Health Insurance as a Tax Break

In the Supreme Court's ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) today, the court upheld the individual mandate provision today viewing it as a tax. The ruling stated that while Congress could not require people to buy insurance, Congress could tax people who did not buy insurance. 

From another perspective, instead of looking at the individual mandate as a tax on those who do not buy insurance, it is a tax break for those who do buy insurance. This would be similar to tax breaks people receive for going to college, donating to charity, and buying a home. Obviously Congress cannot require people to attend college, be charitable, or invest in the economy, but it certaintly can reward people who do.

On a related note, it seems that proponents of the legislation are now using the term "Obamacare" to describe the ACA. I do not know if this started today, or recently. I may just notice it now because of the ruling. But it is interesting how a seemingly negative word that conservatives used to delegimitize the ACA has now been adopted by advocates to label and further their cause.

Julie VanDusky-Allen

About Julie VanDusky-Allen

Julie VanDusky-Allen is at Boise State University and received her PhD in Political Science from Binghamton University in 2011. Her research focuses on institutional choice and development, political parties, the legislative process, and Latin American politics.

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