(WASHINGTON TIMES) While Congressional Republicans have seized on the Supreme Court’s ruling that President Obama’s health care overhaul is constitutional as a tax, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s top campaign strategist undercut that line of argument Monday, saying that the governor agrees with Mr. Obama that the law is not a tax.
“The governor has consistently described the mandate in Massachusetts as a penalty,” Eric Fehrnstrom, Mr. Romney’s strategist, said on MSNBC. “The governor disagreed with the ruling of the court; he agreed with the dissent that was written by Justice Scalia, which clearly states the mandate was not a tax.”
During the congressional debate Mr. Obama and his allies repeatedly said the punishment levied against those who fail to obtain health insurance was a penalty, not a tax. During the court battle, however, his legal team switched and said it was, in fact, a tax — and a majority of the court agreed, saying that made it constitutional.