In 2009, President Obama Insisted that the Health Insurance Mandate is Not a Tax

The Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to purchase health insurance today as a tax rather than as a valid use of congressional power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause. But in September 2009, President Obama insisted that the mandate was absolutely not a tax. Watch below:

Update: And here's when Obama promised never to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $250,000 a year. The mandate, of course, does not have an income test.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Who cares, he gave us free healthcare!

    WOOOOOOO.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    First, I wanna' get a boob job. Then I'm gonna' get some liposuction, just in my hips. I wanna' get that thing that makes your lips puffy too, like Angelina Jolie. Also I wanna get this tattoo lasered off. Send the bill to my congressman!

  • Whiterun Guard||

    You need a ride home from the hospital, sweetheart?

  • Haarper||

    Couldn't you set up an insurance company that offers zero coverage at the low low price of $1.00/year?

    Beats paying tax!

  • Brutus||

    Nope. There are minimum coverage requirements in Obamacare. That's why some colleges have dropped student policies that used to have $10k limits, but were forced to increase them to $100k (IIRC).

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Same with McDonalds and their $10,000 maximum payout.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    What SHOULD it be, shrike? A million? A billion?

    Stupid bastard.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Nothing will change for 90% of taxpayers.

  • Mr. Hilter||

    Nothing will change for 90% of Germans...

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I am the 90%!

  • Mr. FIFY||

    "Nothing will change for 99% of taxpayers."

    FIFY'd to reflect shrike's Team Blue wealth-envy roots.

  • Brutus||

    Except that there's going to be fewer and fewer of them now that employers are left in limbo about the downstream costs of compliance.

  • ||

    How fucking rich are you shrike that you don't notice a 1% tax increase?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    There is no tax increase for any insured person.

    The "tax" is nor those who refuse to comply.

  • ||

    So what about someone who can't afford insurance, but makes too much to qualify for the subsidy?

    Now you'll say something about how nobody like that could exist.

    Oh and fuck you and "compliance". If Bush and the reptards had passed this stinking pile of dogshit 8 years ago you'd be screaming bloody murder right along with us.

  • Corporate Shill||

    Oh, so that means Obama will back down now. This is a man who stays true to his word.

  • WhatAboutBob||

    Obama lied? Big Surprise!!

  • CockGobbla||

    Tell me something,

    Currently, my brother receives Medicaid. As part of the law, as long as he maintained his current level of income, Medicaid would continue to cover him.

    He's now trying to get his life turned around. He completed school and he's looking for work.

    As soon as his income increased to respectable levels, he'd immediately fall under the mandate provision of the ACA, would he not? That's a pretty steep price for pulling himself out of poverty.

    So, my question is "What incentive does the ACA provide my brother, who has worked his ass to gain a better living, have to pull himself out of poverty?"

  • Whiterun Guard||

    Now you're getting it.

  • Brutus||

    Nothing, but it does lock in the incentive to make sure the government benefits keep coming by voting Democrat. And really, isn't that the goal here?

  • NoVAHockey||

    with the medicaid expansion, he might qualify once he's on his feet.

  • CockGobbla||

    Wasn't the expansion limited by this decision?

  • NoVAHockey||

    kind of: but not in the way you might be thinking: if a state does not comply with the expansion, the feds can't take it's existing federal medicaid dollars

  • SugarFree||

    I would imagine that they will use as negative tax like EITC to voucherize people below a certain level. The mandate always had that feature.

  • CockGobbla||

    Wait, I thought vouchers were evil?

  • SugarFree||

    Only when they are allowing kids to wriggle out of the grasping talons of teacher's unions.

  • tarran||

    The ACA provides him with little incentive (although, once his income is high enough, he can afford a better quality of care than the Medicaid floor - for example going to a doctor who doesn't accept medicaid)

    However, surely the other benefits of higher income and more wealth (if he manages his spending prudently) will outweigh any disincentive from having to pay more for health "insurance".

  • Bardas Phocas||

    Why must he lie so much?
    Why does he make baby Jesus cry?
    Why?

  • Pip from the forge||

    Competing ObamaCare threads! Enter the Octagon!

  • Dr. Steve||

    I propose we heretofore refer to it as "Schrödinger's Tax."

  • Doctor Whom||

    It's always been a tax, as surely as we've always been at war with Eastasia.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    No, we've always opened our taxes from the little end.

  • CockGobbla||

    Dude, it would benefit us all to read 1984 right about now.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "The Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate to purchase health insurance today as a tax rather than as a valid use of congressional power under the Constitution's Commerce Clause. But in September 2009, President Obama insisted that the mandate was absolutely not a tax."

    Ask President Obama if he gives a shit.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    In his defense, it was on the teleprompter.

    Go fuck yourself, San Diego.

  • R C Dean||

    The market cratered when the opinion was announced. If anyone cares.

  • Whiterun Guard||

    That just proves Obama is sticking it to those nasty corporations like he promised to.

  • ||

    RC, please check your mail. The other mail.

  • tarran||

    RC, please check your mail. The other mail.

    Is that like the big phone?

  • Whiterun Guard||

    More like Tristero.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    -100 to -153 on the DJIA.

    normal move down on shitty day.

  • Sudden||

    Truth be told, this bill fucks over small and mid caps much more than the blue chips of the DJIA

  • Brutus||

    Yep. Uncertainty is for breakfast, lunch and dinner again.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I care. A lot. And I think this sucks.

  • Mo||

    And we're not going to war, it's a kinetic military action, a police action or some other random b.s. term.

  • NoVAHockey||

    from hotair: "But I didn't know until today that it was Barzini all along."

  • NotSure||

    What exactly is the difference between a mandate and a tax ?

  • ChrisO||

    The Romney campaign has to be the happiest about this news. He simply reiterates constantly that he will propose repeal legislation, and he wins in a landslide. The MassCare thing is a problem, but as long as he keeps fervently promising to repeal Obamacare, he'll be in good shape.

    Hell, maybe he had a deal with Roberts.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Has Romney ever said that he wants to repeal Obamacare? I'm pretty sure that he hasn't.

  • ChrisO||

    Yes. He's said it will be the first legislation he proposes.

  • Sudden||

    I spoke with my father this morning. He is pretty much a lockstep GOP voter. He sounded almost happy about this since he's convinced it turned what would have been a close election into a landslide. He paid lip service to the idea that he wished the court ruled the other way and that he doesn't want POTUS Romney to have to spend political capital to repeal, but his voice sounded eerily happy and optimistic.

    The craven political nature of this tone convinced me that I'm adopted.

  • ChrisO||

    Maybe you're just not old enough to be properly cynical, while your father is.

  • Gray Ghost||

    I see it this way too, Chris. From the 250+ comment thread on the decision:

    OTOH, I think you've just given Team Red a shot in the arm for getting out the vote. Especially if Romney admits that ChowdCare was a terrible idea in the first place, and he now sees that he was wrong for implementing it. (It'll never happen---think tarran hit it on the head w/respect to Romney and the civil service, never mind the career pol's antipathy to ever admitting error---but it's nice to dream.) It's a close enough race that I think this decision, with the outrage over it properly banked and stoked, gives Team Red the win in November.
  • The Rantin Arkansan||

    You know what? There is a simple way for Romney to create a distance between MassCare and ObamaCare.

    MassCare only affects Massachusetts. Is it shitty legislation based on shitty principle and backed up by shitty economics? You betcha. But I, a humble resident of Arkansas, don't have to put up with its bullshit.

    If Romney attacks this from a Constitutional and Federalism angle, it might convince me to not be angry at people who vote for him. Plus, he can always throw in a nice little barb accusing of Obama lying about raising taxes on the middle class.

    How in the hell could he lose if he followed that strategy?

  • Franklin Harris||

    So much for Obama being a "constitutional scholar."

  • ||

    "Um, let me be clear: I am a lying sack of shit who can't believe what fucking idiots I have a for voters."

  • Pro Libertate||

    I want a fucking amendment to fucking restore the concept of limited government, since the Supreme Court has proven, once and for all, its complete uselessness.

    I am so pissed.

  • Nando||

    Good news for the average American. Good news for Obama. Maybe he will be re-elected after all...

  • Mr. FIFY||

    We're fucked with Obama OR Romney, Nando.

    Go over to DU. They would love you over there.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Obama lied in 2009, then.

    This is why there should be a law allowing for the immediate imprisonment for any public official who tells lies in public.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I see an upside (that would be all of them) and a downside (where are we going to find enough prison space?).

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement