Monday, September 21, 2009

Obama: Requiring Health Insurance is not a Tax Increase

In his recent media campaign to promote his health care President Obama told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday that forcing people to obtain health care coverage is not a tax increase. Therefore, it does not break his promise to raise taxes on middle income Americans.

"For us to say you have to take responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase," Obama said in response to persistent questioning, later adding: "Nobody considers that a tax increase."

A proposal going before the Senate Finance Committee this week includes the mandate for health coverage. Obama has praised the plan in general, and indicated in the interview conducted Friday that he could back the coverage mandate.

He noted that consumers currently pay higher health insurance premiums due to the costs run up by hospitals and other facilities providing care to uninsured people.

Those unable to afford health insurance should get government help, Obama said, but others who can afford coverage but choose not to get it should face coverage requirements similar to those for auto insurance.

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