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June 28, 2012
Supreme Court Decision Hinged on Definition of Individual Mandate as a Tax
FALLS CHURCH, VA — Tax Analysts' president and publisher Christopher Bergin commented today on the Supreme Court's decision upholding the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate as constitutional.

According to Bergin:

    "The Supreme Court's decision on the constitutionality of the 'individual mandate' was based on the precedent that Congress has the power to impose exaction in Section 5000A under the taxing power. As Tax Analysts has noted in the past, tax incentives are used widely by lawmakers to encourage or discourage individuals to change behaviors. In the case of the health care bill, Congress framed the incentive as a tax penalty instead of a tax break. The court also noted that individuals have the option to not comply with the mandate by simply paying the tax. This decision illustrates once again the incredible impact that the taxing power of the federal government can have on policy and social change."

Christopher Bergin is president and publisher of Tax Analysts and has written extensively on federal tax issues for almost 30 years. He is frequently cited in national media as an authority on federal tax policy. Over the years, Bergin has been responsible for several Tax Analysts' publications, including serving as editor of Tax Notes for eight years. He is a blogger for

Media Notes: To request an interview with Mr. Bergin, please contact Jennifer Devlin at 703-876-1714.

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