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. Debby

    Well Wilson sure got it right Obama lied. There is no way this can be all payed for without rasing taxes on someone. Sure the ones who don't pay taxes to begin with will always get a free ride, but how about the people who work 12 hours a day and make 250k and over a year and pay for their own healthcare. People who make good money should not be responsible to pay for other's people insurance.

    September 20, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  2. Juge

    Before you mandate you have to make sure that the policy will cover what our health – inside out and upside down -needs and then you have to make sure that those that will not be able to pay for it have a public option which will then make sure that the insurance companies start lowering their prices instead of raising their prices. NO subsidies to insurance companies and no denial of service from these insurance companies. And with the drugs necessary to keep us going – buy in bulk so that we can lower those prices too.

    September 20, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. Chipster

    We're required to have auto liability insurance. Is that a tax? I don't think it is but maybe some people do. If someone has no health insurance, are they going to pay cash for their health care, emergency care? Or are they going to get treatment and expect taxpayers to foot the bill?

    I have no problem with people having no health insurance as long as they pay the price but they don't. They can't so they should have to carry health insurance just like auto liability.

    September 20, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. S Callahan

    From what I understood from the interview..it's the HMO's that are the ones dumping on the middle class......though the economics I heard didn't make a lot of sense .....but as Stephonokulus said..it's the third in power that will give the clear word on this....."The Budget man"..is the man we need to hear from.

    September 20, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. David from WI

    I suppose that all depends on what the definition what a tax is ..... is.

    September 20, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  6. LMC

    Why is our country, supposedly one of the wealthiest in the world, the country with some of the worst health care options? Europe gets it. Japan gets it. Canada gets it. Why do we not care for our people? Mexico starts universal health care in January 2010. We will be behind even Mexico at that point!

    As far as taxes go, tell me just what services you would like to do with out: the military? Fire and police protection? Transportation and roads? These have to be paid for! Our taxes are small compared to many countries.

    September 20, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. robert diogenes

    GET THE FACTS BEHINDTHE NEWS. Paying for health insurance is paying for a service like auto insurance It is paying for a service that gives you health cost protection. Everyone should pitch in otherwise people with insurance pay for those without insurance.

    Under the present health system in 2008 $116 billion of services by hospitals, doctors and other providers was provided to the uninsured. 42,7 billion was unpaid or uncompensated care.

    These charges are shifted to the insured in higher charges for health service which shows up in higher premiums and ultmately in higher prices in general. Many of the health services for the uninsured are from emergency rooms which are very high cost.

    These figures are from a study by Families USA released May 2009 Families USA is a consumer health advocac y group.

    September 20, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  8. Obama insists...read my lips...

    INSIST>>>>READ MY LIPS.....we heard all of this before..

    Obama:"We are not in the business to take over BANKS, AUTO-INDUSTRY..."TRUST ME WE ARE NOT TAKING OVER THE
    HEALTH CARE ...just trust me...!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 20, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  9. George J

    Obumble can't open his mouth without a lie.

    September 20, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  10. Marquis

    It's mindblowing to know that most people who oppose President Obama do so because they recieve the wrong information. But then again, these are the same people who re-elected 'W'.

    I'm not saying that everyone must like this guy. I'm saying do your homework.

    September 20, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  11. Fed Up

    Of course not. It's "revenue enhancement." Either way you slice it, it still comes out of everyone's pocket but his.

    September 20, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Joe M

    This guy is a JOKE....

    September 20, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  13. jimmy

    I guess I am the "no one" you speak of Mr. President. I think it is a tax. It is also a subsidy to health insurance companies who neither need or deserve any more subsidies.

    September 20, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Bush_Low_I.Q.

    GOP Policy: :|

    1. Don't Spend.
    2. Don't Tax.
    3. War with Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, N. Korea.
    4. No Health Care / Reforms needed.
    5. No Regulated Banking – Freedom to Plunder, Misrepresent.
    6. Wall Street no Regulations needed – Freedom to Speculate and Free Hedging.
    7. Encourage Palin Wolf Hunting in Alaska and Dick Cheney Quail Hunting.
    8. Bush will have fun in Texas Ranch, and "Mission will be Accomplished in Iraq" and "Our Economy will be still Strong".
    9. Let Rush Limbaugh Yap, Yap and Yap.
    10. Buy Everything made in China – Let American Industries Flunk.

    September 20, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. ketrout

    Barack Obama is a LIAR!

    After living in Germany and having socialized medical care, I do want a one payer option, but not as a mandate from the government. Obama is lying when he is calling the mandate no a tax increase!

    The money that would be paid for the ILLEGAL ALIENS medical care, would pay for our low income LEGAL CITIZENS!

    September 20, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. jimmy

    I guess I am the "nobody" you speak of Mr. President. I think it is a tax. It is also a subsidy to health insurance companies who neither need nor deserve any more subsidies. Your reform will give your health care lobbyist friends a windfall. Is that the kind of change we can believe in? Talk to us when you end the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    September 20, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  17. magella

    Isn't auto insurance mandatory in every state? And aren't we already forced to have Social Security and Medicare payments deducted from our paychecks?

    For the life of me I cannot understand people (neocons) voting against their own self-interest, and opposing everything President Obama does no matter what. JUST ONCE I would like to hear one of them come up with a viable, well-thought-out alternative to the ideas the president has put on the table.

    September 20, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  18. No Hillary = No Obama

    Here's a man who is pushing his health care reform agenda and had to hold another speech in front of Congress because he didn't come up with specifics. So who would believe that something first unspecified isn't going to be specified later on? Obama doesn't know what he is doing.

    September 20, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  19. Barbara

    Why are you people so opposed to Health Care Reform. All parties agree something should be done... yet the Republicans oppose everything.
    '
    Here's an interesting fact.

    The Bush (Republican) administration hade a hand in developing the Constitution for Iraq in 2005. Guess what Article 31 refers to:
    GOVERNMENT UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE AS A RIGHT!! – Google it yourself!!

    So how is it, the Republicans think its great to give this to the Iraqis, but won't pass the same thing for Americans?

    Can it have anything to do with the fact that the Republicans receive no campaign funds from Iraqi insurance companies?

    Just askin.....

    September 20, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  20. Marry

    That the healthcare business is not providing the right kind of care to millions of people should not be a secret anymore. Finally, after decades, there is a new attempt to fix things for the average people, not just the poor, and the reaction of some is astonishing! How anyone would not try to get information on how this will change and how things will get better is an absolute mystery to me. The people that scream the loudest are probably the ones that would gain most with a better system. And they go for is the lies of greedy insurance companies and the lies of politicians from the GOP. Go figure…

    September 20, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  21. AJ

    I have an idea. Lets force Obama and the legislature to purchase health insurance on the open market. Without the fedral insurance that they are receivng, perhaps they can get a taste of real life. I'm a 50 year old man with a "good" job in the legal industry, I'm educated, and have worked since I was 15. I barely make ends meet. These people dont have a clue. Any bill withot a public option is nothing but a give away to the insurance industry and Obama knows it.

    September 20, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Banks David n. brownwood texas

    I sure hope that people who make minimum wage can afford it . And one income family .
    Why should I have to take out health care that does not cover every thing.
    Why is it the covered is not the same in all states ?
    If there is no tax increases then who will pay for those who cannot pay ?

    September 20, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  23. nola

    For you people complaining about having to obtain healh insurance – Hopefully a bill will be passed that does not mandate everyone to have health insurance. But, I hope that the bill states; those without health insurance – Will Not Be Treated At Any Hospital For Free – Because those of us with Health Insurance Will No Longer be paying for your treatments. I hope all you anti-insurance people have very deep pockets.

    ;

    September 20, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. jerry

    President Barack Obama, please get real, you are losing independents like me. I thought you would be different from the rest, that’s why I voted for you, but you are not. Can you please answer question without lying. If you really believe what you said about cost, then you must think we voters are just dumb.

    September 20, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  25. Fan of Common Sense

    I keep hearing and reading about a lot of not-so-bright individuals trying to make the lame argument that a government requirment for healthcare insurance is somehow the same as the requirement for auto insurance. There are several differences between the two, but the most striking is that the federal government cannot put private auto insurance companies out-of-business because it does not offer auto insurance...........YET!

    It's all very simple. Pass a law requiring everyone to have healthcare insurance, then, with the virtually unlimited resources of the federal treasury, keep cost low enough that all of the private healthcare insurance companies cannot compete and will have to fold. Then PRESTO, the federal goverment will have it's monopoly and the democrats will have the power over the voters that it craves and needs.

    September 20, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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