Obama: Obamacare does not include a tax
By ELIZABETH VLOCK
Talk Radio News Service
WASHINGTON – A pair of spokesmen for President Obama disagreed Thursday with GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s assertion that the individual mandate within Obama’s healthcare law is a tax.
Obama’s deputy campaign communications D\director Jen Psaki told reporters that as governor of Massachusetts, Romney referred to the individual mandate he signed into law as a penalty. Psaki attributed Romney’s new stance on the mandate to a “push from the right, the Rush Limbaughs of the world,” and “congressional Republicans, pushing him to go back on a decision and a defense [Romney] has had in place for years.”
As a result, Psaki said, Romney is now attacking a law that he had once advocated for at the state level.
“For years,” she said, Mitt Romney had described the mandate as a penalty, adding that President Obama, “agreed with [Romney].”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney argued that while the Supreme Court defined the failure of individuals to comply with the mandate as a tax, it is really a penalty that would affect only one percent of the population. Carney also refuted the notion that the mandate is a tax by contrasting it with income taxes, which Americans are legally obligated to pay.
He called the mandate “a penalty you only pay as a matter of choice” since only those who refuse to purchase health insurance will be subject to fines. “It is simply a fallacy to say this is a broad-based tax,” Carney added.
Going on the offensive Psaki explained that “for years” Mitt Romney had continuous called his health care bill a penalty, and President Obama, “agreed with [Romney].”
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