The Anti-Injunction Act therefore does not bar this suit. Upholding the Affordable Care Act under the Commerce Clause would give Congress the same license to regulate what people do not do. None of this is to say that payment is not intended to induce the purchase of health insurance. (c) Even if the mandate may reasonably be characterized as a tax, it must still comply with the Direct Tax Clause, which provides: “No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.” Art. It therefore need not be apportioned so that each State pays in proportion to its population. Nearly two centuries ago, Chief Justice Marshall observed that “the question respecting the extent of the powers actually granted” to the Federal Government “is perpetually arising, and will probably continue to arise, as long as our system shall exist.” , 4 Wheat. In this case we must again determine whether the Constitution grants Congress powers it now asserts, but which many States and individuals believe it does not possess. The Consti-tution may restrict state governments—as it does, for example, by forbidding them to deny any person the equal protection of the laws. “Proper respect for a co-ordinate branch of the government” requires that we strike down an Act of Congress only if “the lack of constitutionalauthority to pass [the] act in question is clearly demonstrated.” , 106 U. Those decisions are entrusted to our Nation’s elected leaders, who can be thrown out of office if the people disagree with them.The Framers knew the difference between doing something and doing nothing. Ignoring that distinction would undermine the principle that the Federal Government is a government of limited and enumerated powers. The individual mandate, by contrast, vests Congress with the extraordinary ability to create the necessary predicate to the exercise of an enumerated power and draw within its regulatory scope those who would otherwise be outside of it. concluded in Part III–B that the individual mandate must be construed as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance, if such a construction is reasonable. But the mandate need not be read to declare that failing to do so is unlawful. Resolving this controversy requires us to examine both the limits of the Government’s power, and our own limited role in policing those boundaries. The Federal Government has expanded dramatically over the past two centuries, but it still must show that a constitutional grant of power authorizes each of its actions. But where such prohibitions donot apply, state governments do not need constitutional au-thorization to act. It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices. A majority of the Fourth Circuit panel reasoned that the individual mandate’s penalty is a tax within the meaning of the Anti-Injunction Act, because it is a financial assessment collected by the IRS through the normal means of taxation. In order to receive that funding, States must comply with federal criteria governing matters such as who receives care and what services are provided at what cost. Because no party supports the Eleventh Circuit’s holding that the individual mandate canbe completely severed from the remainder of the Affordable Care Act, we appointed an to defend that aspect of the judgment below. This statute protects the Government’s ability to collect a consistent stream of revenue, by barring litigation to enjoin or otherwise obstruct the collection of taxes. The penalty for not complying with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate first becomes enforceable in 2014.But Congress did not intend the payment to be treated as a “tax” for purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. C concluded in Part III–A that the individual mandate is not a valid exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. This Court’s precedent reflects this understanding: As expansive as this Court’s cases construing the scope of the commerce power have been, they uniformly describe the power as reaching “activity.” they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. , concluded in Part IV that the Medicaid expansion violates the Constitution by threatening States with the loss of their existing Medicaid funding if they decline to comply with the expansion. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions. This grant gives the Federal Government considerable influence even in areas whereit cannot directly regulate. 203–206 (1987) (conditioning federal highway funds on States raising their drinking age to 21). We have long read this provision to give Congress great latitude in exercising its powers: “Let the end be legitimate, let it be within the scope of the constitution, and all means which are appropriate, which are plainly adapted to that end, which are not prohibited, but consist with the letter and spirit of the constitution, are constitutional.” , 4 Wheat., at 421.The Affordable Care Act describes the payment as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label cannot control whether the payment is a tax for purposes of the Constitution, but it does determine the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. Congress already possesses expansive power to regulate what people do. A tax on going without health insurance is not like a capitation or other direct tax under this Court’s precedents. In our federal system, the National Government possesses only limited powers; the States and the people retain the remainder. The same does not apply to the States, because the Con-stitution is not the source of their power. The Federal Government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorize, forbid, or otherwise control. The reach of the Federal Government’s enumerated powers is broader still because the Constitution authorizes Congress to “make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers.” Art. Our permissive reading of these powers is explained in part by a general reticence to invalidate the acts of the Nation’s elected leaders. Members of this Court are vested with the authority to interpret the law; we possess neither the expertise northe prerogative to make policy judgments.See In 2010, Congress enacted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in order to increase the number of Americans covered by health insurance and decrease the cost of health care. The current Medicaid program offers federal funding to States to assist pregnant women, children, needy families, the blind, the elderly, and the disabled in obtaining medical care. Finding the mandate severable from the Act’s other provisions, the Eleventh Circuit left the rest of the Act intact. Today we resolve constitutional challenges to two provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010: the individual mandate, which requires individuals to purchase a health insurance policy providing a minimum level of coverage; and the Medicaid expansion, which gives funds to the States on the condition that they provide specified health care to all citizens whose income falls below a certain threshold.
It is therefore necessary to turn to the Government’s alternative argument: that the mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.” Art. Because “every reasonable construction must be resorted to, in order to save a statute from unconstitutionality,” delivered the opinion of the Court with respect to Part III–C, concluding that the individual mandate may be upheld as within Congress’s power under the Taxing Clause. It does not, however, control whether an exaction is within Congress’s power to tax. It may also be read as imposing a tax on those who go without insurance. These affirmative prohibitions come into play, however, only where the Government possesses authority to act in the first place. And when the Bill of Rights was ratified, it made express what the enumeration of powers necessarily implied: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution . Because the police power is controlled by 50 different States instead of one national sovereign, the facets of governing that touch on citizens’ daily lives are normally administered by smaller governments closer to the governed. That power has been held to authorize federal regulation of such seem-ingly local matters as a farmer’s decision to grow wheat for himself and his livestock, and a loan shark’s extor-tionate collections from a neighborhood butcher shop. Our respect for Congress’s policy judgments thus can never extend so far as to disavow restraints on federal power that the Constitution carefully constructed. The plaintiffs alleged, among other things, that the individual mandate provisions of the Act exceeded Congress’s powers under Article I of the Constitution. Having held the individual mandate to be unconstitutional, the majority examined whether that provision could be severed from the remainder of the Act. Circuit upheld the mandate as a valid exercise of Congress’s commerce power. Enacted in 1965, Medicaid offers federal funding to States to assist pregnant women, children, needy families, the blind, the elderly, and the disabled in obtaining medical care. The Affordable Care Act expands the scope of the Medicaid program and increases the number of individuals the States must cover. And the court rejected the States’ claim that the threatened loss of all federal Medicaid funding violates the Tenth Amendment by coercing them into complying with the Medicaid expansion. The text of the pertinent statutes suggests otherwise.
In answering that constitutional question, this Court follows a functional approach, “[d]isregarding the designation of the exaction, and viewing its substance and application.” , 296 U. If no enumerated power authorizes Congress to pass a certain law, that law may not be enacted, even if it would not violate any of the express prohibitions in the Bill of Rights or elsewhere in the Constitution. The Framers thus ensured that powers which “in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people” were held by governments more local and more accountable than a dis-tant federal bureaucracy. “The peculiar circumstances of the moment may render a measure more or less wise, but cannot render it more or less constitutional.” Chief Justice John Marshall, A Friend of the Constitution No. And there can be no question that it is the responsibility of this Court to enforce the limits on federal power by striking down acts of Congress that transgress those limits. The questions before us must be considered against the background of these basic principles. The Act provides that the penalty will be paid to the Internal Revenue Service with an individual’s taxes, and “shall be assessed and collected in the same manner” as tax penalties, such as the penalty for claiming toolarge an income tax refund. The District Court agreed, holding that Congress lacked constitutional power to enact the individual mandate. The ma-jority determined that, contrary to the District Court’s view, it could. Other Courts of Appeals have also heard challenges to the individual mandate. For example, the Act requires state programs to provide Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, whereas many States now cover adults with children only if their income is considerably lower, and do not cover childless adults at all. The Act increases federal funding to cover the States’ costs in expanding Medicaid coverage, although States will bear a portion of the costs on their own. If a State does not comply with the Act’s new coverage requirements, it may lose not only the federal funding for those requirements, but all of its federal Medicaid funds. Along with their challenge to the individual mandate, the state plaintiffs in the Eleventh Circuit argued that the Medicaid expansion exceeds Congress’s constitutional powers. The Anti-Injunction Act applies to suits “for the purposeof restraining the assessment or collection of any .” §7421(a) (emphasis added).
The individual mandate thus cannot be sustained under Congress’s power to “regulate Commerce.” Pp. (b) Nor can the individual mandate be sustained under the Necessary and Proper Clause as an integral part of the Affordable Care Act’s other reforms. Even if the individual mandate is “necessary” to the Affordable Care Act’s other reforms, such an expansion of federal power is not a “proper” means for making those reforms effective. The most straightforward reading of the individual mandate is that it commands individuals to purchase insurance. (b) Such an analysis suggests that the shared responsibility payment may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax. Neither the Affordable Care Act nor any other law attaches negative legal consequences to not buying health insurance, beyond requiring a payment to the IRS. The Federal Government “is acknowledged by all tobe one of enumerated powers.” That is, ratherthan granting general authority to perform all the conceiv-able functions of government, the Constitution lists, or enumerates, the Federal Government’s powers. The enumeration of powers is also a limitation of pow-ers, because “[t]he enumeration presupposes something not enumerated.” , at 405. The States thus can and do perform many of the vital functions of modern government—punishing street crime, running public schools, and zoning property for development, to name but a few—even though the Constitution’s text does not authorize any government to do so. This case concerns two powers that the Constitution does grant the Federal Government, but which must be read carefully to avoid creating a general federal authority akin to the police power. Our precedents read that to mean that Congress may regulate “the channels of interstate commerce,” “persons or things in interstate commerce,” and “those activities that substantially affect interstate commerce.” , at 609 (internal quotation marks omitted). Congress may also “lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States.” U. Our deference in matters of policy cannot, however, become abdication in matters of law. The Act, however, bars the IRS from using several of its normal enforcement tools, such as criminal prosecutions and levies. And some individuals who are subject to the mandate are nonetheless exempt from the penalty—for example, those with income below a certain threshold and members of Indian tribes. On the day the President signed the Act into law, Florida and 12 other States filed a complaint in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The District Court determined that the individual mandate could not be severed from the remainder of the Act, and therefore struck down the Act in its entirety. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. The panel unanimously agreed that the individual mandate did not impose a tax, and thus could not be authorized by Congress’s power to “lay and collect Taxes.” cl. According to the majority, the Commerce Clause does not empower the Federal Government to order individuals to engage in commerce, and the Government’s efforts to cast the individual mandate in a different light were unpersuasive. The majority therefore determined that the plaintiffs could not challenge the individual mandate until after they paid the penalty. By 1982 every State had chosen to participate in Medicaid. And because there is a reasonable argument that the Anti-Injunction Act deprives us of jurisdiction to hear challenges to the individ-ual mandate, but no party supports that proposition, we appointed an II Before turning to the merits, we need to be sure we have the authority to do so. Because of the Anti-Injunction Act, taxes can ordinarily be challenged only after, 370 U. The present challenge to the mandate thus seeks to restrain the penalty’s future collection.
Each of this Court’s prior cases upholding laws under that Clause involved exercises of authority derivative of, and in service to, a granted power. But, for the reasons explained, the Commerce Clause does not give Congress that power. In pressing its taxing power argument, the Government asks the Court to view the mandate as imposing a tax on those who do not buy that product. (a) The Affordable Care Act describes the “[s]hared responsibility payment” as a “penalty,” not a “tax.” That label is fatal to the application of the Anti-Injunction Act. The payment is not so high that there is really no choice but to buy health insurance; the payment is not limited to willful violations, as penalties for unlawful acts often are; and the payment is collected solely by the IRS through the normal means of taxation. And Congress’s choice of language—stating that individuals “shall” obtain insurance or pay a “penalty”—does not require reading §5000A as punishing unlawful conduct. Congress may, for example, “coin Money,” “establish Post Offices,” and “raise and support Armies.” Art. Today, the restrictions on government power foremost in many Americans’ minds are likely to be affirmative pro-hibitions, such as contained in the Bill of Rights. are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” U. Our cases refer to this general power of governing, possessed by the States but not by the Federal Government, as the “police power.” See, , 505 U. 144, 181 (1992) (internal quotation marks omitted). The independent power of the States also serves as a check on the power of the Federal Government: “By denying any one government complete jurisdiction over all the concerns of public life, federalism protects the liberty of the individual from arbitrary power.” , 564 U. The Constitution authorizes Congress to “regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” Art. The power over activities that substantially affect interstate commerce can be expansive. “The powers of the legislature are defined and limited; and that those lim-its may not be mistaken, or forgotten, the constitution is written.” , 1 Cranch 137, 176 (1803). Those plaintiffs—who are both respondents and petitioners here, depending on the issue—were subsequently joined by 13 more States, several individuals, and the National Fed-eration of Independent Business. The court affirmed the District Court’s holding that the individual mandate exceeds Congress’s power. Judge Marcus dissented, reasoning that the individual mandate regulates economic activity that has a clear effect on interstate commerce. That statute bars suits “for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax.” 26 U. The second provision of the Affordable Care Act directly challenged here is the Medicaid expansion. Federal funds received through the Medicaid program have become a substantial part of state budgets, now constituting over 10 percent of most States’ total revenue. We granted certiorari to review the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit with respect to both the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. The Anti-Injunction Act provides that “no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any courtby any person, whether or not such person is the per-son against whom such tax was assessed.” 26 U. contends that the Internal Revenue Code treats the penalty as a tax, and that the Anti-Injunction Act therefore bars this suit.
NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued. For individuals who are not exempt, and who do not receive health insurance through an employer or government program, the means of satisfying the requirement is to purchase insurance from a private company. For example, the Act requires state programs to provide Medicaid coverage by 2014 to adults with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, whereas many States now cover adults with children only if their income is considerably lower, and do not cover childless adults at all. The Act increases federal funding to cover the States’ costs in expanding Medicaid coverage. But if a State does not comply with the Act’s new coverage requirements, it may lose not only the federal funding for those requirements, but all of its federal Medicaid funds. Twenty-six States, several individuals, and the National Federation of Independent Business brought suit in Federal District Court, challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate and the Medicaid expansion. Congress may use this power to establish cooperative state-federal Spending Clause programs. SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES _________________ Nos.The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader. Beginning in 2014, those who do not comply with the mandate must make a “[s]hared responsibility payment” to the Federal Government. The Act provides that this “penalty” will be paid to the Internal Revenue Service with an individual’s taxes, and “shall be assessed and collected in the same manner” as tax penalties. Another key provision of the Act is the Medicaid expansion. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit upheld the Medicaid expansion as a valid exercise of Congress’s spending power, but concluded that Congress lacked authority to enact the individual mandate. The legitimacy of Spending Clause legislation, however, depends on whether a State voluntarily and knowingly accepts the terms of such programs. 11–393, 11–398 and 11–400 _________________ NATIONAL FEDERATION OF INDEPENDENTBUSINESS, join, and an opinion with respect to Parts III–A, III–B, and III–D.