Taxing broccoli? ‘Obamacare’ and being sneaky in an election year

Following today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act, a number of analysts continue to take up the question as to whether the individual mandate should be considered a tax or a penalty.

At an American Enterprise Institute discussion this morning, AEI resident scholar Thomas Miller, head of the think tank’s “Beyond Repeal & Replace” health reform project, said that while there are other avenues in a system of checks and balances, for now, the law stands.

“So, you can’t make people eat broccoli but if they don’t eat it, you can tax them — but just not very much and try to do it in a sneaky way so you don’t lose too many votes in the next election,” says Miller.

Allen McDuffee writes about politics and policy and covered think tanks for The Washington Post from 2011 to 2013. He blogs and hosts a podcast at governmentality.net and is currently working on a book about the influence of think tanks in Washington.

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