Is this an article from a "news service"? Or is it a blog post from an irrelevant, left wing blog? Or is this just the final piece of evidence that there is no difference between them any more?
Obama's insurance requirement not the only mandate
The individual health insurance mandate that the Supreme Court is reviewing isn't the only federal dictate involving health care.
There's a Medicare payroll tax on workers and employers, for example, and a requirement that hospitals provide free emergency services to indigents.
Health care is full of government dictates, and some can be seen as more intrusive than the requirement in President Barack Obama's health care law.
Most of the mandates apply to service providers such as hospitals and insurers.
One federal health care mandate that affects just about everybody: Workers must pay a tax to finance Medicare, which collects about $200 billion a year.
Even the uninsured pay the Medicare tax.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wondered last week how some social policy mandates could be constitutional and others not.
And that's the argument, I suppose, of why the mandate should pass constitutional muster?
(The above is the entire article, by the way. Nothing ellipsed, nothing omitted.)
Is it just me, or is the AP's Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar completely clueless as to the matter before the court? Sure, we pay all types of taxes - and they are all mandates, as they are enforced by gunpoint - but they fall explicitly under Congress's explicit constitutional power to raise revenue via taxation. One of the key questions argued before the Supreme Court in the "ObamaCare case" - at some length, mind you - was whether or not the monies the IRS would collect from citizens not in compliance with the mandate would be a penalty, or a tax. It was the administration's inability to defend it as a tax that weakened their case dramatically.
Of course, if the addle-minded Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar wants to make the case that many of the taxes levied on us by the government are mandates and thus equally unconstitutional, well, I'm open to this line of argument. But I don't believe that is what he intends here. Actually, I am not sure what he and the AP is trying to accomplish here, other than to prove what conservatives have been saying about liberals since their shocked reaction last week: That the Left's disdain for conservatives, and their group-think conclusion that we are all evil, has robbed them of the ability to cognitively argue for their side:
What is going on here is the result of inattention and even contempt for the Constitution that has infected what passes for liberal jurisprudence over the past 30 or 40 years...In essence, the left ceased to be interested in research and perfecting arguments that were grounded in the words of documents and the intent of the drafters. They unilaterally disarmed just as conservative jurists and scholars were beefing up, studying historical text, perfecting their analytical skills.
And the AP just proved it, thank you very much. And it seems as if, after the fact, they are following the example set by the doyenne of the liberal media, New York Times op-ed columnist Gail Collins:
I can’t believe this might be overturned. How can this law not be constitutional? Really, I have my hands over my ears. Not listening.
(Screenshot, should they choose to adjust:)