White House defends Obamacare insurance mandate in Supreme Court brief | MassDevice.com On Call

January 9, 2012 by MassDevice staff

The Obama administration defends the insurance mandate portion of its health care reform law in a Supreme Court briefing.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — In a Supreme Court briefing on Friday, the Obama administration defended its health care reform law, arguing that the Supreme Court would need to break with clear precedent in order to justify cutting down the insurance mandate.

The health care law requires most all Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a penalty, which the Justice Department defines as an unconstitutional tax. GOP lawmakers are urging the Supreme Court to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act if the individual mandate is deemed unconstitutional.

The Justice Department's tax argument has failed in every lower court, but according to TheHill.com, senior administration officials said they still believe in it.

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Only 1 lower court threw out Obamacare, and that decision was reversed on appeal, according to the news organization.

The White House argues that the individual insurance mandate is not a tax but falls within the bounds of the Commerce Clause and that any limits within the wording of the Constitution and within previous Supreme Court cases don't need to change.

"All the limits are satisfied here, and the fact [they are] satisfied here has no bearing on whether someone could dream up some way they could be satisfied in some hypothetical situation," an administration official told the news site.