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The Penalty for Not Buying Insurance Under ObamaCare? Jail

John Ensign received the confirmation in writing. From the Politico:

This doesn't happen often enough.

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."

I would expect nothing less from a government run by a president who has won approval from Gadhafi and Chavez.

Now, the question is will the government actually enforce this penalty? What happens if millions of people refuse to buy health care? I don't see how they could prosecute all of them since our court systems can't handle the case loads they have now.

We already know if ObamaCare passes it will cost significantly more money than even the CBO is projecting, just as every government program always costs far more than originally projected. So when this $1 trillion health care program ends up costing the federal government about $5-10 trillion the feds will be so hard up for cash that they won't want to send those who refuse to buy health insurance to jail. Instead they will have to fine them heavily in order to bring in additional money.

Be sure to read the note from Barthold here.

Update: Ed Morrissey is also alarmed at how insidious this is:

This should come as no surprise. Thanks to Baucus, the IRS would enforce the individual mandate, and a failure to comply would impose the fine, which in Baucus' own words is called an "excise tax." Those who refuse to pay their taxes will eventually go to prison for it, unless the person is someone like Tim Geithner, who then gets to run the agency that puts people in prison for failing to pay their taxes.

Debtors' prisons for thee but not for me.


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Comments (39)

Where was your Sieg Heil at... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant DemocS:

Where was your Sieg Heil at the end of your post? You're surely going to make a list for this post.

Still An Unrepentant DemocS... (Below threshold)
Marc:

Still An Unrepentant DemocS - So then I guess you agree that people should go to jail for something that is unconstitutional to begin with.

Or, you're just an asshole with nothing better to do and nothing pertinent to say?

Neither Marc. But then sarc... (Below threshold)
Still An Unrepentant DemocS:

Neither Marc. But then sarcasm is way above your pay grade and intellect.

By the way, when did you become a constitutional lawyer?

About the same time you bec... (Below threshold)
Marc:

About the same time you became an asshole.

About the same time you bec... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

About the same time you became an asshole.

Hahahahahaha!!!

Now that there's funny SAUD, I don't care who you are!

This will end up going all ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

This will end up going all the way to SCOTUS IF it passes. Nancy can scream "commerce clause" all she wants, I don't think the court will buy it.

I enjoy reading liberals co... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I enjoy reading liberals commenters in regards to a very serious issue and subject and all they do it throw taunts and invective. They are the fools I imagine.

This bill will not pass but if it does by some chance, the republican lead congress can and will modify the bill to reflect grown up thoughts. ww

" I don't see how they c... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyapn:

" I don't see how they could prosecute all of them since our court systems can't handle the case loads they have now."

Don't ya get it? This isn't just about taking over healthcare- it's about creating jobs! Lawyer jobs. The most important ones in a leftist society--ya gotta make things look all legal and all.

I wouldn't be surprised if they passed legislation to offer scholarships and interest free loans (with racial quota's of course)for more kids to take up law like Barry, Michelle, Bill, Hillary, etc. did.

Which Lib put this in? Or m... (Below threshold)
JC Hammer:

Which Lib put this in? Or maybe which lobbyist put it in to make sure the insurance companies can keep ripping people off.

With unemployment as bad as it is, how is anyone without a job going to pay for this BS? And the taxpayers/voters keep reelecting these idiots from both parties back into office time after time.

Which Lib put this in?... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Which Lib put this in?

Same ones that want a 'public option'. You know "cheap government insurance".

Hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!

If this comes to pass, I'd ... (Below threshold)
CDR M:

If this comes to pass, I'd like to see them enforce this. They may as well declare war on the middle class. If they thought the tea parties/town hall meetings were violent, they ain't seen nothing yet when the IRS comes a calling with these "penalties".

Now, the question ... (Below threshold)
Now, the question is will the government actually enforce this penalty? What happens if millions of people refuse to buy health care? I don't see how they could prosecute all of them since our court systems can't handle the case loads they have now.

The bigger question is: Does this pass muster in the constitution? If the state of Oregon allows euthanasia, how is the federal government going to impose fines and jail to those who chose not to have medical care, or by extention insurance?

I think I would resist with... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

I think I would resist with all the means I possess. And I possess a few means. You cannot take away and armed mans freedom. You may kill him but you cannot take away his freedom.

At least it isnt a tax.... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

At least it isnt a tax.

They were probably worried ... (Below threshold)
Rich:

They were probably worried that someone would complain that they had put no teeth into it. Wouldn't want to have to rehash the whole illegal alien fiasco.

I'm just as mad about this ... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

I'm just as mad about this as anybody else, but armed rebellion and tax revolt are a little over the top. Not that I disagree with the sentiment.

In more practical terms, even if this monstrosity passes constitutional muster (an open question at this point), the Democrats will be committing political suicide. It's a pretty certain bet that they will lose control of Congress next fall.

Both of which are just fine with me.

Yeah, nothing like handing ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Yeah, nothing like handing Nancy a knife and saying "Go ahead, cut your throat, I'll stand here and watch."

"...but armed rebellion and... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...but armed rebellion and tax revolt are a little over the top."

I agree with one caveat. When a large enough segment of a population are pressed to the point they believe 'they have nothing else to lose', that group becomes very dangerous. One of the first symptoms will be when that large segment firmly believes that their elected representatives are no longer listening to them or working in their best interest.

Are we getting close?

GarandFan,Your lat... (Below threshold)
WadeHM:

GarandFan,

Your latest post would fit nicely in with the movie V where at the end the people got fed up and revolted. Indeed, I will be part of that revolt.

Yep - Health insurance, aut... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Yep - Health insurance, auto insurance, social security - these are mandatory (or would be, in the case of health insurance) and mandatory does mean mandatory.

Vic

Forgot unemployment insuran... (Below threshold)
Victory is Ours:

Forgot unemployment insurance - I believe we all have to pay unemployment insurance on our wages.

Just like that - no different. It's not "socialism" -- its the way government works.

And your property taxes too. You pay property taxes or your landlord pays property taxes out of your rent payments. And those payments mean the fire department will come put out a fire at your house.

Is that socialism? Of course not.

Nice being able to pick up the phone and have the police or fire department respond. Nice also to pick up a phone and make an appointment to see a doctor.

Mandatory payments all - it's the American way.

Vic

since i live only on social... (Below threshold)
al lyons:

since i live only on social security and have no other source of income, i guess if obama's health plan goes thru, i will have to drop my medicare part b , as i cann't afford any increase in premiums, i cann't even afford part d. i do not qualify for any type of assistance as i am not the right color. al

"auto insurance, social sec... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"auto insurance, social security"

Sorry to rain on your parade VIC. Auto insurance is not "Mandatory" unless:
1) you drive a car
2) on a public roadway

And even then, you're only required to have liability insurance. Quit believing EVERYTHING Barry says.

Social security - mandatory:
Last 30 years I worked, not ONE DIME went to social security, the money went to the state pension system. After 5 years, I vested. If I quit, I'd get my money back with interest. If I stayed and retired, I'd get a pension the rest of my life. Try those options with social security.

"And those payments mean the fire department will come put out a fire at your house."

Try that in Arizona, VIC, and you'll watch your house burn down. Most towns you buy as house, then you go to the local FD and pay a fee. Has nothing to do with your property tax.

See VIC, contrary to what you've been told,
"One size does not fill ALL."

Or am I "nitpicking"?

So, Democrats seem to want ... (Below threshold)
CDR M:

So, Democrats seem to want to enforce very strict and punishing tax laws to support health care on AMERICANS but want to look the other way in regard to illegal aliens, tax cheats in congress and the administration, ACORN, etc.

"...but want to look the ot... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"...but want to look the other way in regard to illegal aliens, tax cheats in congress and the administration, ACORN, etc."

They prefer to call it "nuance". The rest of us call it hypocrisy.

They have no intention of e... (Below threshold)
tyree:

They have no intention of enforcing this provision. They have not enforced our immigration laws and no intention of enforcing the provisions in the health care reform package that denies care to illegal aliens.
When President Obama says, "we are a nation of laws" he is once again speaking a half truth. This is one more attempt to create a "crisis" that will have to be handled by their big government.

Let's us just wait and see.... (Below threshold)

Let's us just wait and see.

News flash - if you are tic... (Below threshold)
Dave:

News flash - if you are ticketed for failing to have car insurance and refused to pay the fine, you can be arrested. It is called the rule of law. Sen Ensign should actually be checking into impeachment procedures and criminal conspiracy statutes.

I'm waiting for the constit... (Below threshold)
Fool:

I'm waiting for the constitutional challenge of the requirement to purchase insurance. I can't thing of any other product that American's are forced to buy.

I get the feeling that deba... (Below threshold)
Andy:

I get the feeling that debating with Vic would be kind of like debating with a 3rd grader. Well since "mandatory payments" are the American Way. How about mandatory fire insurancce payments. Or mandatory flood insurance payments. Mandatory payments for that breast enhancement. I mean we all want nice things to look at. So where does it end Vic? And don't give me that SS, HC, etc. are obviously essential and we'll leave it there. Because SS IS NOT essential. It is what is killing this country. But then maybe you'll pay that debt down all by yourself.

It gets even worse. Read a... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

It gets even worse. Read an article in the local rag this morning where one of the resident liberals proclaimed that "free" health care was AN ENTITLEMENT! Wow! No longer just "A RIGHT", it's now an ENTITLEMENT. And it's FREE.

How about a 'free' car? 'Free' house? 'Free' cellphone? Maybe a 'free' plasma TV? 'Free' food? 'Free' gas and electricity? 'Free' college education?

I noted that no where in the article was there any mention about who was going to PAY for the 'free' medical care. Libs don't worry about the details.

"Mandatory payments all - i... (Below threshold)
914:

"Mandatory payments all - it's the American way

VIC"

No, its the stahlinist way you fucking idiot!

"I'm waiting for the consti... (Below threshold)
914:

"I'm waiting for the constitutional challenge of the requirement to purchase insurance. I can't thing of any other product that American's are forced to buy."

I know You are probably being sarcastic. But..

We are forced to buy the Idiot in chiefs communist propaganda on a daily basis..

I used to live in a country... (Below threshold)
FBW:

I used to live in a country where health insurance was MANDATORY. This system was installed by a right wing dictator, certainly no leftie. AND it was the best system I ever lived under. A person had the choice of which carrier to use, and the fee was a 50/50 split with the employer. No deductibles and no doubts about the coverage. PLUS, the govt NEVER put it's hands on the money.
The country was Chile. Google it.

We are forced to buy the Id... (Below threshold)
Fool:

We are forced to buy the Idiot in chiefs communist propaganda on a daily basis..

We have had to buy ALL of the idiot-in-chief's (Democrat AND Republican)propaganda since I can remember (and that would be JFK). Obama isn't the first, and he won't be the last.

I fail to see how we can be forced to purchase something simply because we exist.

"PLUS, the govt NEVER put i... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

"PLUS, the govt NEVER put it's hands on the money."

Try that here.

IRS will have liens on ever... (Below threshold)
grasp:

IRS will have liens on everyone. If the illegal aliens are in violation of the law and not fined and very few jailed or thier illegal status enforced.Wouldn't it be against our civil rights to say we are illegal if we dont but health insurance seems to me there is a double standard in the law.Any thoughts?

Speaking of illegals, I'll ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Speaking of illegals, I'll bet NO ONE (at least on the left) saw this coming:

http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/sep/28/liberals-seek-health-care-access-for-illegals/

the comment about the Augus... (Below threshold)
G. J.:

the comment about the Augusto Pinochet plan in Chile is VERY pertinent to the discussion. lets see. Pinoche took over on 9/11 (sound familiar). Economists from the university of chicago (Obama) wrote his entire agenda. he was even visited directly by the radical right wing US economist milton freidman. These same guys who just trashed our economy through the Bush years.
Inflation in Chile reached 375% the highest rate in the world. 80,000 people were put in prison. 3,200 people disapeared.
Lets see, some other freidman policies enacted in Chile.
1) public schools were replaced by vouchers and charter schools.
2) social security was privitised.

The Bush administraton was basically freidmanomics.
Obama administration is just Bushes 3'rd term.
Anybody who thinks this huge half a trilion dollar giveaway to the insurance companies is "leftist" is deeply confused. Mandatory health care was a big right wing think tank thing. It's founded on nothing but using a fake crisis to take your money.




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