To the editor,
I have studied the recent Supreme Court rulings on the “Affordable Care Act,” as described in recent days by professional analysts and columnists who seem to have read much more of the Act and the Rulings than the rest of us have. My current understanding is that we are now free to avoid purchasing health insurance, but Congress may “tax” us for that decision, though this is a direct contradiction to the “penalty” label used so emphatically and repeatedly by the President to make it more palatable. (A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down.)
Three questions arise as I try to assimilate this rationale:
1. Prior to ruling on legislation passed by our Congress, is our Supreme Court authorized to change the definitions used in that legislation and then rule under their definition?
2. If so, is that the same as legislating from the bench?
3. Does the Supreme Court decision mean that our government can now tax us for not buying GM cars or broccoli? (As opposed to mandating that we must buy a specific item.)
Keith A. Brown
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