“The idea that the mandate is something separate from whether you want to call it a penalty or tax just doesn’t seem to make much sense. It’s a command. A mandate is a command. If there is nothing behind the command, it’s sort of, well what happens if you don’t file the mandate? And the answer is nothing. It seems very artificial to separate the punishment from the crime. … Why would you have a requirement that is completely toothless? You know, buy insurance or else. Or else what? Or else nothing.”
– Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, during oral arguments on the Obamacare case back in March.