House Republicans sought to dramatize the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding President Barack Obama’s health law on Tuesday, when they warned that Congress could slap taxes on those failing to eat their vegetables and jail those who fail to comply.
At a packed room of the Republican-controlled House Ways and Means committee, witnesses called by the majority warned that the court’s opinion could bloat government power to a dangerous new level.
“We must again consider whether the federal government can require people to purchase broccoli,” said Carrie Severino, a lawyer at the Judicial Crisis Network, echoing two other Republican witnesses. “Allowing unrestricted taxes on inactivity will open the door to taxes the likes of which this country has never seen.”
The Court last month, in a surprise decision written by Republican-appointed Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld Obama’s Affordable Care Act, unleashing howls of protest from conservatives.
The 2010 healthcare law aims to add tens of millions of people to the insurance rolls by mandating those who do not hold insurance to pay a fee, or penalty.