America - Forever Changed
I don't say this often, but in this instance, I hate being right. I hate even more that the court upheld a law, so obviously needing to be struck down, by essentially re-writing it. The Senate went to great lengths to make sure the penalty for failure to purchase insurance was not a tax. At every step of the way the American people were told by various members of Congress and the President himself the penalty was not a tax. Apparently none of that mattered to the court. The fallout from this decision is not over, but what we do know is Chief Justice Roberts essentially re-wrote Obamacare so he could vote to uphold it, and that America is irrevocably changed because of it.
By stating the government can force an individual to engage in commerce under the Taxing Power instead of the Commerce Clause is a distinction without difference. The Supreme Court has now provided our government an outlet of unlimited power and control over the American people. In the future, if politicians want the American people to buy something, all they have to do is craft a law that frames the penalty for non-compliance as a tax. As Wesley Snipes has shown us, failing to pay taxes is not looked upon kindly by the IRS, and can land you in prison. So the end result is buy what Congress tells us to buy or go to jail. Not much of a choice is it?
This could have been a watershed moment for supporters of a limited, constitutionally-restricted government. Instead this law will only embolden those who seek to centralize more power in the hands of politicians, and that should give people great pause. No matter your political stripes, we should all be very fearful of a government which can compel any activity it desires and jail those who do not comply, because even if the current crop of politicians are compelling an activity with which you agree, that won't always be the case.