White House: Health law creates 'penalty,' not tax
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is pushing back against questions about whether President Barack Obama's health care law would mean new taxes for many people.
A day after the Supreme Court upheld the law, White House press secretary Jay Carney says the law will create a "penalty" that will affect about 1 percent of those who refuse to get health insurance.
He says the penalty was modeled after the one put in place in Massachusetts when Republican Mitt Romney was governor. Romney is now Obama's presidential challenger.
The "tax" versus "penalty" label is important because the court said the penalty essentially is a tax, and that's why the government has the power to impose it.
Republicans have said the health care law will amount to a large tax increase for many people.