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TexLaw
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Why is it legal for a person to have to pay a "right to choose

Customer Question

Why is it legal for a person to have to pay a "right to choose tax", in order to not be covered by a health care plan or by the government health plan, but a woman does not have to pay a"right to choose tax" in order to have all options open to her about reproductive health care?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Are you saying that you are paying a tax in Virginia called a "right to choose tax"?

Or are you referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling on Obamacare?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


I am referring to the recent Supreme Court ruling,it seems that some are afforded the right to choose all of their options about certain healthcare choices but all of us are required to pay a tax in order to have the right to choose all of our options, I am considering that one of my options should be to not have health care at all from any provider, and that right to choose should be just as free as the right to choose about a woman's reproductive health care choices.

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Hi,

Thanks for your response.

First of all, when asking the legal question, you need to back up a bit and remember that the question in the Supreme Court case was "is Obamacare constitutional". The only question that the US Supreme Court answered was whether the legislation violated the US Constitution. The Supreme Court decided that the law was constitutional because it was a form of taxation.

So when you ask why you would have to pay a tax to not have health insurance when a woman has the freedom to have an abortion, you are mixing apples an oranges. These are two different issues in their entirety. The Supreme Court has determined that it is a fundamental right of a woman to determine whether or not to carry a pregnancy through the first trimester (pursuant to Roe v. Wade.

The issue in Obamacare is whether the federal government can require citizens to get health insurance. The Court has determined that it can tax the citizens to encourage them to acquire heal insurance. In other words, you can choose to not get health insurance, and pay a tax. There is nothing prohibiting you from refusing health insurance, or health care.

This is completely different from the government making a law that a woman cannot have an abortion.

I'm not espousing either position. I'm just trying to explain the law to you.

Please let me know if you have further questions.

-ZDN
TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4267
Experience: Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
TexLaw and 5 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes. I understand that the act of abortion and the act of not purchasing health coverage are apples and oranges, my concern is that one party has to pay for the right to purchase tha orange while the other party has the FREE right to purchase the apple, Why?
Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.

Congress has the power to be able to tax under the Constitution. The Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is set up so that everyone must pay a healthcare tax, from which you can get an exemption if you purchase health insurance. I am not entirely convinced that the Supreme Court is correct on this issue.

 

A woman's right to choose whether or not to be pregnant has been determined to be a fundamental right which cannot be taken away by law, to a limited extent.

 

There has been no determination that you have a "right" to not have health insurance. However, there are still legal challenges to Obamacare which are being mounted, and this is one of the arguments involved. The debate is still very much ongoing and there is not a straight legal answer on the subject as of yet.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Sir, I am very much interested in this fight , I don't expect your legal input for free, I am interested in the terms of the service ya'll provide.I have never been aware of a tax that is not a percentage of some value. This appears to be a flat tax, which would penalize the poor more so than the wealthy. Can anyone explain what item of value it is that is being taxed and what percent of that value are we being required to pay?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Can you explain how the value of this tax is determined? At what income level do you begin recieving deductions,and who will be eligible for the entire amount being deducted? At what income level do you stop recieving any deduction and end up paying for health insurance and the tax?


 

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
I find it interesting as well. The power to tax established in the Constitution is not more well defined that simply that...Congress has the power to tax: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States"

It is under this clause which the US Supreme Court decided that Obamacare falls under. Specifically, Obamacare requires that a payment of the tax if a person does not get a health insurance plan. The tax is not based on income level.

The minimum amount — per person — will be $695 once the tax is fully phased in. But it will be less to start. The minimum penalty per person will start at $95 in 2014, the first year that the law will require individuals to obtain coverage. And it will rise to $325 the following year.

Starting in 2017, the minimum tax per person will rise each year with inflation. And for children 18 and under, the minimum per-person tax is half of that for adults.

However, the minimum amount per family is capped at triple the per-person tax, no matter how many individuals are in the taxpayer’s household. So, for example, a couple with one child over 18 (or two children age 18 or under), and no coverage, would pay a minimum of $285 in 2014, $975 in 2015 and $2,085 in 2016. And that would be the minimum no matter how many uninsured dependents a taxpayer has.

The tax would be more for persons with higher taxable incomes. When phased in, it will be 2.5 percent of household income that exceeds the income threshold for filing a tax return. For 2011, those thresholds were $9,500 for a single person under age 65, and $19,000 for a married person filing jointly with a spouse. So, to give a rough calculation, a couple with $100,000 of income might pay a tax of $2,025 if they choose to go without coverage.

But the penalty can never exceed the cost of the national average premiums for the lowest-cost “bronze” plans being offered through the new insurance exchanges called for under the law. We have no way of knowing what that average rate might turn out to be in 2014, but there is reason to think it could be quite high. For example, the total cost of a basic Government Employees Health Association plan currently offered through the Federal Employee Health Benefit program (the model for the state insurance exchanges) totals $9,459 per year for a family plan, and $4,159 for individual coverage.

When you ask about deductions, this has not yet been clearly defined.

-ZDN
Customer: replied 2 years ago.


Good morning Sir, I feel as if I'm beginning to know you, I and my partner are small business owners, we provide health care for our employees up to 250.00 dollars per month, so anyone under 40 it pays 100% but after that they have to start contributing because the rates are based on age, this does not pertain to my question, this is to let you know a little about myself. My question of the day is this: Do I have the legal ability to sue or petition ( whatever ya'll call it) the federal government for the Right to choose the type of health care I determine to persue, for example Holistic medicine, faith based healing practices,etc. and if so can I also sue for the right to use my health care dollars in persuit of my health care choices? Because we should have the freedom to choose for ourselves our own health care path based on religion or whatever freedoms of choice afforded to us by our constitution, I feel that they either need to let me choose for myself,and give me my health care dollars to persue my choices with, or they need to allow for every possibility that any citizen can choose as a form of health care. Is this thought process within any legal argument?

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Ah! I take your point. That is an interesting challenge. The federal question then becomes does Obamacare's requirement of health insurance for traditional medicine infringe on the right to freedom of religion. Yes, you could challenge it on this basis under the 1st Amendment.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

How would a person proceed from this point?


 

Expert:  TexLaw replied 2 years ago.
Frankly, unless you have millions of dollars in your war chest to spend on attorney's fees, then it will be next to impossible to mount a serious challenge.

Your opposing counsel would be the United States Department of Justice. President Obama would put his best attorney's on this case.

Your best bet is contacting some of the conservative think tanks in Washington to see if they would be interested in backing your lawsuit. I know that the Heritage Foundation might be of some help in Washington. http://www.heritage.org/

You could also contact the Republican National Committee to discuss the potential of them sponsoring a lawsuit for you.

In short, you would sue the Internal Revenue Service for levying a tax which violates your First Amendment Rights. So you cannot actually file the suit until you have been forced to pay the tax.

-ZDN

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TexLaw
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Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs