Health Care Question
bickersj1 at nku.edu
Mon Mar 22 11:41:09 PDT 2010
With all the discussion of Wickard (and Lopez and its progeny), may I put in another plug for taxing and spending powers? The HCR bill does not "compel" anyone to buy anything, in a criminal sense. It merely imposes an additional income tax penalty on those who choose not to buy health insurance. Any individual with scruples against buying health insurance may certainly do so, they will simply see a smaller rebate check in the mail.
In this regard, it doesn't seem to me all that different from last year's energy efficiency rebate. Homeowners who improved their energy conservation systems last year received a bonus for doing so; as my tax colleagues might point out, this can be viewed as the imposition of an additional tax on those who chose not to. Of course, renters (and those who own homes outright) have paid higher taxes for years, as have those not funding the educational system or contributing to charity. The tax code is filled with such things. Unless we are to drastically alter the government's power to use the tax code to encourage or discourage certain behaviors, why would health care be any different?
Salmon P. Chase College of Law
Northern Kentucky University
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