From Joe Biden, in the debates:
"No one making less than $250,000 under Barack Obama's plan will see one single penny of their tax raised, whether it's their capital gains tax, their income tax, investment tax, any tax."
Under the plan, people who earn between 100% and 300% of the poverty level (or between about $22,000 a year and $66,000 a year for a family of four) would face fees ranging from $750 to $1,500 a year.
For taxpayers with incomes above 300% of poverty, the penalty starts at $950 a year and reaches as high as $3,800 for families. Nearly 12 million people fit in this category, according to the National Institute for Health Care Management.
The idea behind the penalty is that those who can afford insurance but don't buy it are imposing costs on the entire health system. Under the proposal, nearly 12 million people who currently have no insurance could be subject to such fines, according to figures compiled by the National Institute for Health Care Management.
People focus too much on the penalty itself being a new tax. But the new tax is actually the requirement that individuals buy a product (in this case a health insurance policy) that they feel has no value (or else they would purchase it of their own free will today). The government stopped pretending long ago that these younger middle class families will get much value from such a policy. In fact, if they did get value commensurate with the premiums they will be paying, the mandate would not be achieving its purpose. The whole point is that healthy people pay more into the insurnace system than they get back to support sick people. If that payment is mandatory, then it is a tax, even if it is called an "insurance mandate" instead.
In fact, this is made all the more clear when politicians also suggest that cheaper high deductible health insurance plans be banned, as they were in Massachusetts. Again, the whole point is to get young healthy people to overpay for insurance, and allowing them to buy sensible, cheaper, high deductible insurance defeats the whole purpose.
This is a tax on middle America, and Obama knew he was going to propose it way back in the campaign. This is not something he just thought up or was a victim of changing circumstance. This is an out and out lie on his part.