Get Health Insurance—Or Else!

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Perhaps I should call the Lying Worthless Political Hack, a\k\a Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, the Artless Dodger.  It is clear that the penalties for willful non-compliance with the health insurance mandate under the version of ObamaCare passed by the House are severe and could involve up to five years in a federal pen.  Read all about it here in a letter from Thomas A. Barthold, Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, to Dave Camp (R-Mi), ranking Republican on the Committee. 

H.R. 3962 provides that an individual (or a husband and wife in the case of a joint return) who does not, at any time during the taxable year, maintain acceptable health insurance coverage for himself or herself and each of his or her qualifying children is subject to an additional tax.” [page 1]

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“If the government determines that the taxpayer’s unpaid tax liability results from willful behavior, the following penalties could apply…” [page 2]

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“Criminal penalties

Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses.  Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:

• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.

• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.” [page 3]

I rather suspect that a lot of Obama’s supporters last year hoped they would be getting a reprise of the New Deal.  Instead it appears they are getting the Raw Deal.

12 Responses to Get Health Insurance—Or Else!

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    Because what we really need in this country is new taxes. This will especially hit hard some of Obama’s youngest erst-while supporters, since many of the young, reasonably enough, play the odds and decide that they can spend their money better in areas other than health insurance. Now that choice is foreclosed thanks to the Messiah from the South Side, who knows how to spend your money better than you do.

  • Donna V. says:

    restrained radical: The bill will make something that is now a right (the right not to purchase health insurance) into a crime. And I don’t buy that the government is granting you some great boon when it gives you a tax break, i.e., actually lets you keep a bit more of the money you earned.

    For a time in my 20′s, I had bare-bones insurance. I would have been covered if I had been in an auto crash, but I paid for my routine check-ups out of pocket. As Donald points out, it’s a gamble, but one many young people choose. I would have been very resentful if the government had forced me to buy health insurance. Young Obama fans like my eldest nephew (who was under the naive supposition that Obamacare would be “free”) are about to find out what “change” really means in Obamaland.

  • “The bill will make something that is now a right (the right not to purchase health insurance) into a crime.”

    You say that as if it’s a bad thing.

    “I would have been very resentful if the government had forced me to buy health insurance.”

    Are you currently resentful for having to buy car insurance, social security, Medicare, or weapons for our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

  • Donna V. says:

    “You say that as if it’s a bad thing.”

    Well, yes, because I consider it to be a very bad thing.

    National defense is one of the legitimate roles of the Federal Government. Social security is an all-conceived Ponzi scheme that is going to run out of money once the boomers start collecting.

    I’m a conservative, and as such, do not confuse taxation with charitable giving, or find the nanny state appealing.

  • “National defense is one of the legitimate roles of the Federal Government.”

    So is health care.

    “I’m a conservative, and as such, do not confuse taxation with charitable giving, or find the nanny state appealing.”

    That doesn’t make you conservative. That makes you libertarian. You are libertarian, and as such, do not acknowledge that charitable donations did not provide health care for the needy and do not find solidarity appealing.

  • Donald R. McClarey says:

    restrainedradical, it is of the very essence of American conservatism to be appalled at the Welfare State. Far better for most of the poor to simply hand out money to them gratis rather than to have it doled out through the expensive, corrupt and ineffective system that we have today. Those who truly need to be wards of the State are a fraction of those currently living on the dole and subject to the ministrations of legions of government nannies.

  • Art Deco says:

    Social security is an all-conceived Ponzi scheme that is going to run out of money once the boomers start collecting.

    It is an income transfer program, not a defined-contribution or defined-benefit pension program. There are no investments; the collected taxes purchase Treasury debt. Congress needs to have the spigots adjusted properly (which they may or may not do), but that’s it.

    Far better for most of the poor to simply hand out money to them gratis rather than to have it doled out through the expensive, corrupt and ineffective system that we have today. Those who truly need to be wards of the State are a fraction of those currently living on the dole and subject to the ministrations of legions of government nannies.

    I think you are generally correct, that the state should restructure the tax code to remove the most impecunious people from it, provide an income floor for the elderly and disabled, and subsidize the earned income of a selection of the rest. The thing is, there are a selection of services which are not the economists’ ‘public goods’ which are intertwined with the regulatory and order-maintenance functions of the state (e.g. child protective services and foster care, asylum), or with the maintenance of civic life (primary and secondary schooling, the public defender’s office), or with providing a facility for working (primary and secondary schooling, mass transit). Also, expenditures on housing and groceries and fuel are fairly regular and predictable and vary according to desired amenity. Expenditures on medicine and surgery, on custodial care, and on temporary housing in the event of a natural disaster are not and require the formation of actuarial pools. In these last circumstances, the provision of the services themselves rather than cash might be preferable. (Though the insurance programs might be structured quite differently than Medicare is today or than the Democratic congressional caucus would approve).

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