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Press Release - Obama Campaign Declares Obamacare Unconstitutional

July 05, 2012

"In a curious development, President Obama apparently disagrees with the Supreme Court ruling upholding his health care law. It's too bad he doesn't also see that Obamacare is bad policy and bad law. On day one of his presidency, Mitt Romney will begin the process of repealing and replacing Obamacare." — Amanda Henneberg, Romney Campaign Spokesperson

President Obama Disagrees With Supreme Court Decision Upholding Obamacare:

Obama Campaign Spokesman Says That President Obama Disagrees With Supreme Court Decision Upholding Obamacare. CNN's SOLEDAD O'BRIEN: "So then he disagrees with the Supreme Court decision that says it's now a tax?" OBAMA CAMPAIGN SPOKESMAN BEN LABOLT: "That's right. He's said that it's a penalty." (CNN's "Starting Point," 7/5/12)

The President's Campaign Denies The Fact That The Obama Administration Argued Obamacare Is A Tax:

Obama Campaign: Supreme Court Argument "Never Referred To It As A Tax." O'BRIEN: "Your arguments before the court honestly also said that it could be...one of the side arguments, kind of like the backup argument, was that it was a tax. So I did see the arguments before the Supreme Court." LABOLT: "It never referred to it as...It never referred to it as a tax. It said it was a penalty. And that's under the section of the law that is the tax code, but it said very specifically that it's a penalty." (CNN's "Starting Point," 7/5/12)

Except, President Obama's Solicitor General Argued To SCOTUS: You HAVE "An Obligation" To Find That Obamacare Is A Tax. SOLICITOR GENERAL VERRILLI: "It would be one thing if Congress explicitly disavowed an exercise of the tax power. But given that it hasn't done so, it seems to me that it's — not only is it fair to read this as an exercise of the tax power, but this Court has got an obligation to construe it as an exercise of the tax power, if it can be upheld on that basis." (Supreme Court Oral Arguments, 3/27/12; Audio at National Public Radio)

Not A Tax, Then A Tax, Then Not A Tax:

Take 1: Obamacare Is NOT A Tax

  • President Obama: Obamacare "Absolutely Not A Tax Increase." STEPHANOPOULOS: "That may be, but it's still a tax increase." OBAMA: "No. That's not true, George. The — for us to say that you've got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase." (Chris Good, "Obama In 2009: The Individual Mandate Is Not A Tax," ABC News, 6/28/12)
  • Obama White House Talking Points: "What President Obama Is Proposing Is Not A Tax..." (Jesse Lee, "Word From The White House: Common Ground On Health Insurance Reform & The Real Health Care Tax," The White House, 9/29/09)

Take 2: Obamacare IS A Tax

  • The New York Times Headline: "Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate As A Tax" (Robert Pear, "Changing Stance, Administration Now Defends Insurance Mandate As A Tax," The New York Times, 7/17/10)
  • President Obama's Solicitor General, To Supreme Court: Obamacare Is "Justifiable Under Its Tax Power." (Supreme Court Oral Arguments, 3/27/12; Audio at National Public Radio)

Take 3: Obamacare Is NOT A Tax

  • White House Chief Of Staff Jacob Lew Wouldn't Concede That The Supreme Court Had Declared Obamacare Constitutional Only As A Tax. STEPHANOPOULOS: "But the argument of Chief Justice Roberts is that it's a tax." LEW: "He went through the different powers that Congress has and he found that there is a power, whatever you call it, to assess a penalty like this." STEPHANOPOULOS: "He called it a tax." (ABC's "This Week," 7/1/12)
  • White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: "It Is Not A Broad-Based Tax." QUESTION: "And so is it your contention -- I did read not all of the opinion, but most of it. So you guys are still saying it's a penalty, not a tax?" CARNEY: "You can call it what you want. If you read the opinion, it is not a broad-based tax. It affects 1 percent, by CBO estimates, of the population. It is not something that you assess like an income tax." (White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Press Gaggle, 6/29/12)

Mitt Romney, Press Release - Obama Campaign Declares Obamacare Unconstitutional Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/301672

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