HEALTH / FITNESS NEWS
July 06, 2012 12:00:00 AM
  Follow @ Twitter

Republican White House hopeful Mitt Romney has appeared to contradict previous campaign statements by saying President Barack Obama's health reform law entails a "tax" and not a penalty.

Romney, who enacted a similar healthcare overhaul when he was governor of Massachusetts, has had to reassure fellow conservatives who despise so-called "Obamacare" without appearing to flip-flop on his own legacy.

The balancing act was evident in an interview with CBS news on Wednesday in which Romney agreed with the Supreme Court's ruling that the individual mandate -- which requires Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a fee -- amounts to a tax and not a penalty, as both he and Obama had previously argued.

"The Supreme Court has the final word. And their final word is that Obamacare is a tax. So it's a tax," Romney told CBS Wednesday.

"They decided it was constitutional. So it is a tax and it's constitutional," he said, adding that he had agreed with the court's dissent, which said the mandate was unconstitutional.

That appeared to mark a shift in his position, given that Romney campaign aide Eric Fehrnstrom had told MSNBC on Monday that the Republican candidate had "consistently described the mandate as a penalty."

Republicans were enraged by the Supreme Court's narrow vote last Thursday to uphold the health care law, but generally agreed with the part of the decision that called the individual mandate a tax.

They have since accused Obama of raising taxes on the middle class and made the allegation a central plank of their campaign to deny him a second term, arguing that the health law further burdens an already weak economy.

However, for Romney to accuse Obama of raising taxes through the health care reform would open the Republican candidate -- long dogged by charges of flip-flopping -- to similar charges of raising taxes in Massachusetts.

Romney attempted to finesse the issue in the CBS interview by insisting that states have the right to enforce such mandates, so "they don't need to require them to be called taxes in order for them to be constitutional.

"And as a result, Massachusetts' mandate was a mandate, was a penalty, was described that way by the legislature and by me. And so it stays as it was."

Romney has vowed to repeal "Obamacare" -- officially known as the Affordable Care Act -- on his first day in office, but has defended his own law, saying individual states have the right to reform their own health care systems.

The Obama campaign was quick to accuse Romney of contradicting himself, saying in a statement: "Romney has called the individual mandate he implemented in Massachusetts a tax many times before. Glad we cleared all that up."

Senior Obama advisor David Axelrod meanwhile mocked Romney on Twitter, quipping: "If he were in WH (White House), parsley would be official veg: Twister, national pasttime."

AFP

 


PREVIOUS STORY
Pakistan, Afghanistan report rise in polio: study
NEXT STORY
Merck KGaA suffers setback on cancer drug

Bookmark and Share
   




FIJI NEWS
Assistance will be aligned with interest: BishopAustralia's assistance to Fiji will be aligned to the interest of Fijian people and education is one area which will benefit.
SPORTS
Army wins Sukuna BowlArmy wrestled the Ratu Sukuna Bowl from Police at the ANZ Stadium this afternoon winning their all exciting challenge 18-10.
TECHNOLOGY
Vodafone Fiji, Tonga telco in allianceVodafone Fiji and Tonga Communications Corporation today signed a strategic partnership alliance that will allow the Tongan company to leverage off the experience of their Fijian counterparts.
LIFESTYLE/FASHION
Tafunaíi ready to fly Fijiís flag highNew crowned Miss World Fiji, Charlene Tafunaíi is ready to do wonders for Fiji in the Miss World Finals in December and is calling for the nationís backing.
ENTERTAINMENT
Logicís debut album Under Pressure out Oct 24After years of hard work in the studio and on the road, Logic has completed his debut album with Under Pressure due to release October 24, with the title track, Under Pressure, is now available.
OFFBEAT
Mercury 'took Princess Diana to gay barQueen singer Freddie Mercury disguised the late Princess Diana as a male model and smuggled her into a notorious gay bar, according to a memoir serialised in Britain's Sunday Times.
NEWS SPORTS INFOTAINMENT SERVICES MOBILE EXTRA HOT TOPICS