While the group’s legal argument is against the individual mandate, NFIB senior executive counsel Beth Milito said she also thinks its requirement that businesses with more than 50 employees offer health insurance is fundamentally flawed.
“Our members just want the government to stay out of their business,” she said.
But Tullis and Roach are actually both members of the NFIB. As their organization prepares to dispute the legal aspects of health care reform, their differing opinions illustrate the fact that there’s little consensus among small businesses as to the law’s merits, and business owners’ projections as to whether the law will be a net gain or loss depend almost entirely on their individual circumstances.
Bloomberg News recaps Monday’s proceedings at the Court and explains what lies ahead on Wednesday:
Yesterday’s opening arguments were on a question that could derail the case: whether the penalty for failing to get insurance amounts to a tax. An 1867 law blocks lawsuits over taxes that haven’t been imposed.
Justices including Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg suggested they didn’t view an 1867 law as barring them from ruling this year. Ginsburg questioned whether health-care penalties would be taxes.
“This is not a revenue-raising measure,” Ginsburg said. “If it’s successful, nobody will pay the penalty and there will be no revenue to raise.”
The six hours of arguments spread over three days are the most the court has heard in a case in 44 years.
Tomorrow, the last day, the justices will consider what should happen to the rest of the law if they invalidate the insurance requirement. The court also will take up whether the law, by expanding the Medicaid program, unconstitutionally coerces states into spending more on health care for the poor.
More from The Washington Post:
Supreme Court considers main constitutional question in health-care law
Is Obamacare in trouble?
Can the White House win on health care?