…as long as either they, or SCOTUS, call non-compliance a “tax.”
According to uber-conservative Bush II appointee Roberts:
The Affordable Care Act describes the “[s]hared responsibility payment” as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. It does not, however, control whether an exaction is within Congress’s power to tax.
How does he get away with that?
The payment is not so high that there is really no choice but to buy health insurance; the payment is not limited to willful violations, as penalties for unlawful acts often are; and the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation.
Roberts then goes on, for quite a number of pages in a truly remarkable exercise in sophistry (one that should genuinely be studied), to expound upon the virtues of a limited federal government, the reservation of powers, and other stuff he clearly doesn’t really believe:
The Federal Government has expanded dramatically over the past two centuries, but it still must show that a constitutional grant of power authorizes each of its actions.
The Framers gave Congress the power to regulate commerce, not to compel it, and for over 200 years both our decisions and Congress’s actions have reflected this understanding. There is no reason to depart from that understanding now.
As for the dissenters?
Congress has set out to remedy the problem that the best health care is beyond the reach of many Americans who cannot afford it. It can assuredly do that, by exercising the powers accorded to it under the Constitution.
By their deeds you will know them. Wake up.