White House says health care debate is over: Fee for uninsured is a penalty, not a tax

The White House insisted Sunday the consequence for Americans not having health insurance is a penalty fee, despite the Supreme Court ruling that it is a tax, and said the debate on the Affordable Care Act should finally end.

White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew said on "Fox News Sunday" that “when the Supreme Court rules” the country “has a final decision” and that the presidential campaigns should focus on the economy and jobs.

“What we need to do is go forward with the implementation” of the law, Lew said.

He also argued the health care law will not result in a tax increase on the middle class, despite a Congressional Budget Office report that it would result in a roughly $27 million increase over the next 10 years.

Lew's remarks were met with strong opposition from GOP congressional leaders.

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    “He’s doing the best he can with a tough situation,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “It’s a middle-class tax increase.”

    McConnell also said the debate will continue and that the final say will perhaps come in the fall.

    “We have one last chance to defeat ObamaCare,” he said on "Fox News Sunday." “And we can do that in the November elections.”