Current Weather
The Spy FM

‘Tax’ Designation That Saved Health Care Law Being Used To Fight Obama

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
June 29, 2012

In 2009, as President Obama was trying to convince Congress to pass his health care legislation, he stridently refused to characterize as a “tax” the penalty that would be imposed for not obtaining insurance under the law’s individual mandate.

On Thursday, Chief Justice John Roberts begged to differ — while using the tax classification to save Obama’s signature domestic accomplishment by a single Supreme Court vote.

And Republicans pounced.

A Thursday night email from the Republican National Committee offers a “brief history” of what it calls the president’s “broken promises on health care taxes” dating to the 2008 campaign — a time when Obama still opposed the whole idea of the individual mandate.

And it includes a 2009 appearance on ABC’s This Week, when Obama responded to the claim that the mandate would be a tax increase by saying flatly: “That’s not true.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that on Friday, the conservative group Americans for Prosperity launched a $9 million ad campaign that now calls the health care law “one of the largest tax increases in American history.”

Surrogates for the Obama campaign, in a conference call with reporters on Friday, fought back.

“I just want to respond to the latest, frankly, bizarre attack, which is the claim that this act represents a big tax increase on the middle class,” Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said. “First, this is a penalty. It’s about dealing with the freeloaders, the folks who now get their care without insurance in high-cost emergency room settings. And all the rest of us pay for it today. The estimates are that by bringing those folks into the insurance system and penalizing those who don’t come in, we’re talking about a penalty on 1, maybe 2 percent of Americans.”

Patrick also gave a backhanded political compliment to his predecessor, Mitt Romney, architect of the Massachusetts’ health care law: “In using a model — the model — for Obamacare, we’ve reached 99.8 percent of children, 98 percent of our overall population. I don’t think there’s another state in America that can touch that. We are healthier by any number of measures. The cost of health care has come down on a per capita basis. There are more businesses offering health insurance to their employees today than before health insurance reform went into effect. Folks have all the choices they used to have and more, and we’re bringing health care costs down. It has not busted our budget either. Expansion added about 1 percent to state spending. That’s Romneycare in Massachusetts, and that will be Obamacare for the rest of the country.”

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, in the same call, said Romney and some of his backers are “retreating to the last bastion of scoundrels, which is to try to cast this as some sort of tax increase.” [Copyright 2012 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

Listen Live Now!

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

View the program guide!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center