The plaintiff-appellee’s argue the following. First, they write that the “Constitution establishes a federal government with limited and enumerated powers to protect individual liberty,” and contend that, “By conscripting citizens to subsidize voluntary participants in the insurance industry, it exemplifies the threat to individual liberty when Congress exceeds its enumerated powers and attempts to wield a plenary police power.”
Second, they argue that “forcing individuals to purchase health insurance is not a regulation of interstate commerce,” because: (1) the individual mandate “does not regulate commerce itself, in either its interstate or intrastate channels or instrumentalities”; and (2) it “does not regulate a class of economic activities that substantially affects interstate commerce.” They write that any “argument that the uninsured ‘affect’ the insurance market through their non-participation is foreclosed by precedent and would eliminate all limits on Congressional power.”
Third, they argue that “forcing individuals to purchase health insurance is neither necessary nor proper for carrying into execution a regulation of interstate commerce,” because: (1) the individual mandate “is not necessary to serve the legitimate end of carrying into execution the ACA’s commercial regulations,” and (2) it “is not a proper means of carrying into execution the ACA’s commercial regulations.” In regard to necessity, they argue that the mandate “is not ‘necessary’ because, rather than serving the legitimate end of eliminating barriers to the execution of the ACA’s regulation—i.e., ensuring complete compliance with the regulation—the mandate at best furthers the illegitimate end of counteracting the negative effects on insurers after the regulation is fully executed.” In regard to whether the mandate is proper, they argue that “given its unprecedented and oppressive nature—i.e., forcing economically disadvantageous contracts on unwilling individuals to subsidize third parties in traditional areas of state regulation” it is not.
Fourth, they contend that “forcing individuals to purchase health insurance is not a permissible means of regulating those uninsured individuals who will fail to pay for healthcare they receive.” Thus, “It is legally irrelevant that some sub-class of the uninsured will receive uncompensated care, for Congress cannot bootstrap from that proscribable practice to the substantially broader class of uninsured individuals who do not engage in it.”
Fifth, they argue that “forcing individuals to purchase health insurance exceeds Congress’s power to tax.” In support, they write that “the ACA’s text and longstanding precedent make clear that fining the uninsured for violating a statutory duty to be insured is not a tax, but a regulatory command enforced by a penalty.”
Finally, they argue that “the mandate’s unconstitutionality requires invalidating the entire ACA.” In support, they write that the “Act is a sprawling and complex legislative bargain, and that the heart of that compromise is the mandate and related insurance regulations that even the Government concedes cannot survive without it.” Thus, “Congress would never have enacted the ACA without these core provisions.”