WASHINGTON – Democrats have probably never been so happy to be wrong.
As they struggled in 2009 to pass the bill that became the Affordable Care Act, Democrats in the Capitol and the White House insisted the individual insurance mandate was not a tax.
To their chagrin and delight, the Supreme Court on Thursday disagreed and saved the law.
Shortly after the ruling came down, conservatives and others circulated a September 2009 interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, in which President Obama vigorously disputed the notion that collecting a tax penalty from people who don’t get insurance is a “tax increase.”
He accused Stephanopoulos of stretching the definition of tax and blamed his critics who “say everything is a tax increase.”
“For us to say that you’ve got to take a responsibility to get health insurance is absolutely not a tax increase,” the president said. “I absolutely reject that notion.”