September 20th, 2009
01:09 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama insists requiring health insurance is not a tax increase

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama insists that requiring Americans to get health insurance does not amount to a tax increase.

In a testy exchange on the ABC's "This Week" broadcast Sunday, Obama rejected the assertion that forcing people to obtain coverage would violate his campaign pledge against raising taxes on middle-class Americans.

"For us to say you have to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase," Obama said in response to persistent questioning, later adding: "Nobody considers that a tax increase."

A proposal going before the Senate Finance Committee this week includes the mandate for health coverage. Obama has praised the plan in general, and indicated in the interview conducted Friday that he could back the coverage mandate.

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Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (126 Responses)
  1. MatthewDetroit

    Barack is just a LIAR.
    I have no intention and dont want to run the auto companies.
    BUT... The goverment is now running GM and Chrysler.
    I have no intention of taking over and nationalizing the banks.
    BUT...The goverment took over the banks and wont let them pay back their loans... They are taking over student loans and own the mortgage industry.
    NOW.
    I have NO intention of growing the size of goverment.
    Bush had 16 Czars which is TOO many, Barack has 32 CZARS.
    Goverment is the only job in town and growing.
    You are a LIAR Mr. President.
    You say one thing and Do another.
    YOU are raising the cost of healthcare. You are taxing us.
    You are cutting Medicare, which is already on its way to bankruptcy...
    The Health care bill needs to be scrapped COMPLETELy.

    September 20, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  2. Frances Smith

    The problem here is this, we had other people carrying our burden with the Iraq war and it was senseless and it killed people. One would think that we would not make so much fuss over something that would save people. Even if it only saves one life, the tax would have been worth it if it is the case.

    September 20, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Brian

    They should take over school loans, why should private banks make money on the front end of the loan with interest payments and on the back end of the loan in government subsidies.

    Come on people wake up. Don't turn everything into some socialist affair.

    The whole idea that the government generating revenue is un-fair to private industry when the government subsidizes almost all industries is just ridiculous.

    I bet you think privatized means someone else is paying for it, WRONG. It is still your tax payer dollars, now at a higher cost, paying those salaries, fringe benefits, pay increases, pay bonuses, but without any say from the people who actually pay the bills, we the people.

    So stop the stupidity and sit down and actually write from a place of honesty without your emotion of hating anything Obama does.

    September 20, 2009 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  4. mdc

    It is too bad this is such a large problem without an easy or cheap way out. At least this administration is addressing the problems left behind and making some tough decisions. I do not see how he is going to make it affordable to get health care though. for most people that do not have it through work, it is just too expensive and making it mandatory will mean they have to give up something else.

    September 20, 2009 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  5. Terry, TX

    Now....he is just "Lying"....the cute comebacks no longer wash...Where is this Bill he has been on a media blitz on since 9/11/09......Post it....I would read what he is proclaiming to the nation....on this media blitz of adoration. Where is it CNN.....Post It.....all the nasty details....no more rhetoric and snippy comebacks....and demeaning people who don't agree with him. This is not a campaign trail....this involves a possible trillion dollar scam on taxpayers....talk is very very cheap.

    He is selling dog food....that the dogs won't eat....Kill the Bill Part 1....Kill the Bill Part 2.

    September 20, 2009 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  6. Freedom

    Is this guy for real. It is a tax increase it's an extra bill. One that I didn't have when bush was president. He is just a Liar.

    September 20, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  7. Terry, TX

    I won't be watching any of this media blitz of adoration....heard it all before...except the origin of the bill....the authors of bill....and where is the bill that Obama supports on CNN printed for everybody to see....details please.

    September 20, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  8. ct

    @matthew detroit
    I hope you can afford to get back on your meds soon. Once the health reform is passed civilized society can breathe a sigh of relief that snarky trolls like you can finally get the help you so obviously need.

    September 20, 2009 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. bella greenberg

    Get out of afganistan. Pay our debts Repair our country. Use money
    for peace instead of war.

    September 20, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  10. ileana acevedo

    Health Reform WILL happen. Regardless of ignorant people that just dont get it and continue to mislead and LIE. Please do not forget were this whole thing started: Under Bush and a Republican led congress. Tarp, the bailouts, ALL OF IT!!! and now that Pres.Obama wants to try and fix the mess he was left, now HES THE BAD GUY??... Do not try to re-write history my friends, cause it wont work. Those of us who live in the real world and not in la-la land know the facts, so read up and educate yourselves before writing non-sense. Good luck Mr.President.

    September 20, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    To Mathew in Detroit...

    How fan you be so deluded... – hate is one thing... stupidity another..

    The government is NOT running GM and Chrysler... – they are using LOANS from the government, and are getting back on their feet.

    The government did NOT take over the banks.... and they ARE paying back their loans

    Bush had over 40 czars... and it goes back to Bush No. 1... and... btw te word czar was coined by the PRESS, not this administration

    And... your President is NOT a liar.... he is working very hard for your country..

    You sir, are ill informed at best

    September 20, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. Obama = New Taxes

    Don't call it a tax increase. Call it a banana.

    September 20, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Darth Vadik, CA

    Obama, if you're going to require people to BUY insurance, then you better put some CAPS on insurance premiums.

    And what happens if somebody can't afford the insurance?
    A lot of people live day to day, and a lot still don't have jobs.

    I know the Republicans would be for throwing people in jail for not having insurance, but what will you do if somebody still doesn't have insurance?

    This is really dumb, unless it's a ploy to soften the insurance company for the "coup de grace" in the end, which I hope will come one day.

    PS did you guys ever notice how Libertarians are ALWAYS upper middle to upper class folks who have relatively had an easy life compared to someone who has struggled one way in the other.

    Their biggest concern is their wives getting depressed from boredom.

    But like they say in the military "there are no Atheists in fox (fighting) holes", so there are no REAL LIFE EXPERIENCE Libertarians.

    PS

    September 20, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. nurse

    If you are going to force us ...you also get to call it what ever you want....FORCE US ? HAs any one seen the constitution ...I haven't been able to find it for almost a year now.

    September 20, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Darth Vadik, CA

    MatthewDetroit,

    Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed today?

    I'm currently reading "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown, and in there is a part where a young man brings a Washington DC map to Langdon, traced with all kinds of different masonic symbols over the DC streets. Then Langdon pulls our a Detroit map and traces the same symbols over the Detroit streets.

    The point being is that some people just see conspiracies everywhere, where the onlything they need is a chill pill.

    September 20, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Biased

    What does he call it then if not a tax? Forcing someone to buy something if they don't have the money and fining them if they don't? What is it then?
    This can not be compared to buying car insurance either since it is only a requirement for those who personally make a choice to drive a car. Are we going to be told that if I personally make a choice to continue breathing rather than stop, I must now buy insurance because I made that choice?

    September 20, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Matthew

    Weather you call it tax or call it forced into buying something you might not have before, it is still money that you earned that is being forcebly taken away from you through president Obama's demands. This is how america was formed, by the people revolting against unfair taxes that took their hard earned money, and a ruler who thought he new best what the people wanted. Obama is skating on thin ice.

    September 20, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  18. Sam Sixpack

    Millions of poor people are about to be forced to give their money to greedy insurance execs for policies with sky-high deductibles. Then, after having already given all they could "afford" to insurance execs, such families will not have the cash needed to pay for the treatment their children actually need.

    And for those who have no job at all, the government will divert money from Medicare and give it to insurance execs on their behalf. Meanwhile, since Grandma's been broke for years, they'll have to pull the plug on her so they can divert the money previously set aside for her.

    What a scam.

    September 20, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    If I say it enough times, it must be true.......what a load of crap.

    September 20, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Enough

    Sure and he plans to pay for it??? Watch for more slick Obama moves, Democrats love to call taxes other things...............like fees. This man has no business sense at all. Doesn't he understand you can't buy groceries if you don't have any money??

    September 20, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  21. m jeff

    Insurance companies have no intention of providing affordable health insurance to the American people, the only way is a public option. Those who like private insurance, stay with it, but I prefer options. REFORM is coming, no more greed.

    September 20, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. Matt

    Is mandating car insurance a tax increase? What about the fact that you have to contribute to social security, medicare, and medicaid? The correct answer is: NO.

    All you anti-tax people need to wake up and grow a brain.

    FACT: Taxes are part of life. If you don't like it, either go kill yourself or move to a totalitarian country where you don't have to pay taxes because you don't make anything to begin with. Most Americans hardly pay any taxes to begin with, especially compared to people who are ACTUALLY successful, so I don't see what you're complaining about in the first place.

    September 20, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. Willy Brown

    I wonder how Obummer said this keeping a straight face?

    September 20, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  24. Farrell in Houston

    Insurance companies increase our premiums whenever they choose and get this, they don't call it a tax increase. How do they get away with that and the reason is because their lobbyish have paid those in Washington to allow them to charge what they please.

    September 20, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Sam Sixpack

    The 14th amendment allows the federal government to levy income tax upon the citizens.

    As Obama argues, mandatory health insurance is not a tax.

    When the federal government decides how I am to spend any of my after-tax money – with no way to opt out – under which constitutional provision does that fall?

    Once Congress assumes the power to tell me how to spend my money, the only freedom left to me is the freedom to do what I’m told.

    September 20, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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