Two years after it was enacted, Health Care Reform has reached the U.S. Supreme Court.
Starting this morning, the justices are hearing a highly unusual six hours of arguments, over the next three days. The first question before the Court, has to do with taxes.
The Affordable Care Act requires everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty. But is that penalty considered a tax? A law from the 18-hundreds bars anyone from challenging a tax before it’s actually charged. The lack of health insurance penalty isn't supposed to go into effect until 2014, when the rest of health care reform kicks in.
Originally the Obama administration did call this a tax, but but has since dropped that claim. So the Supreme Court appointed an outside lawyer to make today’s argument.
Last year, when a Florida lower court judge ruled the health care law unconstitutional.. he dismissed the tax argument, saying Congress shouldn’t be permitted to cast politically difficult votes by calling it one thing, and then “take an ‘Alice-in-Wonderland’ tack and argue in court” they meant something else entirely.