Amid Conflicting Claims, Romney Camp Agrees With Obama On Tax Issue
One of the Republican candidate's top advisers says Romney doesn't think the mandate penalty in the health care law is a tax.
The Associated Press: Fact Check: Buyer Beware In Health Debate
President Barack Obama promises nothing will change for people who like their health coverage except it'll become more affordable, but the facts don't back him up. Mitt Romney groundlessly calls the health care law a slayer of jobs certain to deepen the national debt. Welcome to the health care debate 2.0. As the claims fly, buyer beware (Woodward and Alonso-Zaldivar, 7/2).
The Associated Press: Aide: Romney Sees Mandate As A Penalty, Not A Tax
A top adviser says Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney doesn't see the health care mandate as a tax but as a penalty or a fee or even a fine. That's a different view from Republicans who are condemning the individual mandate in President Barack Obama's health care law as a tax instead of a penalty, as Obama prefers to call it (7/2).
The Washington Post: Romney Camp Sides With Obama That Health Insurance Mandate Is Not Tax
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign on Monday rejected a Republican attack on the Affordable Care Act, repudiating a contention made in last week's Supreme Court decision that the law's requirement that individuals carry medical coverage amounts to a tax (Tumulty and Aizenman, 7/2).
The Wall Street Journal: Romney, Obama Agree: Health-Mandate Penalty Isn't A Tax
Mitt Romney's campaign is aligning itself with President Barack Obama—and breaking from Republican leaders—by saying the government will be imposing a penalty, not a tax, on people who don't buy insurance as required by the new health-care law. The break from his Republican allies illustrates the difficulty the presumptive GOP presidential nominee faces in criticizing the president for a national health-care law that resembles the one Mr. Romney signed as Massachusetts governor. Both laws include a requirement that most individuals buy insurance coverage (O'Connor, 7/2).
NPR: Romney Adviser Seems To Undercut GOP Health Care Argument
There apparently isn't a unified Republican message on whether President Obama has introduced a big new tax through the Affordable Care Act. Eric Fehrnstrom, a top aide to Mitt Romney, said Monday that the Republican presidential candidate's position is that the penalty under the new law — the one for people who can afford to buy health insurance, but don't — is not a tax (James, 7/2).
The New York Times: Romney Campaign And GOP At Odds On Health Care 'Tax'
By straying from the party message, Mr. Romney’s campaign offered a fresh example of his difficulty in carrying the conservative mantle on health care — a problem that his Republican rivals predicted during the primaries because he championed universal health coverage while he was the governor of Massachusetts(Shear, 7/2).
Politico: Mitt Romney's Tax Trap
The path Mitt Romney needs to walk on health care got a little bit narrower Monday, when one of the Republican's top advisers declared in a TV interview the presumptive GOP nominee agrees with the Obama administration that the individual mandate to buy health insurance is a penalty, not a tax. The comments by Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom go to the core of the political clash that has unfolded between President Barack Obama and the GOP since last week's Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act (Burns, 7/2).
McClatchy Newspapers: Romney Agrees With Obama: Health Care Mandate Not A Tax
Fehrnstrom, seeming to understand the awkward position the Romney campaign is in, parsed his words carefully. He criticized Obama for "celebrating" the majority opinion while he and members of his administration still dispute that the penalty for not having insurance is a tax. Romney, by contrast, has "consistently described the mandate as a penalty." He also argued that the law "raises a series of taxes" elsewhere, "including on our medical device companies" (Memoli, 7/2).
Reuters: Romney Agrees With Obama On Key Part Of Healthcare Law
Fehrnstrom's comments to MSNBC, which were accompanied by a new push by the Romney campaign to focus on jobs, indicated that Romney's team does not want to linger on the healthcare ruling - a victory for Obama in court - and instead is keen to highlight Obama's weakness, the economy (Bell, 7/2).
Boston Globe: Romney, Obama In Rare Accord On Health Care Law
It is a twist in political logic. Yet, Romney needed to back Obama on this in order to guard one of his most vital conservative credentials: that he did not raise taxes as governor of Massachusetts, where he championed a state law that, like Obama’s federal legislation, included an individual insurance mandate. If Romney were to label mandate payments as taxes, he would effectively undercut his own antitax credibility (Borchers, 7/2).
In related news -
The Fiscal Times: The New Healthcare Tax That The IRS Won't Enforce
The Supreme Court has ruled. Health care reform raised taxes. … But it certainly wasn't a broad based tax. The 150 million Americans who receive insurance through their public or private employers do not pay the tax; the nearly 100 million Americans who gets their insurance through Medicaid and Medicaid do not pay the tax; nor will people who pay no income tax, even if they are uninsured, since the legislation has no enforcement power. Only about four million people will choose to pay the tax instead of buying insurance, according to the Congressional Budget Office (Goozner, 7/3).