Rep. Chaffetz on Obamacare Individual Mandate: ‘It Is A Tax’

By Sabrina Gladstone | July 12, 2012 | 12:13 PM EDT

( – Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said he accepted Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ majority opinion that the individual mandate to buy health insurance in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a.k.a Obamacare, is “a tax.”

On Capitol Hill on Wednesday, asked Rep. Chaffetz, “Was Chief Justice Roberts right or wrong that the individual mandate is a tax?”

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Chaffetz said, “I respect the Court’s final decision. He has the final say and we have to live with that. Is it a tax? Yes. The Court defines it and it is a tax.” also asked Chaffetz, “Was Roberts right, then, in upholding the individual mandate as constitutional under the taxing power?”

Chaffetz said, “What the Court decided is what we’re going to live with.”

In his majority opinion regarding the Affordable Care Act, Chief Justice Roberts determined that “the Federal Government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance,” and that “the shared responsibility payment [individual mandate] may for constitutional purposes be considered a tax, not a penalty.”

The individual mandate is the fundamental aspect of Obamacare that requires every American to carry a health insurance policy providing a minimum level of coverage or pay a penalty, a “tax.”

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