACA's mandate a tax or just a mandate?

Is the ACA's mandate a tax or just a mandate?

By John Martin - Posted on 03 July 2012

It's all just semantics. Romney explained it well when he said it was a penalty for free-loaders.

Not exactly. Presumably, many of the people who will fail to purchase health insurance, and thus incur the penalty, will be wealthy individuals who do not feel the need to have the insurance, and will willingly pay the penalty for not doing so. I wouldn't call these types "freeloaders" since, when they need medical care, they would pay for it out of pocket.

If Mitt Romney were responding to our poll, is there a way for him to choose both answers? Geesh-his campaign, Republican spinsters and people everyone have no idea where Romney stands...and neither does he! Glad Obama isn't holding back on the flip-flopper/no convictions narrative. It's almost too easy to avoid capitalizing on.

It's a tax, as it falls under Congress ability to tax. I've always argued that that's the tack they should have taken, that the Commerce Clause couldn't be stretched that far.


I don't know if it's a tax, penalty, or fine.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who amazingly was the "swing" vote on ACA, has said that he did not believe the mandate was a tax, but that the IRS did have the responsibility for collecting it (even through withholding portions of refunds due taxpayers).

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