Washington — President Barack Obama says requiring people to get health insurance and fining them if they don’t would not amount to a backhanded tax increase. “I absolutely reject that notion,” the president said.
Blanketing most of the Sunday TV news shows, Obama defended his proposed health care overhaul, including a key point of the various health care bills on Capitol Hill: mandating that people get health insurance to share the cost burden fairly among all. Those who failed to get coverage would face financial penalties.
Obama said other elements of the plan would make insurance affordable for people, from a new comparison-shopping “exchange” to tax credits.
Obama faces an enormous political and communications challenge in selling his health care plan as Congress debates how to pay for it all.