Even Words Differ in Health Care Law Fight
Lawyers arguing over the health care law in the Supreme Court today don’t even speak the same language.
Like political campaigns crafting opposing narratives, the lawyers fighting over whether President Obama’s signature legislation is constitutional use starkly different wording, report CQ’s Fred Barbash and Gail Sullivan.
There’s no “individual mandate” in the government’s brief to the court. It’s a “minimum coverage provision.” And no one is penalized for not buying insurance. Rather, they face “adverse tax consequences” for attempting to “self-insure.”
The parties challenging the law, by contrast, have built their argument around the mandate, which, plain and simple, “forces individuals to obtain insurance.” They call the administration’s portrayal “euphemistic,” at best.
The language is so different because government lawyers are trying to portray the law as part of a long legal tradition, while opponents are casting it as a radical departure.
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