It is a tax. Period, otherwise it is unconstitutional."The most straightforward reading of the individual mandate is thatit commands individuals to purchase insurance. But, for the reasons explained, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power. It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative ar*gument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.”
"In pressing its taxing power argument, the Government asks the Court to view the man*date as imposing a tax on those who do not buy that product. Be*cause “every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality,” Hooper v. California, 155 U. S. 648, 657, the question is whether it is “fairly possible” to interpret the mandate as imposing such a tax, the shared responsibility payment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax.
Read excerpts from the Supreme Court's majority opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act | Nation/World | Detroit Free Press | freep.com