We pay a lot of taxes. Employers are taxed on money their business makes. They are taxed on money they pay to employees. Employees are taxed again on the money they get paid. We are taxed when we buy things, taxed for having property, etc...
But this is completely new. Now the SCOTUS has said that Congress can tax us for not doing something. Are you worried about giving the government this power?
The rationale is that we have to tax people who don't buy insurance if they can afford it, because they can be a burden on the rest of America if their health goes south. Ok... let's also tax anyone who doesn't exercise for a minimum of 5 hours a week, because they are more likely to get sick. Let's tax people who don't take multivitamins, who don't spend enough time out in the sun, who don't cook their own meals from fresh organic ingredients, or for any other reason. And it doesn't stop with healthcare, now Congress can tax us for inaction relating to anything, the door is open.
It's a slippery slope.
Every power that exists is a potential slippery slope, things like martial law allow a president to declare himself absolute ruler and enforce it with arms, I don't think this a very frightening step in comparison.
Do you think it is a good step, or a necessary step?
Taxing people for doing something can be said to be fair. Government taxes people for buying gasoline, and everyone that buys a gallon of gasoline pays the same tax.
It wouldn't be fair for the government to tax a gasoline tax on people who don't use gas.
Simply saying 'the government has/can do worse things' isn't really a good way to look at it.
I was simply addressing the slippery slope argument, as for the tax measure I would look at it more like a fine for not getting healthcare.
In summary I think it was a necessary move simply because the human cost of of the healthcare system was way too high.
As far as the slippery slope argument goes, yes, every new power opens up a slippery slope. This is exactly why we have limits on government(which keep being broken). Allowing Congress to tax for inaction is increasing Congress' power.
Taxing me for not getting healthcare won't do anything to lower the cost of healthcare. Healthcare costs are high in the US for a lot of reasons, but me not covering myself isn't one of them.
If you want to blame, blame outlandish lawsuits, blame government regulations, blame the high salaries of doctors and nurses... there are real reasons for the costs.
I think you are right--use taxes are more fair--such as a gasoline tax where only the one using it is taxed. But most of our taxes are not use taxes and are not fair. People without kids still pay for schools, people who walk or bike pay for roads, people without TVs pay for public television, people who don't want to spend 6 trillion on unwarranted wars still pay for it, etc. I don't really see this as a separate and new class of taxes.
The real problem, to me, is insurance itself. Health insurance, like car insurance, punishes people who do things right to pay for those who do things wrong. Makes no sense. We really need an incentive based healthcare system rather than one which says, "do anything you want, don't worry, someone will pay for it for you." I tend to think there should be universal free healthcare but it should be limited to basic and preventive care and than on top of that have some sort of incentive based insurance program.
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