Axelrod on Whether Mandate Is a Tax: "Whatever You Call It…"
Matt Lauer, NBC "TODAY" show host: "The good news [for you] is the Supreme Court said that the mandate is constitutional. The bad news is they said they are a tax. Back in 2009, the President adamantly denied that health care reform was going to be a tax on the American people. Does he now agree that this legislation, this law is a tax?"
David Axelrod, Obama campaign: "Whatever you call it, Matt, whether you call it a mandate or a tax, what it is, is a penalty on the very few Americans who don't -- who can afford health care, don't pay for it, end up in our emergency rooms getting free care and then we all pay for it in the form of higher premiums."