First it was a penalty. Then it was a tax. Now it’s a penalty again.

The war of words over what to call the fine attached to the federal health care overhaul’s most controversial provision continued Friday, as the White House took issue with the Supreme Court’s argument — even though that argument alone spared President Obama’s law.

The five-justice majority argued that, while the fine imposed by the law for not buying health insurance would otherwise be unconstitutional, the fine is actually legal under Congress’ authority to tax.

Ergo, the fine is officially a “tax” in the eyes of the court. The law stands.

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