05/07/2012 03:41 pm ET

The Easiest Justification For The Obamacare Mandate Is The One That's Gotten The Least Attention: It's A Tax

Put aside all the questions about regulating interstate commerce and whether declining to buy health insurance constitutes “inactivity.” Is the Obamacare mandate a tax? And, if so, does that make it constitutional? In a new piece for the Atlantic, Jack Balkin argues that the answer to both questions is plainly “yes”—and wonders why that argument hasn’t loomed larger in the court cases challenging the Affordable Care Act.

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