White House Statement on Obamacare Mandate Tax Contradicts Supreme Court Ruling

June 29, 2012 - 12:27 PM
Jay Carney

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney during his daily news briefing at the White House in Washington, Monday, March, 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(CNSNews.com) – The White House said Friday that the Obamacare insurance mandate tax is a penalty for not having insurance – a statement that directly contradicts what the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

According to press reports, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One that the penalty was not a tax but a penalty.

“It's a penalty, because you have a choice. You don't have a choice to pay your taxes, right,” Carney is quoted as saying by Yahoo News.

In a 5-4 ruling issued just one day before, Chief Justice John Roberts stated that the mandate was not a penalty and was, in fact, a tax.

“The Affordable Care Act's requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,” Roberts wrote.

Roberts said that the mandate “makes going without insurance just another thing the government taxes, like buying gasoline or earning an income.”

Nevertheless, Carney said that it was not a “broad-based tax,” arguing that few Americans will pay it.

“You can call it what you want, but it is affecting one percent of the population. Because most people either have health insurance or people do the responsible thing, and if they can afford health insurance they will purchase it,” he said.