New DNC chief needs refresher on Obama health care program
President Barack Obama on Tuesday tapped Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz to succeed former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine atop the Democratic National Committee after its members gather later this month.
The Florida firebrand was an obvious choice for Obama, who faces a contentious re-election bid next year and counts Wasserman Schultz among his fiercest defenders. But the president’s new attack dog’s talking points don’t always jibe with reality.
One year to the day before named as Obama’s choice to steer the national party, Wasserman Schultz insisted at a town hall in her south Florida Congressional district the president’s health care reforms included no mandate for individuals to purchase health insurance.
“You can feel free to choose not to carry health insurance, that’s just going to be reflected in the tax category that you’re in on your tax return,” Wasserman Shultz said. “There is no requirement in this law that you must carry health insurance.”
But bill for which Rep. Wasserman Schultz voted includes language mandating individuals certify annually to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) acceptable health coverage beginning in 2013.
“An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2012 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month,” the law reads.
Those who maintain an unacceptable level of coverage, or none at all, will have a tax penalty levied annually.