ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Will there be a Supreme Court challenge on Section 1311?
I tend not to quote the Motley Fool, but I haven't seen this argument elsewhere, so:
The Supreme Court's role in deciding the fate of the ACA probably isn't over despite last year's ruling. Multiple cases are winding their way through lower-level courts. One, in particular, stands out as a quite serious challenge for the ACA, in large part because it hinges on the initial Supreme Court determination that the individual mandate is a tax.
Section 1311 of the ACA states that a health insurance exchange must be "established by a State." Anyone who doesn't receive insurance from an employer must obtain insurance through an exchange or pay a penalty (i.e., a tax.) However, section 1401 of the ACA gives a tax credit for applicable taxpayers buying insurance through "an exchange established by the State under [section] 1311."
While section 1321 allows the federal government to create an exchange for states that choose not to do so on their own, the language of the ACA only allows tax credits to be given to people who buy insurance through an exchange established by their state. That's where the Supreme Court might have to step in yet again.
Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution requires that taxes "be uniform throughout the United States." If the ACA imposes a tax on citizens of all states but only provides a tax credit for those in states that setup their own exchanges, an argument could be made (and is being made) that the Uniformity Clause of the Constitution has been violated. Without the tax levies and credits, the individual mandate falls. Without the individual mandate, Obamacare implodes.
Interesting argument, which I don't know how to assess. Readers?