BY LINDA BENTLEY | JULY 4, 2012
GOP may only need 51 votes to overturn individual mandate
‘Those who have to pay the tax will pay an average tax of $1,200. And even if they pay it every year they still won’t have insurance.’
WASHINGTON – According to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to purchase health insurance by declaring it a tax, Republicans will only need 51 votes to overturn the mandate if they gain control of the Senate in the 2012 election.
McConnell stated during a “Fox News Sunday” interview, “Reconciliation is available because the Supreme Court has now declared it a tax. They have unearthed the massive deception that was practiced by the president and the Democrats to constantly deny that it was a tax. And, as a tax, it is available for reconciliation,” a procedure that would require only 51 votes rather than the 60 votes needed to override a filibuster.
The day after the Supreme Court ruling, McConnell said, “Well, yesterday the court blew the president’s cover.
“It narrowly upheld this law on one basis only: that the penalty associated with the individual mandate is a tax. Congress doesn’t have the constitutional authority to mandate insurance coverage under the Commerce Clause, it said, but it does have the power to tax. So they upheld the central provision of this bill on the fact that the penalty for failing to comply with it, was a tax.
“In the eyes of the court, that’s all that the penalty tied to the individual mandate ever was: a tax imposed by a Democrat Congress, primarily on the middle class. And let’s be very clear about that: the tax connected to the individual mandate is not primarily a tax on the rich but on the middle class Americans who will bear the brunt of it.
“According to the CBO, at least 77 percent of the people paying this tax will meet the President’s own definition of middle class.
“Those who have to pay the tax will pay an average tax of $1,200. And even if they pay it every year they still won’t have insurance.”
Pointing out the tax falls primarily on middle-class families, McConnell said, “And, this is just one more reason why the law needs to be repealed in its entirety.”
While McConnell believes the Affordable Health Care Act makes the problems in our health care system worse, he also said “It leads to a tax on middle class families who are either unable or unwilling to purchase health insurance.”
He said it was time for Democrats to stop trying to defend the indefensible and join Republicans in wiping off the books what he called a “colossal legislative mistake.”
McConnell stated the court’s decision provided the clearest proof yet that the bill has to go, and said, “It needs to be repealed to clear the way for common-sense, step-by-step reforms that protect Americans’ access to the care they need, from the doctor they choose, at a lower cost. And that’s precisely what Republicans intend to do.”