Abracadabra! Turning the Obamacare Tax into a ‘Fee’



For Immediate Release
November 18, 2014

Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com 



Turning the Obamacare Tax into a ‘Fee’


Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom: Tweaking the Terminology of Obamacare Won’t Make It Any Better


ST. PAUL, Minn.—What’s a surefire way to make Americans less sensitive about an intrusive tax that forces them to obtain health care coverage from a failing government plan?

Why, change the name, of course!

To make Obamacare appear less onerous, feds and government health care proponents are changing the term “tax” to “fee,” all while focusing on the controversial individual mandate to entice more Americans to enroll in the faltering system.

Whether it’s called a “fee” or a “shared responsibility” in conversation, the U.S. Supreme Court has declared it a “tax,” and that’s exactly what it should be called, says Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom (CCHF, www.cchfreedom.org), a Minnesota-based national organization dedicated to preserving patient-centered health care and protecting patient and privacy rights.

“This is a classic example of the old saying, ‘You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,’” Brase said. “This is very true, and a very apt comparison to the ‘rebranding’ happening with Obamacare. Changing the terminology of a ‘tax’ to a ‘fee’ will not solve the many, many problems associated with this doomed health care plan—far from it.”

Words can be used to deceive. Obamacare suffered a blow earlier this month when financial planner Richard Weinstein uncovered various videos featuring Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber. In several, he admits that Obamacare was pushed through by deceit: If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.

As of today, seven videos featuring Gruber have surfaced, and in them, he mocks the “stupidity” of American voters, according to The Washington Post, and boasts of the Obama administration’s ability to take advantage of it through deception.

“In a new video that surfaced Friday,” The Washington Post reports, “Gruber explains that the Obama administration passed the so-called ‘Cadillac tax’ on high-value employer health plans ‘by mislabeling it, calling it a tax on insurance plans rather than a tax on people, when we know it’s a tax on people who hold these insurance plans.’ Americans would not support a tax on individuals, so ‘we just tax the insurance companies, they pass on the higher prices ... it ends up being the same thing.’ The ruse, Gruber says, was ‘a very clever ... basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter.’”

Politico.com reported that last fall, Obamacare advocates shied away from talk about the much-disliked individual mandate. They instead focused on topics such as coverage for pre-existing conditions and the ability of young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26.

Now, a year later, Americans are hearing more about the mandate, which research has found may motivate people to enroll. But proponents, again, are using the words “fee” or “fine” rather than the more onerous and accurate “tax”.

HealthCare.gov has already started using this “new and improved” language, stating online, “If you can afford health insurance but choose not to buy it, you must pay a fee.” The Obamacare website then elaborates, “The fee is sometimes called the ‘penalty,’ ‘fine,’ ‘individual responsibility payment’ or ‘individual mandate.’” It never mentions “tax.”

The Obama Administration is now distancing itself from Gruber, stating he “never worked on our staff,” even though Gruber was paid nearly $400,000, is the intellectual author of the individual mandate and met with Obama and the head of the Congressional Budget Office in the Oval Office. Nancy Pelosi went one step further to say, “I don’t know who he is,” despite the fact that she has repeatedly cited him by name during Obamacare debates.

Celebrating its 20th year, Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom is a patient-centered national health freedom organization based in St. Paul, Minn. CCHF exists to protect health care choices and patient privacy.​ CCHF sponsors the daily, 60-second radio feature, Health Freedom Minute, which airs on more than 150 stations nationwide on the American Family Radio Network and 90-plus stations on the Bott Radio Network. Listeners can learn more about the agenda behind proposed health care initiatives and​ steps they can take to protect their health care choices, rights and privacy. 

CCHF president and co-founder Twila Brase, R.N., has been called one of the “100 Most Powerful People in Health Care” and one of “Minnesota’s 100 Most Influential Health Care Leaders.” Brase, a public health nurse, has been interviewed by CNN, Fox News, Minnesota Public Radio, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today Show, NPR, New York Public Radio, the Associated Press, Modern Healthcare, TIME, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Washington Times, among others. She is at the forefront of informing the public of crucial health issues, such as intrusive wellness and prevention initiatives in Obamacare, patient privacy, informed consent, the dangers of “evidence-based medicine” and the implications of state and federal health care reform.


For more information or to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, DHamilton@HamiltonStrategies.com.

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