Metzger at The Nation: ‘Health mandate will be a tax on non-purchase of insurance’

The Nation dedicated this week’s episode of its “The Breakdown” to the attorneys general lawsuit filed this week against health reform legislation and joined by Colorado A.G. John Suthers. Breakdown host Christopher Hayes talked with Columbia law professor Gillian Metzger. It’s a lefty talking to a lefty, admittedly, but Metzger touches on the two main arguments against the case and does so in a straightforward way.

the breakdown

First, no one has been “injured” by the pressure the legislation applies to individual Americans to buy insurance, so there really is no suit to file at this point.

Second, Congress is not technically forcing anyone to buy insurance. Rather it is doing what Congress always does: It is proposing to tax non-purchase of insurance.

Metzger at 4:50 : “Congress isn’t actually mandating anyone purchase insurance. All Congress is doing is saying that if you don’t, you’ll be subject to a tax or penalty, just like if you don’t purchase equipment to manage your pollution emissions, you’re going to be subject to a tax or penalty.”

The real conversation begins at about 2:50.

Hat tip to The Nation’s Ben Wsykida.

Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.