- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
- Driverless cars to hit the British streets by 2015
- GOP presses to scrap IRS commissioner position — but put in panel
- New bill would make sure women in military can get free birth control
White House chief: ‘Penalty’ for health insurance noncompliance is ‘fair’
Question of the Day
The Supreme Court may call it a tax and Republicans may call it a tax, but Democrats insisted Sunday that the fee for noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act bears no resemblance to a tax.
White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew called it a “penalty” and estimated that it would affect only about 1 percent of Americans.
“Let’s be clear on who that 1 percent is: Those are people who can afford health insurance, who choose not to buy it, and then when they get sick, they go to the hospital and the cost gets spread among all the people paying for insurance,” said Mr. Lew on ABC-TV’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulos.” “The court found it constitutional. Frankly, what you call it is not the issue.”
Mr. Stephanopoulos noted that Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. described it as a tax.
“[W]e call it fair,” Mr. Lew said.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, also refused to use the T-word in an interview on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press.”
“No, it’s a penalty,” Mrs. Pelosi said. “It’s a penalty that comes under the tax code for the 1 percent perhaps of the population who may decide that they are going to be free riders. But most people are not affected by it. No, no, it’s not a tax on the American people, it’s a penalty for free riders.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee chairman, accused the Democrats of “hypocrisy” for refusing to acknowledge the health-care laws tax increase on “This Week.”
“The president on your show said that this is not a tax, and then he sent his solicitor general to the Supreme Court to argue that it is a tax in order to get this past the Supreme Court,” Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said. “The broken promises and hypocrisy are becoming breathtaking from the president, who says one thing to get this past Congress and another thing to get it past the Supreme Court. Believe me, if this was brought to the public as a tax, there’s no way this law would have passed as a law in the first place.”
Mr. Ryan said the ruling has re-energized GOP voters, given that the law can be repealed now only if Republicans win the presidency and Senate.
“We think we can repeal this law if we win this election, and that’s what the chief justice said — it’s now up to the American people,” Mr. Ryan said. “It’s beyond Congress, the president and even the Supreme Court. The American people will be the judge and the jury of this law come November.”
Mrs. Pelosi said she doubted that Republicans would succeed, given that voters already are experiencing benefits from the Affordable Care Act and that some will be receiving refund checks in August.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at email@example.com.
- EPA hears testimony on proposed carbon emissions rules
- Westerners call for oversight to combat federal land managers
- Protesters rally in Colorado to support Israel's fight with Hamas
- Plagiarism scandal threatens Senate campaign of Montana Democrat John Walsh
- Conservative groups decry Democrats' 'war on women' tactic
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Proving A Point: Redskins' Bacarri Rambo vows to make impact in second year
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world