That's the only logical conclusion to draw from the new talking point attack against Obamacare in light of the Supreme Court's decision to declare the law constitutional under Congress' taxing authority.
Republicans are now charging the health care mandate is an Obama tax on "the middle class," while ignoring a basic reality: the current system -- in "the middle class" pays both higher insurance premiums and/or actual higher taxes to subsidize those who can't or won't get insurance -- is a much greater burden on families.
Deval Patrick, who has been working to implement the system put in place thanks to Mitt Romney's signature, sums it up well:
“I just want to respond to the, frankly, bizarre attack, which is the claim this act represents a big tax increase on the middle class,” Patrick said. “First, this is a penalty. It’s about dealing with the freeloaders — the folks who now get their care without insurance in high-cost emergency room setting. And all the rest of us pay for it today.”That was at the heart of the penalty (or is that now the tax?) Romney championed as part of the law designed to expand coverage and begin to tackle the high cost of care. It is a counterpoint to the mandate that emergency rooms treat everyone who comes through their doors, regardless of their ability to pay.
For conservatives who scoff at unfunded mandates, the Affordable Care Act's requirement to get coverage or pay a penalty is simply an effort to find resources to support the right to treatment.
It's worth mentioning, for about the millionth time, that the mandate was initially the idea of the conservative Heritage Foundation and the GOP's flip-flop -- without offering any proposals on how to deal with the staggering costs of health care -- is yet another unprincipled example of party over country.