Sen. Lautenberg: Obamacare individual mandate ‘isn’t a tax’ [VIDEO]

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Nicholas Ballasy
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      Nicholas Ballasy

      Nicholas Ballasy is the Senior Video Reporter for The Daily Caller covering Congress and national politics. Ballasy has interviewed a wide range of political leaders and celebrities including former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John McCain, Sen. John Kerry, former Gov. Mitt Romney, former House Speakers Nancy Pelosi and Newt Gingrich, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Matt Damon, Joan Rivers, Gloria Estefan, Jon Stewart, Dave Matthews, Neil Munro, Stevie Wonder, etc. His work has been featured by CNN, Fox News, NBC, CBS, ABC, The Drudge Report, Washington Post and New York Times, among others.

New Jersey Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg told The Daily Caller that Obamacare’s individual mandate “isn’t a tax.”

In the Supreme Court’s majority opinion upholding the law last week, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax.”

Lautenberg, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, holds a different view on the mandate.

“It isn’t a tax. It’s making up for expenses not previously met and for instance, we have the free riders. The people who say, ‘well, hell, I’m not sick and I have no problems and so I’m not going to bother except that the pain is here there and other where in the body’ and they quickly, ‘hey, I want to take out insurance with your company,’” Lautenberg told TheDC.

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“So, that’s going to make up for expenses, for not accumulating a reserve that will take care when problems occur so it’s not really a tax, it’s catch up.”

Lautenberg added that he does not think Roberts is calling the mandate a tax in his decision.

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“Is he calling it a tax? I don’t think so, to me,” Lautenberg told TheDC.

“What it says is things have to be paid for that otherwise were a free ride for some at the cost of many others.”

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