The Obama administration is skating on “thin ice” with Obamacare’s individual mandate, radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh says.
Limbaugh made the comment on Monday, as the U.S. Supreme Court began the first of three days of oral arguments on President Barack Obama's signature 2010 healthcare law. The first item on the agenda was deciding whether the mandate amounts to a tax, with its requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance or pay a penalty fee.
Mandate opponents argue that the penalty is the equivalent of a tax.
“The regime has a challenging political problem, and that is Obama promising all this time that nobody’s taxes would go up and nobody’s premiums would go up, and here they’ve just argued in front of the court that it’s a tax,” Limbaugh said Monday.
“The regime, when you boil it all down here, they’re really on thin ice. It’s the politics of this that give them a chance. If this were a straight up-and-down review of the law, we wouldn’t even be here. The thing wouldn’t have even been signed into law.”
Determining whether the mandate is a tax is important because the 1867 Anti-Injunction Act prohibits anyone from challenging a tax in court before it has been enforced or collected. If the mandate were ruled as a tax, that would mean the Supreme Court would have to delay all hearings until after the mandate goes into effect in 2014.
Regardless of the outcome, the Obama administration faces a predicament because it has claimed until now that it is not a tax, Limbaugh said.
A recent Gallup poll found that 72 percent of Americans consider the mandate unconstitutional, which Limbaugh says is not surprising because majorities of Americans have been against Obamacare from the very beginning.
“From the get-go, ever since this law was passed, the polling on this has been overwhelmingly against Obamacare, overwhelmingly,” Limbaugh said.
“This should be reassuring in one sense, and that is where the public’s mind is on this. Now, as we know, we have an administration and a Democrat Party ruling against and governing against the will of the people. In this case, a public opinion poll won’t matter to them.”
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