Despite Ruling, White House Chief of Staff Refuses to Call Mandate a Tax

George Stephanopoulos
ABC News

White House chief of staff Jack Lew refused to call the individual mandate for health care a tax, continually referring to it as a “penalty” or “charge,” despite the Supreme Court’s ruling that it should be considered a tax.

“The Supreme Court looked at what the structure of the law was and they saw that one percent of the people would be paying this charge if they chose not to avail themselves of health insurance,” Lew told me this morning on “This Week.” “For that one percent who have chosen not to buy health insurance, and just to pass the burden on to others, there’s this penalty.”

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the cornerstone of President Obama’s health care legislation, the individual mandate, was indeed constitutional on the grounds that it acts as a tax.

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Stephanopoulos had also done an interview with Obama back in 2009 in which Obama maintained that the health insurance mandate was not a tax: Video

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