When Is A Fine A Tax?

Since when is a fine a tax?  When the Republican Party loses its bid to have the Supreme Court rule against President Obama’s Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act (i.e., ObamaCare), that’s when.  With the Supreme Court ruling this past Thursday that ObamaCare is constitutional; Republican Congressional leaders have been in an uproar, whining like immature children that the president’s health care plan is a tax on Americans.

Granted, to help offset the high cost of health care as one ages, a person is now required to purchase health insurance as a youth.  What exactly is the basis of the allegation by the Republican Party that this is a tax?  How is it a tax, when in fact a person is actually purchasing something?  If the basis of the Republican argument is that the penalty imposed for not having health insurance is a tax, that line of reasoning is also ludicrous.  The penalty for not purchasing health insurance would be a fine, not a tax.  And according to the guidelines of the Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act, the federal government has no authority to take legal action to collect such a fine from anyone who chooses not to purchase health insurance, thus rendering the Republican claim even more ridiculous.  For those who cry that this health care plan is unconstitutional, where is the uproar over the requirement that one is obligated by law to purchase car insurance?  If you never have an accident, as is the case of most American drivers, why be required to purchase automobile insurance?  Paying for a good or service is the capitalist mantra, is it not?

As a nation that has fifty million citizens without adequate health insurance, we spend twice as much on health care as most other industrialized countries, all the while receiving half the benefits.  What is wrong with our system is that it has become a very lucrative for-profit enterprise.  When doctors and hospitals care more about maximizing profits at the expense of providing adequate health care benefits for all Americans, something is seriously wrong.  Give the Democrats credit for trying to rectifying this very somber problem.

Steven H. Spring







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