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Video Shows Obama Argue Against Mandate and Fines He Imposed
CBO Estimates 14 million Americans Will Be Hit By Fine in 2024
(Washington, D.C.) – When he was seeking the Presidency in 2008, Barack Obama attacked his opponent – Senator Hillary Clinton – for her advocacy of a health reform plan that included a mandate which fined people for not purchasing health insurance. Obama argued that it was wrong to penalize people for not purchasing health insurance that they could not afford. In a debate in February 2008, Obama said:
"you can have a situation… where people are being fined for not having purchased health care, but choose to accept the fine because they still can't afford it even with the subsidies, and they are then worse off. They then have no health care and are now paying a fine above and beyond that. That is a genuine difference between myself and Senator Clinton… We don't want to put in a situation in which on the front end we are mandating them – we are forcing them – to purchase insurance, and if the subsidies are inadequate the burden is on them and they will be penalized – and that is what Senator Clinton's plan does."
USA Today reports that an estimated 3 million Americans will find themselves in precisely that position this year – paying a fine because insurance is too expensive – due to the President's health care reform law. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that fines on individuals who do not comply with the mandate will total $52 billion over the next 10 years. The agency recently reported that in 2024, there will be 31 million Americans without insurance. About 45 percent of those – or 14 million people – will have the option to purchase insurance but choose not to do so – due to cost or other factors.
Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative released the following statement:
"When Barack Obama was running for the presidency, he specifically criticized an individual mandate to buy heath insurance because he knew some people would not be able to afford it, and would have to pay a penalty as well. He was right back then – when he told the American people that he opposed this mandate. Now millions of people will be without health insurance, and will pay the tax he vowed to oppose – because he abandoned his strong and clear stand. This is simply wrong. It is time for supporters of the law to admit its very serious problems, and to begin to work across the aisle to fix our health care system. That means increasing new options, protecting the care people have and like, and reducing costs – without burdensome and unfair new mandates."
For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Brian Faughnan 571-247-3309 or Steven Cruz 202-578-6173.