In the ongoing debate over whether the Affordable Care Act’s mandate is a tax or a penalty, President Obama tried a different approach — calling it a “principle.”

“It’s less a tax or a penalty than it is a principle — which is you can’t be a freeloader on other folks when it comes to your health care, if you can afford it,” Obama said in an interview with Toledo’s WTOL.

The White House has struggled with how to respond to charges that the Affordable Care Act — deemed constitutional by the Supreme Court last month under Congress’ taxation power — raises taxes.