There was a big decision last week. The Supreme Court ruled that the AMA was constitutional under the ability of congress to tax. Republicans, and I, jumped on this to claim that Obama broke his pledge to raise taxes.
Initially, Romney claimed that the AMA, Obamacare, was not a tax but rather a penalty:
In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Daily Rundown,” Romney strategist Eric Fehrnstrom was asked whether Romney agreed with last week’s Supreme Court ruling.
“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.
When pressed by host Chuck Todd about whether Romney supported calling the financial burden placed on Americans who choose not to buy health care “a penalty or a fee or a fine” rather than a tax, Fehrnstrom replied: “That’s correct.”
However, governor Romney has changed his tune, to one that sounds more true:
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney attempted to clarify his campaign’s position on the individual mandate, calling the provision a “tax” days after his top adviser said otherwise.
“The Supreme Court has spoken and while I agreed with the dissent, that’s taken over by the fact that the majority of the court said that it’s a tax and therefore it is a tax,” said Romney in an interview aired Wednesday on “CBS This Evening.”
This happens to be what I think. Obama never meant this to be a tax. He adamantly denied it was a tax. It never would have passed had it been a tax. It clearly was meant to be a mandate under the commerce clause. However, that is not how the supreme court saw it. To them, the mandate is a tax, therefore, legally, it’s a tax.