Obama Official: Just Cut Your Pay to Avoid Health Mandate

Monday, 06 Jun 2011 02:45 PM

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An Obama administration official suggests a simple, and simply callous, way for Americans to avoid Obamacare’s individual insurance mandate: Just make less money. Acting Solicitor General Neal Kumar Katyal made the argument under questioning before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati, The Examiner in Washington, D.C., reported.

Health care, healthcare, insurance, mandateIn an exchange with Judge Jeffrey Sutton, Kaytal cited a Supreme Court case that used the Constitution’s Commerce Clause to bar discrimination by hotels and restaurants as an example of the high court’s upholding a law that forced action. Under that ruling, a person running a business, such as a restaurant or hotel, can opt out by getting out of the business, Sutton said.

“Individuals don’t have that option,” he said, referring to the healthcare law, according to The Examiner.

Kaytal responded: “If we’re going to play that game, I think that game can be played here as well, because after all, the minimum coverage provision only kicks in after people have earned a minimum amount of income. So it’s a penalty on earning a certain amount of income and self-insuring. It’s not just on self-insuring on its own. So I guess one could say, just as the restaurant owner could depart the market . . . someone doesn’t need to earn that much income.”

Sutton replied, “That wasn’t in a single speech given in Congress about this . . . the idea that the solution if you don’t like it is make a little less money.”

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