RE Joan Vennochi’s June 21 op-ed column “Obama tries to sell health care law, but it’s too late”: The main reason Obamacare is unpopular isn’t that key benefits were not promoted. The problem is that its supporters have made no discernible effort to correct the most damaging myth about Obamacare — that people will be forced to buy insurance.
This myth, which the media have perpetuated, is the main reason the president’s health care reform is unpopular.
But there is no “mandate.” If you do not buy health insurance, none is forced on you, nor is it a crime.
What is true is that if you can afford health insurance but don’t buy any, your taxes will be higher.
That’s not a mandate — it’s a tax incentive.
Similarly, if you don’t get a mortgage, invest in an IRA or 401(k), or have children, your taxes are higher, yet no one is attacking those tax incentives as unconstitutional mandates.
If the Supreme Court rules Obamacare to be unconstitutional, it may be because of the unfortunate use of the single and misleading word “mandate.”