ObamaCare Poison Pill
Unhappy conservatives grumble that Congress can get around the declaration that a mandate is beyond Congress' enumerated powers by labeling it a tax -- or just by relying on five justices declaring it one.
But there's usually a political price to pay for increasing taxes. That's why Barack Obama swore up and down that the mandate was not a tax. It's why Democratic congressional leaders did not call it one.
Chief Justice Roberts' decision undercuts such arguments, now and in the future. Members of Congress supporting such legislation will be held responsible, this year and for years to come, for increasing taxes.
And the Constitution's provision that tax bills must be originated in the House of Representatives means that the party controlling the House can effectively block such measures. That will be an argument for Republican congressional candidates for the indefinite future.
It should not be forgotten that the Supreme Court did overturn part of the Obamacare legislation, the provision allowing the federal government to cut off states from all Medicaid funding if they refuse to vastly expand Medicaid eligibility as the legislation requires.