Conservative judges in two cases about the constitutionality of the individual mandate seem to be conceding that it’s not a unique threat to freedom after all. The entire article, from Simon Lazarus in The New Republic, is worth reading, but its most interesting point is that the individual mandate is not all that different from a provision in Paul Ryan’s Roadmap for America’s Future, which many conservatives support.
The individual mandate says that there is a tax penalty for people who don’t purchase insurance. Ryan’s Roadmap on the other hand would provide a tax credit for people who do purchase insurance. In both cases the effect is the same– if you don’t buy insurance, you end up paying more in taxes. What Lazarus and now some conservative judges are asking is, “If the effect is the same, why is one a threat to freedom and the other a perfectly reasonable tax incentive?”