July 2nd, 2012
06:49 PM ET
2 years ago

Video: IRS is 'easiest' enforcer of health care law, DNC chief says

(CNN) – The Internal Revenue Service is the "easiest, most basic way" of enforcing the health care law's fee for those who can afford to but choose not to get insurance but it is not a "tax," Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said Monday.

Speaking on CNN's "The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer," Wasserman Schultz said Monday, that the law should be enforced by the federal government's taxing arm because "it's simply a matter of ease in administration."

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"The way we usually think of taxation, Wolf, is that taxation as the IRS administers is collected on broad swaths and large categories of individuals," Wasserman Schultz said. "This is a penalty that will be assessed on the tax return if you choose to roll the dice and make us all pay for your being irresponsible and increase all of our health care costs.

"We're not going to tolerate that any more in America. You have to be responsible and you have to pay a penalty if you choose not to be," she continued.

The Supreme Court ruled the individual mandate, which is enforced by a punitive tax or penalty, constitutional under Congress' taxation power.

Republicans have since criticized the law as an additional tax, though a top adviser to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Monday broke with most of his party and said that it is not a tax.


Filed under: 2012 • Debbie Wasserman Schultz • Health care
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. lyn

    Buy the darn insurance and the question of tax or penalty will be moot. Cheapsakes, even the feds will help you buy it.

    July 2, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  2. Cathy

    Do YOU want to pay even more for YOUR OWN insurance rates every time a FREE RIDER uses the emergency room? Well, I sure don't! OBAMA CARE works for me. WHY should I have my insurance company charge me for free loaders?

    July 2, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  3. Marty

    All insurance will rise in cost having to pay for someone elses pre existing problems. How is that fair?

    July 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. Darryl

    I sure hope the Republican Party can just face the facts and give this Obama Care thing a rest. These people are way out of control.Ever sense Obama became POTUS they have been out to get him out of the W/H. I always said it was because he was Black and because of that one factor they absolutely did NOT want anything attached to a Historical event that his name would be attached to it.They do not want anything written in History period of his Presidency. Thats why they wanted so badly for a 1 term and are willing to say and do anything at ANY & ALL costs.And thats EXACTLY why they haven't helped this country get back to work. All the EVIL they have put out ? They are now getting back.

    July 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  5. manhandler1

    Republicans are in total disarray.. The left arm (if there is one) doesnt know what the right arm is doing. It's because they have no believable leadership, They're left with Romney, who is so wishy washy that he can't take a firm stand on anything.
    Rubio, who may be Rmneys VP pick.says it's definitely a tax, and says, "you know why? Because the Supreme Court says it is, that's why." So I guess that if the Supreme Court said the sky was Green, Rubio would also say it was because the Supremes said it was. Wow! And this might be Willards VP pick? The whole group is incredibly confused.

    July 2, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Dr. Eric

    Commi debt production team back? I think they're in Social Security and Medicaid too....nothing works as "a lively discussiion is welcomed" promised there either...moving up the ladder.....in first strike targets........??

    July 2, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  7. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Romney still hasn't produced his tax returns, what's up with that? It's been reported he uses a horse as a tax shelter and has blind trust accounts, he says, but where's the proof. Remember Donald Trump never disclosed his either after he said he would, then he dropped his bid for the presidency. What is Romney hiding or will he drop his bid like Trump or is he stupid enough to think he'll just waltz right into the presidency without ever disclosing anything, I don't think so. Americans need to know, what is Romney hiding.

    July 2, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  8. Larry in Houston

    I'm shocked that Romney "broke" with his party – for that instance. Maybe he will end up being more of a moderate than most people give him credit for. That is, IF the Tea Party people doesn't twist his arms. I'm not a huge fan of Obama,but compared to Romney – at least I know what obama's going to do, but have no idea what romney's going to do. I guess the middle class working people will end up getting the shaft with romney, while he gets the elevator.
    Vote – Democrat – 2012 ( for the middle class working people )

    July 2, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    The aftermath and fallout from Obamacare is going to be an absolute nightmare for the general public if allowed to stand as it is planned.

    July 2, 2012 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  10. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    I learned that the ACA is NOT the largest tax increase in History as the Fox foreign owned media reported. The entire act is 10th and is well behind the larger tax increases of George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Responsible journalist would fact check, but not Limpbag, Hannity, and the darling of extreme media.

    July 2, 2012 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  11. Name willardbullock

    I mocked out of wasserman also what happened about on fraud check scam from afrcian amercian

    July 2, 2012 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. Larry L

    Amusing how the Romney camp decided to take the safe road and for once, tell the truth. Those who opt not to get health insurance will be penalized – no taxed as the right-wing pundits have been ranting. They know Americans will finally understand the law and see that Romney's idea was the model. It's hard to talk about repealing your own plan! Flip-flop-lie-flip-flop-lie....

    July 2, 2012 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  13. kramer

    Most stunning is the RMoney created, implemented and defended this exact same mandate Penalty Fee, Tax in Mass..!!!

    The Republicons false arguments are again Null and Void!

    July 2, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The IRS is the agency tasked with collecting money. Why would another agency be set up to collect money just for the health care bill? This keeps government from growing.

    July 2, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. Dontbow

    umm yea it's not a tax but we will have it come to you as a tax and enforced by the tax arm. This has got to be the biggest farce of the dictatorship we currently live in. And now the federal government will watch over your healthcare choices. Big brother to the rescue.

    July 2, 2012 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  16. eli

    This Debbie Wasserman idiot gets free health care from us. We cannot afford healthcare because part of our salary goes to her. Then she penalizes us for not having health care....

    July 2, 2012 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  17. Purp (@PurpAv)

    Of course – iif you want to extract cash from people who don't want to give it, sending some mob leg breakers is probably the best way to get it.

    July 2, 2012 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  18. ThinkAgain

    HOWEVER, unlike if you refuse to pay your taxes, the IRS, while tasked with collecting the penalty for not purchasing health insurance, it can’t throw you in jail or put a lien on your home or other property.

    If you are supposed to get a refund on your taxes and you owe the penalty, the IRS will deduct the amount you owe from your refund. If you owe anything further, it will be on the books as an obligation that the IRS will collect in the future (for example, by deducting it from future tax refunds).

    Fox will never tell you this; neither will Limbaugh or any of the other GOP lackeys. They would much rather continue lying to you, in an effort to scare you into voting against your own self-interest.

    July 2, 2012 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    With Obamacare, if you choose to not purchase health insurance, you are required to pay a tax, with the understanding that when (not "if," because everyone seeks medical care at some point in their life) you seek medical care, you will be treated and not left to die.

    This should be abundantly clear to all the rightie-tighties out there. After all, it was your party (and the Heritage Foundation) who originally proposed the idea of an individual mandate back in 1993.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice.

    July 2, 2012 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  20. ThinkAgain

    The mandate to buy health insurance is originally a Heritage Foundation proposal, introduced in the Senate in 1993 by then-Senator Chaffee, as a counter-proposal to single-payer coverage proposed by the Clinton Administration.

    Why did the GOP love the idea (and praise Mittens for his successful implementation of this plan in Massachusetts in 2006)? Because they believed that people should take personal responsibility for their health and have skin in the game.

    Having to buy health insurance – and incurring a penalty if you don't – is the same as when you buy gas at the pump, you pay a tax that is used to maintain the highways you drive your car on. You don't have to own a car, but if you do, it's expected and accepted that you'll do your part for the highways that you're using.

    Similarly, with Obamacare, if you choose to not purchase health insurance, you are required to pay a tax, with the understanding that when (not "if," because everyone seeks medical care at some point in their life) you seek medical care, you will be treated and not left to die.

    Got it?

    July 3, 2012 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
  21. Myviewis

    She sounds like a broken record. She can convince herself all she wants, I heard the Judge of the Supreme Court call it a TAX and a TAX it is. If we are to ignore the Supreme Court calling it a Tax and we change it to calling it a Penalty than the same rule must apply to the whole Obamacare and we can dismiss Obamacare. We either accept the Supreme Court ruling on the whole package or we don't accept any of it, we cannot accept only the parts we like as the Supreme Court ruling. Wasserman Schultz is just trying to ease the blow and hope in 2014 people will forget what she told them when the TAX law goes into effect. Seriously, who does she think she is kidding? I think she's old enough to know people are not buying her nonsense anymore. She really is a typical politician.

    July 3, 2012 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  22. Myviewis

    I hope people will come to realize that Wasserman Schultz is just a coward hidding behind her politician tactics. What is wrong with admitting it is a Tax? I keep reading Democrats' comments that there is nothing wrong with it being a Tax if you have followed the law and purchased a health insurance policy. I keep reading that this Law is for the irresponsible, however, Democrats are the first ones asking how they can qualify for subsidies because they don't want that bill on their budgets. Funny thing, Democrats call everyone irresponsible but they want the government to pay for it. What difference does it make if the government pays their health insurance policy or the emergency room visit???? Ahhhhh, insurance companies wouldn't be selling more healt insurance plans. I think this was a gimmick to help insurance companies make money because so many have their monies invested in insurance companies and they're looking for a Return on their investment.

    July 3, 2012 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  23. John

    Seems fair. Why should the American tax payer be on the hook for people who are irresponsible and do not purchase Healthcare but show up at emergency expecting someone to pay their costs. GOP why are you supporting this????

    July 3, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  24. Name willardbullock

    No support vote for presdient obama

    July 3, 2012 06:20 am at 6:20 am |
  25. FedUp

    Of course it is a tax The Supreme Court has declared it so.

    July 3, 2012 07:01 am at 7:01 am |
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