Romney: My Individual Mandate Was Also A Tax Increase!

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Republicans are inadvertently inviting a new comparison between the Affordable Care Act and Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care reforms. This time it’s about taxes.

Citing Thursday’s landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding the ACA on taxing power grounds, Republicans are attacking Democrats for having surreptitiously raised taxes.

But if that’s true of Democrats, it’s also true of Romney.“[W]e established incentives for those who were uninsured to buy insurance,” Romney wrote in a 2009 USA Today op-ed. “Using tax penalties, as we did … encourages ‘free riders’ to take responsibility for themselves rather than pass their medical costs on to others.”

Romney has a long public record of supporting his individual mandate — a record he’d love to bury. But this is a rare example of him boasting that the mandate amounts to the same tax he and other Republicans are now attacking Obama for having adopted in the ACA.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brian Beutler is TPM's senior congressional reporter. Since 2009, he's led coverage of health care reform, Wall Street reform, taxes, the GOP budget, the government shutdown fight and the debt limit fight. He can be reached at brian@talkingpointsmemo.com
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