President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and even one of Mitt Romney’s campaign advisors have expressed the opinion that the mandate to participate in the national health care program, which is also referred to as Obamacare, is not a tax but a penalty. This is not correct.
The Congress levies a tax. The Congress does not levy a mandate. We, the taxpayers, can receive relief from paying the tax by participating in an activity that reduces or even eliminates the tax in our individual cases. In this case, Congress levied a tax on healthcare that we can avoid by buying health insurance. This is the way tax levies have been interpreted since The Constitution was written, and this is the interpretation of the Roberts Court.
So, to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Mr. Romney’s advisors, it's a tax.