Patterico's Pontifications


Making Health Care “Pretty Clear”

Filed under: Health Care,Obama — DRJ @ 8:11 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained at today’s Press Briefing why a monetary penalty for failing to purchase health care is not a tax:

QUESTION: Thanks. This morning there was a spirited debate in the Senate Finance Committee about whether the proposed fee on people who would refuse to buy health insurance under the proposed plan, whether that would break the President’s pledge not to tax individuals who make less than $200,000 or families that make $250,000. Do they have a good point there?

MR. GIBBS: No. I think this is, again, one more game that we’ve seen in the roadblock to getting comprehensive health care reform. There is an individual mandate in this piece of legislation that the President supports. But something that’s charged to an individual that doesn’t have and can’t afford health insurance is a little bit like if you’re not complying with the law and you’re speeding. And I don’t think anybody would say that if you’re going too fast on the interstate that somehow somebody has raised your taxes. So I think that’s a silly argument that we can easily dispense with.

QUESTION: It’s called a tax in the House bill and the Finance Committee bill. It’s referred to as an excise tax.

MR. GIBBS: Well, I would — maybe the analogy on the speeding isn’t — I think it’s pretty clear.”

So choosing to speed and getting a ticket is the same as choosing to breathe without health care and getting a health care ticket? Or not, because maybe it’s not a good analogy. But it’s still “pretty clear” because everyone at the White House agrees it shouldn’t be called a tax, okay?

Glad we got that taken care of.


20 Responses to “Making Health Care “Pretty Clear””

  1. That transcript reads like a Lewis Carrol piece.

    Techie (482700)

  2. That transcript reads like a Lewis Carrol piece.

    Pay no attention to the man behind the ACORN.

    James (400f72)

  3. Get Gibbs a dictionary.

    daleyrocks (718861)

  4. Did anybody ask him to reveal Obama’s secret plan?

    daleyrocks (718861)

  5. Geebus. The speeding analogy was moronic. So, is that extra $6.00 I pay per carton of cigarettes a mandate?

    sybilll (38d3d5)

  6. I’m waiting for the day when a reporter finally gets fed up with Gibbsy’s deliberate obtuseness and rampant ignorance and throws a shoe at his head.

    QUESTION: It’s called a tax in the House bill and the Finance Committee bill. It’s referred to as an excise tax.

    Lol. Gibbsy could serve as a season-long arc of “Lie To Me” all by himself.

    Another Chris (f29ad3)

  7. Gibbs speaks fluent idiot.

    JD (8b3caf)

  8. I argued here that the administration may be right, although that actually makes things worse. It amounts to confiscating property without due process.

    NukeRidingCowboy (2e32cf)

  9. I plan to not get Insurance JUST so they can try this.

    What lawyer here wants to be the one to argue this before the SCotUS?

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  10. So many of us warned the idiots that voted for our current president that this kind of thing would happen if he won. Here’s what his 2012 campaign slogan should be:

    Improving your lives by removing your freedoms

    Thank you, Mr. Hopey Changey. Thank you so very much!

    Icy Texan (43c637)

  11. Yes, yes it is pretty clear….

    Formerly known as Skeptic (a9f995)

  12. Surely there have been lies told by previous Administrations, but never in my memory have so many lies been told that are so easily refuted by common sense.

    krusher (5d86c8)

  13. Speeding tickets often end up becoming a type of tax. And it’s LOCALLY enforced.

    The speeder chose to violate the rules of the road. He violated the terms of his permit to use a government roadway, a permit he applied for and was given conditionally. The government did not force him to get a license.

    A better comparative example would be if the government made having a driver’s license a right and then fined us if we didn’t get one. After all, those who don’t get driver’s licenses cost us all money due to the high cost of subsidized public transit.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  14. Can anyone name another right that we are punished for not exercising?

    We are not only free to do anything the government allows us to do. Now we MUST do whatever the government thinks is best for us, or we will get a ticket.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  15. It is thrilling to see how Democratic magicians can turn newly minted rights into means of securing government revenue and control.

    Why isn’t free speech mandated, like compulsory volunteerism?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  16. Women have the right to have an abortion. Can the government fine them if they choose not to?

    Why not?

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  17. Can anyone name another right that we are punished for not exercising?

    @nd amendment? Granted it’s not usually the government that is punishing us in that case, but still…

    NavyspyII (df615d)

  18. heh

    Actually, education would be one. But that is (supposed to be) a state issue.

    We have the right to a retirement income – via the compulsory Social Security tax.

    All “positive” rights must be accompanied by mandates. You have the right to receive the benefit the government deems appropriate for you, and you will be punished if you refuse to participate in this new freedom.

    And all of them will eventually become the unfulfilled promises of a government that we have made into a god.

    Amphipolis (b120ce)

  19. Too bad they can’t make Health Care “pretty clear” to the people drafting and passing the legislation.

    In Congress they can’t make sense of their own gibberish. And in the White House they don’t even know what’s classified as a tax and what isn’t, the one part of the bill that is “pretty clear.” Or at least is if you stick to the meaning of the term as used for centuries. Instead of the term as used in double supersecret Obamaspeak.

    The thing is, it is gibberish. It’s bad enough that you can’t read through it without constangly referring to other laws and regulations. It’s even worse if the Democrats are making up new content for the words on the page.

    But we’re supposed to obey laws our lawmakers can’t make any sense of? How is it that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” when our lawmakers are deliberately producing legislation that’s impossible to understand?

    Steve (f79f95)

  20. I am so stressed that this congress was willing to pass this healthcare bill in August before it was even written and anyone knew anything about it, including congress and the president. Isn’t that dishonest? If they are not capable of putting it on the internet then they are not able to run my healthcare. And why do they need my financial information for a healthcare bill? Wake up, American. Let’s help people get health insurance without ruining our whole healthcare system.

    m vale (f06dad)

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