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.
“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.
“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.”