05 June 2013
Floridian Republican Senator Marco Rubio is thirsty for justice. Since awkwardly swigging a water bottle live for the Republican State of the Union Rebuttal last February, he's gained confidence in rebutting another branch of government: the Supreme Court. What beef does he have with the judicial system? Just how flippant it regards Los Angeles home girl Amanda Bynes, of whom Rubio is a fan. He's also cheesed off by the Supreme Court's stance on taxes and Obamacare.
As established by the Affordable Care Act (colloquially called Obamacare), an individual mandate requires every American to have health insurance coverage starting January 1st, 2014 or pay a tax, referred to as a "shared responsibility payment". Those excluded from the mandate include: Indian Tribes, prisoners, and those who are neither a legal US citizen nor alien present in this country. If you are a legal citizen and don't have health insurance through 2014 or have more than a 3 month gap of coverage through 2014, the IRS will ask for your "shared responsibility payment" in the following year's tax return.
Rubio's Republican Party cried foul over this mandate, claiming it was "unconstitutional" to require Americans buy a good or service to avoid taxation. The Supreme Court ruled this tax is permissible under federal law by the power of Congress to levy taxes (which it has since 1791) and kept Obamacare in motion. Following their decision the judges released the dancing lobsters.
In light of the IRS's recent scandal, Marco Rubio and his party are fighting back. *Allegedly, the IRS screened tax exemption status applications from Tea Party groups, who are a growing core of the Republican party. Now Rubio and conservatives feel even less trustworthy of Obamacare and are motivated to attempt repealing it for the 38th time. They're cautious of failing for the 38th time too, so they concocted a backup plan.
* Update: A handful of low-level employees in a Cincinnati IRS office were found to have scrutinized Tea Party applicants requesting tax-exempt status but under no order of upper management, Washington, or the Obama Administration.
To squash Obamacare, Rubio introduced the Right to Refuse amendment, which if passed would change the US Constitution and reverse the Supreme Court's ruling on Obamacare's tax. He supported his amendment by equating the government's mandate to buy health insurance to the hypothetical: What if the government required everyone buy cell phones or else be taxed? His amendment begs the question by title alone: don't we have the right to refuse?
In reality for Rubio and Republicans, by challenging the Supreme Court's ruling (again) they would need a 2/3 majority in the House and Senate to pass this amendment and they can't even garner enough votes to repeal Obamacare itself. Not a fan of setbacks, President Obama is polishing his veto stamp in preparation.
For those who'd like to avoid the Obamacare tax, ask us about affordable health insurance offered through the Exchanges beginning October 1st, 2013. For California, Covered California offers 13 different plans with essential health benefits and tax credits (subsidies) for qualified individuals. For example, a 21-year-old could see his monthly premium for a silver-quality plan drop from nearly $300 to $44 when subsidies are applied. For more information, please call us at 818.251.5000!