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Obamacare Individual Mandate Upheld; Take That Florida Republicans

Pam Bondi (left), with Death Panel Sarah.
Pam Bondi (left), with Death Panel Sarah.

A lot has been said about the Supreme Court challenge to "Obamacare," the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One thing, though, that's gotten lost in the shuffle is that the case is called Health and Human Services v. Florida -- it was filed by Florida's then-attorney general Bill McCollum, and now-attorney general Pam Bondi ran for office promising to continue the suit.

Now, it looks like the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected the argument that the individual mandate is unconstitutional, despite the best efforts of Florida's partisan politicos using our tax money to challenge it and get themselves headlines.


Scalia and the conservatives on the court voted against the measure in a 5-4 vote, but Justice Antonin Scalia's biased, broccoli-themed objections did not sway the four liberals or Chief Justice John Roberts, who joined them in supporting the mandate, saying it was justified because it could be construed as a tax -- ironically, the one thing Obama said it was not:

For us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase. What it's saying is, is that we're not going to have other people carrying your burdens for you anymore than the fact that right now everybody in America, just about, has to get auto insurance. Nobody considers that a tax increase... You can't just make up that language and decide that that's called a tax increase.

The details of the complicated ruling are still slowly being deciphered, but it looks for now like the key tenets of the law will stick. Here's what SCOTUSblog has to say about it:

The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters.

Sorry, Florida politicians incapable of speaking honestly about health care. You can complain all you want without offering solutions, but it looks like this solution, for now, is the one we're going with.

Congratulations, though, on being granted a whole new point to whine about on the campaign trail.


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