Posted by: ST on September 25, 2009 at 6:42 pm
Back in July, I wrote about the news that under the Senate’s version of ObamaCare, Americans who – after all is said and done with this bill – fail to sign up for a so-called “affordable” healthcare plan could face fines over $1,000 from the federal government – fines the feds plan on using to help “pay” for this monstrosity of a bill.
Americans who fail to pay the penalty for not buying insurance would face legal action from the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
The remarks Thursday from the committee’s chief of staff, Thomas Barthold, seems to further weaken President Barack Obama’s contention last week that the individual mandate penalty, which could go as high as $1,900, is not a tax increase.
Under questioning from Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), Barthold said the IRS would “take you to court and undertake normal collection proceedings.”
Ensign pursued the line of questioning because he said a lot of Americans don’t believe the Constitution allows the government to mandate the purchase of insurance.
“We could be subjecting those very people who conscientiously, because they believe in the U.S. Constitution, we could be subjecting them to fines or the interpretation of a judge, all the way up to imprisonment,” Ensign said. “That seems to me to be a problem.”
Yeah – a big one.
To confirm the Joint Committee on Taxation issued a handwritten note to Ensign clarifying exactly what the failure to pay the fine could lead to:
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.
Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty, Barthold wrote on JCT letterhead. He signed it “Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold.”
What were the twin goals President Obama’s reform given in his speech to a joint session of Congress? Oh, yeah, he wanted there to be “competition” so the consumer had a “choice”. That’s become a Democratic talking point now.
But choice, apparently, doesn’t extend beyond the faux choice of the public option. If you choose not to buy insurance, your choice is then reduced to a fine or jail or perhaps, both.