Rep. West: Obamacare Is ‘Really Nothing More than a Tax Law’

By Gabriella Hoffman | July 12, 2012 | 12:54 PM EDT

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.). (AP photo)

( - The individual mandate in the Obamacare law is nothing more than a tax – one that the American people did not consent to, according to Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.).

“Anytime that you are penalizing the American people by way of them having to provide financial restitution to the federal government, it's a tax,” West told on Wednesday.

On Capitol Hill, had asked West: “Was Chief Justice Roberts right or wrong that the individual mandate is a tax?"

The Florida Republican also added: “When you go back and look at the Declaration of Independence, one of the grievances that Thomas Jefferson laid down was that he is laying taxes upon us with our consent. The American people didn't consent to this and they still don't consent to it.”

"And when you look at this law, there's really nothing more than a tax law. It was nothing really to do with health care. That's why this vote was important because now we know who stands with the American people."

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 244-185 to repeal the Afforfdable Care Act, with West and all Republicans voting to repeal the law and all but five Democrats voting to uphold the law.

The repeal vote comes after last month’s landmark Supreme Court decision that upheld most of the law’s provisions, including its mandate that individuals purchase and maintain health insurance.

Chief Justice John Roberts, in his majority opinion concerning Obamacare, wrote: “The Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance. Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax.”