Your Lying Eyes

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24 March 2012

The Individual Mandate

Just what is this "Individual Mandate" (IM) anyway? It's really hard to find any specifics on it. It kind of reminds me of the incandescent light bulb controversy, where a straight answer was really hard to come by. I'm still not sure, but it seems that only the 100-watt incandescent bulb was affected. Had the proponents of the ban been more out front with that info, a lot of pain might have been avoided. No one ever said "You'll still have your precious 60-watt light bulbs and halogens when you need bright light - you just won't have 100-watt incandescent bulbs - and who uses those monsters anyway?" Instead they get all huffy about Global Warming.

My initial assumption about how the IM would be implemented was that, being obviously unconstitutional, there would be declare a "health-care tax" from which individuals could be exempt by having health insurance. And when it was bandied about that it would be enforced by the IRS, it seemed that was indeed the case. But I don't hear anyone defending Obamacare that way. If I were defending the IM's constitutionality, I would say something like "Look, of course it would be unconstitutional for the Federal government to require someone to purchase a product. But this doesn't do that - it simply assesses a tax, and you can get an exemption if you have health care. But there's nothing requiring you to buy health care - you can simply pay the tax." But instead the defenders get all aggressive about the Commerce Clause and federal power, simply insisting Congress can do anything it wants. Which leads me to suspect my understanding of the mandate is not quite right. Did the drafters of the law screw up? Hopefully we'll know more from Supreme Court arguments next week.

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Blogger Glaivester said...

'm still not sure, but it seems that only the 100-watt incandescent bulb was affected.

This year. In 2013, it's the 75-watt, then in 2014 the 60-2qtt, then in 2015 the 40-watt.

March 25, 2012 5:48 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Is that for sure? I certainly trust you more than any MSM commenter, but do you know of a source I can read about that?

March 26, 2012 7:50 AM  

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