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Published On: Wed, Jul 4th, 2012

Mitt Romney says health care mandate is a tax

Mitt Romney Wednesday reversed the position, contradicted his top campaign advisor and stated that the penalty levied against Americans who do not buy health insurance under President Obama’s health care overhaul is “a tax.’’

The Supreme Court ruled last week that the enforcement mechanism for the individual mandate in the 2010 health care expansion — a penalty payment made to the Internal Revenue Service — qualifies as a tax.

Mitt Romney caricature cartoon

Photo/donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

“I said that I agree with the [Supreme Court’]s dissent, and the dissent made it very clear that they felt [the individual mandate] was unconstitutional,” Romney said in a released clip of a CBS News interview. “But the dissent lost. It’s in the minority. And now the Supreme Court has spoken. And while I agree with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said it’s a tax, and therefore, it is a tax.”

Romney continued: “They have spoken. And there’s no way around that. You can try and say you wish they decided a different way, but they didn’t. They concluded it was a tax. That’s what it is.”

Romney also sat down with CNN for an interview, during which he repeated the new campaign line. The Supreme Court, he said, ruled that the mandate is a tax, “so it’s a tax, of course, if that’s what they say it is.”

The remarks are a complete 180 from those made by two top advisers to the Romney campaign in recent days. Spokesperson Andrea Saul, two days ago, said that the governor “thinks [the mandate] is an unconstitutional penalty,” not a tax. Top aide Eric Ferhnstrom, that same day, emphatically declared that the campaign did not believe the mandate was a tax.

“The governor believes that what we put in place in Massachusetts was a penalty and he disagrees with the court’s ruling that the mandate was a tax,” Fehrnstrom said in a Monday interview with MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown.”

The comments from Romney, delivered during his July 4 break in New Hampshire, also clearly gave way to the counter-argument that, by his own definition, he raised taxes during his time as Massachusetts governor. The individual mandate, after all, is the concept that Romney helped spearhead as part of the health care overhaul in the Bay State. The penalty that citizens in his home state were subjected to should they opt not to buy insurance is greater than those levied under Obamacare.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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