Romney Contradicts Aide, Says Mandate Is A Tax
Politico: Romney Shifts, Says Mandate's A Tax
Directly contradicting his senior adviser, Eric Fehrnstrom, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney told CBS that the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate is "a tax." Earlier this week, Fehrnstrom said in a TV appearance that Romney has the same view as the White House on the individual mandate: that it's a penalty, rather than a tax. Romney instituted a state-level mandate to buy health insurance as governor of Massachusetts. But Romney shifted gears in a sit-down with Jan Crawford, declaring that President Barack Obama broke his pledge not to raise taxes by imposing the individual mandate (Burns, 7/4).
The Washington Post: Romney: Health-Care Mandate Is A Tax
Mitt Romney said Wednesday that a mandate in President Obama’s signature health-care law is “a tax,” contradicting a position his campaign staked out this week and belatedly getting in line with many other Republican leaders. ... By saying the mandate is a tax, Romney seemed to acknowledge that the provision in the Massachusetts law that, like Obama’s federal law, fines people who don’t buy health coverage also is a tax. But he argued that is not the case (Rucker, 7/4).
The New York Times: Romney Now Says Health Mandate by Obama Is a Tax
Mitt Romney declared on Wednesday that President Obama’s health care mandate was in fact a tax, shifting his campaign’s characterization of the law and aligning himself with the conservative voices in his party. Mr. Romney’s remarks, made in a hastily arranged interview with CBS News on a national holiday, prompted renewed criticisms that he was willing to adjust his views for political expediency (Peters, 7/4).
The Hill: Romney Contradicts Top Adviser, Says Health Law Mandate ‘Is A Tax’
Romney’s comments followed criticism from Republican leaders after his adviser Eric Fehrnstrom called the individual mandate a penalty during an interview Monday. Fehrnstrom’s remark conflicted with the emerging GOP attempt to characterize the mandate, which was upheld along with much of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, by the Supreme Court last week, as part of a tax increase from the president (Mali, 7/4).
Los Angeles Times: Mitt Romney Says Healthcare Plan's Individual Mandate Is A Tax
In his remarks Wednesday, Romney drew a distinction between a similar provision that he put in place in Massachusetts and the Obama mandate. Both laws require people who don't have health insurance to buy it or face a penalty. States, he said, "have the power to put in place mandates. They don't need to require them to be called taxes in order for them to be constitutional" (Landsberg, 7/4).
The Wall Street Journal: Romney Adds To Health-Tax Fireworks
Mitt Romney said Wednesday that the U.S. health care law's penalty is a tax, breaking with one of his top aides and further muddling the lines between the Massachusetts health-care plan he championed and the federal version he opposes. ... The comments from the presumptive Republican nominee illustrate a conundrum for him. Mr. Romney repeatedly has said that the Massachusetts health-care plan he enacted as governor differed from the federal version in two major ways: It didn't raise taxes and was not unconstitutional. (Murray, 7/4).
The Boston Globe: Romney: Health Care Mandate Is A Tax
Mitt Romney Wednesday reversed the position staked out by his own campaign just two days before and said 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. On Monday, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said Romney did not agree that it was a tax, and considered it a penalty (Rowland, 7/4).
Associated Press: Romney Calls Obama’s Health Care Requirement A Tax
Mitt Romney on Wednesday said requiring all Americans to buy health insurance amounts to a tax, contradicting a senior campaign adviser who days ago said the Republican presidential candidate viewed President Barack Obama's mandate as anything but a tax. "The majority of the court said it's a tax and therefore it is a tax. They have spoken. There's no way around that," Romney told CBS News. "You can try and say you wish they had decided a different way but they didn't. They concluded it was a tax" (Hunt, 7/4).
Kaiser Health News: Tax Or Penalty? Individual Mandate Haunts Romney
The Massachusetts health care law, Mitt Romney’s signature achievement as governor, is adding more pressure to the expected GOP presidential nominee's campaign. Romney’s support for the requirement that all residents have health insurance, known as the individual mandate, is at the heart of his predicament. The issue is whether the call the mandate a tax or a penalty (Bebinger, 7/4).