Romney: My Individual Mandate Was Also A Tax Increase!

June 29, 2012 8:14 a.m.

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.

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