Congressman Steven Palazzo (R-MS), this week introduced, H.J. Resolution 28, a "Right to Refuse" proposal that would prevent Congress from taxing individuals and businesses as punishment for failing to purchase goods and services. The proposal, introduced as a constitutional amendment, would essentially overturn the mandate tax upheld by last summer's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act. The court's ruling also granted sweeping new powers to Congress by opening the door for future legislation that could force citizens to purchase goods or services or risk being hit with a penalty tax.
"Like many Americans, I was appalled when the Court upheld the mandate tax last summer and set this dangerous new precedent," Palazzo stated. "The government has no business taking your hard-earned money just because you don't spend it the way Washington wants. This is about Americans' fundamental right to refuse to purchase any number of goods and services, and that would of course include health insurance."
When the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate in June 2012, the Court stated that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate was a valid exercise of the congressional taxing power cited in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution. In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that while "the Federal Government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance [it] does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. Section 5000A [the individual mandate] is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax."
If passed, Palazzo's "Right to Refuse" Amendment would exempt individuals and businesses who opt not to purchase insurance from facing thousands in mandate taxes set to take place in 2014. It would also permanently prevent Congress from passing future legislation forcing Americans to choose between purchase of goods and services or tax penalties.