George Will: HCR Mandate Would Not Face SCOTUS Challenge If Called A ‘Tax’

The prominent conservative columnist George Will argued Sunday that the health care reform law’s individual mandate is an egregious abuse of federal power. Soon after, he suggested the legal challenge would be moot if it were only called a “tax” as opposed to a “penalty.”

Will’s exchange on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS:  … interview I had with President Obama two years ago, where we had a big fight over whether or not this is a tax. 

WILL:  If they lose up there, he will have lost it on this program talking to you.  If they — if they had simply said this is a tax, under the taxing power, we wouldn’t be having this argument.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  But whether they say it or not, it is a tax.  And that means — that undercuts the mandate argument. 

WILL:  It is collected — it is collected by the IRS, the penalty is, but the president sat on our set, talking to you, saying I categorically reject the idea that this is a tax.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.
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