Maine Governor Paul LePage recently called the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) the “Gestapo” in reference to a criticism of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law and on Monday night he apologized for that comment.
In comparing the IRS to the Nazi secret police the Republican governor had said:
“You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.”
Immediately following that comment Democrats were quick to publicly condemn the remarks aimed at a U.S. agency as offensive.
In his apology posted on his website LePage said:
“Clearly, what has happened is that the use of the word Gestapo has clouded my message,” he said, saying the health care law “rations” care and could “negatively impact millions of Americans.”
“We no longer are a free people. With every step that Obamacare moves forward, our individual freedoms are being stripped away by the Federal Government. This should anger all Americans.”
His apology also came with a warning attached:
“Obamacare is forcing the American people to buy health insurance or else pay a tax.”
The governor made his Gestapo comment more than one week after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the healthcar requirement for an individual mandate, a decision seen as an election-year victory for President Obama.
In many states Republican lawmakers have refused to implement ObamaCare, choosing only to implement steps that are absolutely required by federal law at this time. In most cases those lawmakers hope to elect a Republican U.S. President who will overturn the program before it is fully implemented in 2014.