New Healthcare Bill: Buy Insurance or Go To Jail

by | Nov 6, 2009 | Headline News | 22 comments

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    For those who wondered why House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi refused full public disclosure of the new health care bill H.R. 3962 prior to a scheduled vote this weekend, we may have an answer.

    PELOSI: Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail:

    Today, Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp (R-MI) released a letter from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) confirming that the failure to comply with the individual mandate to buy health insurance contained in the Pelosi health care bill (H.R. 3962, as amended) could land people in jail.  The JCT letter  makes clear that Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $250,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.

    In response to the JCT letter, Camp said:  “This is the ultimate example of the Democrats’ command-and-control style of governing – buy what we tell you or go to jail.  It is outrageous and it should be stopped immediately.”

    Key excerpts from the JCT letter appear below:

    “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]

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

    – – – – – – – – – –
    “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]

    When confronted with this same issue during its consideration of a similar individual mandate tax, the Senate Finance Committee worked on a bipartisan basis to include language in its bill that shielded Americans from civil and criminal penalties.  The Pelosi bill, however, contains no similar language protecting American citizens from civil and criminal tax penalties that could include a $250,000 fine and five years in jail.

    “The Senate Finance Committee had the good sense to eliminate the extreme penalty of incarceration.  Speaker Pelosi’s decision to leave in the jail time provision is a threat to every family who cannot afford the $15,000 premium her plan creates.  Fortunately, Republicans have an alternative that will lower health insurance costs without raising taxes or cutting Medicare,” said Camp.

    According to the Congressional Budget Office the lowest cost family non-group plan under the Speaker’s bill would cost $15,000 in 2016.

    I thought this was supposed to be free health care? Oh, wait, that’s just for people who need it but can’t afford it. If, however, the government deems you have the ability to pay and you don’t, you go to prison. Where have I seen that before [?]

    This should do wonders for struggling middle class American families. What’s another $1250 per month on top of rising energy costs, falling wages, evaporating retirement accounts and increased tax burdens? What will little Johnny Q. Public think about all of this when his daddy is hauled off to the big house because he couldn’t afford to buy health insurance?

    Read the Complete JCT Letter Here…

    Read the estimated health insurance cost from the Congressional Budget Office Here…

    News Source: Committee On Ways & Means Republicans


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      1. Nice.

        A+, DC.  No, really…good job.

        This is going to end really, really well.

        If I haven’t said it here before, I’ll say it now:

        My litmus test for California is whether or not Pelosi gets re-elected this next time around.

        If she does, moving back to Arizona was the best decision I’ve ever made, as California is, without a doubt, utterly doomed (thought it might be anyway)…

        …as is the rest of the country perhaps.

        …but at least I’ll have my Kalifornia-banned assault rifles.

      2. On second thought, you really can’t blame Pelosi or any other reps for stuff like this…

        I mean, come on…the thing is nearly 2000 pages long…

        What do you expect?  For them to actually read it?  To know exactly what it is they are voting on?

        That would be downright silly.

      3. if none of those clowns in Congress wrote it, then i wonder who did? And why would they put a criminal provision into it?

        It’s funny (not really) that these people are actually going to vote on a bill that transfers roughly 15% of the nations economy into the hands of the government, and none of them have actually read it.

        Is that weird to anyone else, or  am i just overreacting about this?

      4. No, you’re dead on.  It’s absolute insanity.

        …and it’s not like it’s the first time this has happened.  Heck, it’s not the first time it’s happened THIS year.

        None of them read the stimulus bill…nor did they read the cap and trade fiasco.

        On top of that, Rassmusen’s latest polls indicate that only 42% of the population supports Pelosi’s bill…and 83% WANT the “proof of citizenship” provision in the bill (which I’m willing to bet will NOT end up in the bill when all is said and done).

        …and those dingbats probably don’t understand why Congress’ approval rating is like 24%.

        That is why I will now repeat my prediction:

        Before this is all said and done, at least one state will try to secede…maybe not tomorrow…perhaps sometime during this next decade.

        …when we are still hurting from this mess…and that is me being optimistic.

      5. Man, that secession thing is going to be crazy! If one state tries it, others will surely follow, if for no other reason than to fire up the ‘right’.

        Question: How in the heck can 42% of people support this health care bill if they haven’t even read it?! WTF! Madness!

        Karl Denninger had a pretty good idea about the proof of citizenship portion. Basically, you give non-citizens the care they need right away, but if that individual does not make payment to the care provider, the US government gets the bill. Subsequently, the US deducts that amount of money from any foreign aid sent to the country of origin.

        Sounds like a plan if we continue to provide foreign aid. In fact, they could implement this right here, right now, without a need for the full-out health care bill and it would likely save billions! But, personally, I say we get rid of foreign aid all together. Hey, Congress, we’re broke! How the heck are we able to provide aid to other countries when we have $100 Trillion in liabilities on the books for the next 25 years?!

      6. Let’s all go to jail and everything is covered.  Free healthcare.  Free meals.  Bed to sleep in.  Restrooms.  Housekeeping.  Gym.  Education.  Cable.  Playtime outside.  What more could we ask for?

      7. Soon everyone will be guilty of some (victimless) crime or other-then the newly built Gulags will be full of the required amount  of  human sacrifice-needed in order to receive more destructive-technology and weaponry from Satanic forces-where do you think it comes from-human beings are not very smart. How did Stalin take russia from the stone age to space age in 70 years-he killed 70 million Christians. Very soon not one christian or moslem will be left alive-and they will have technology & weapons to force the rest to become robot slaves. Satan wins!

      8. they are freakin nuts. good luck with what’s left of the country, i am out of here…

      9. The worst provision in this bill is that all small business checking accounts will be able to be accessed by the govt bureaucrats who have never met a payroll. They do not understand the seasonality of some businesses. They don’t understand the difference between gross sales and net profit. I can see all my wholesale customers who won’t be able to pay me because the govt cleaned out their accounts. I won’t be able to make payroll or to pay my suppliers either. The reason small business drives the real economy is that it was free of govt interference. Do you think the govt will show wisdom and restraint with this new found power and unlimited resource? Our govt is currently raiding the contents of our parents safety deposit boxes and selling family heirlooms for pennies on the dollar. Its one of their main sources of income now. Now, I believe this country is going to starve to death, remember Hurricane Katrina, that was and still is, govt bureaucracy at its best. We’re doomed.

      10. I agree with Ariel.  This is the ultimate public option.  Once people realize that they already pay taxes to provide health care to felons, the wisdom of universal coverage should become clear.  One really should not have to commit a crime to get access to care – if universal health care is criminal, only criminals will get universal health care.

      11. Of course our elected leaders have not read the Healthcare bill– they didn’t write it– the insurance industry did.  After all, what better way to ensure a steady growth in the size of your customer base if your product or service is congressionally mandated, with severe penalties for those radical few who refuse to ‘cooperate’ for the good of the community?  Heck, it worked for auto insurance and registration, didn’t it?  Ditto ‘voluntary’ income taxes, military registration, and forced re-deployment.  Apparently, the sooner we all realize the government and corporations own us and our productive output, the better.

      12. Yes, this is Absolutely Friggin’ Insanity.  Except from their viewpoint – millionaire congresscritters are heavily invested in BigPharma & insurance stocks – they stand to make a killing off the poverty of their constituents.  But can this work?  Unemployment is estimated at 17.5%.  And more and more of the employed are temp or low-paid workers.  The lowest individual plan is $5300 – they claim individuals pay 2.5% of income – for me, it’s actually 25%; and I have what I consider a good job. Which I will lose as this also will force my employer (public defender) to pay for my insurance, which she cannot do as she works on a thin margin.
        We won’t have enough prison space to house all who can’t afford this atrocity (over 5 million people – and that’s just the 17.5% unemployed).
        Congresscritters have NO concept of life in the US.  And to say we will vote them out is silly – think Cindy Sheehan’s valiant attempt to overthrow pelosi – she didn’t have a chance. 

      13. If there is one thing this government is good at, tquigly, it’s finding a way to house all of the criminals. Over cramped conditions will mean nothing. This I am sure of: They WILL find a way to house ‘criminals’ whether or not they engaged in victimless crimes, as jenchen pointed out.

        Miguel, you make such a good point about small businesses. Some clown in DC is going to decide how much to take out of your payroll account and when to do it. They could care less if doing so will put you out of business because you can’t pay your employees, suppliers or landlord.

        H5, I think more and more people are realizing that we are, in fact, owned by the State. WE THE PEOPLE ARE THE COLLATERAL for the trillions in loans we have taken from foreign governments.

      14. You present this as being a communist clause to the legislation.

        It is a CORPORATIST clause, for it supports the merger of corporate and state powers. The state, once again as with the other bailouts, socializes the losses; however the profits go to the for profit corporations from whom I WILL BE FORCED by state power to buy a product I do not wish to purchase.

        “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism for it is the merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini

      15. What you have left after food, fuel and rent will be your premium.
        This country requires it’s slaves to be healthy.

      16. “Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” – what Exactly does this very vague “acceptable” mean? Whatever they want it to mean …

        “the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income)”
        “Generally”???  2.5% of income (to reach the $5300 figure) = an annual income of over $200,000.  Who came up with this as a basis for this tax?  Congresscritters must have averaged in their exhorbitant salaries along with salaries and bonuses of WallStreet banksters and megacorporation CEOs.  $200,000 is approximately 10 times more than the income of someone making $10/hour, which these days is pretty ‘average’.

      17. THEBES QUOTE: ‘You present this as being a communist clause to the legislation.

        Thebes, I agree with the end result being a fascist merger of corporations and government.

        But it is clear that the communist theories of Marx/Engels are a driving force here, as well. President Obama’s father was an out and out hard-core commie. So it is no surprise that he comes from this school of thought.

        For many years I thought there were specific differences between commies and fascists, but nowadays, it looks to me that they are one in the same.

        America, is becoming a hybrid of both of these systems, at least that’s what it looks like to me.

        You’ve got the commies on one side wanting everything to be run by the government. You’ve got the greedy corporate fascists on the other side wanting to maintain control through corporate interests. What a perfect marriage.

      18. Today’s professional health care, thanks to research and technology (which costs money) is potentially excellent. If we want our neighbors and fellow countrymen to have access to this care somebody is going to have to pay for it. This is just plain common sense. We must insist, by force if necessary, that 
        talents and resources be distributed from each with ability or ability to pay to each of our countrymen according to their needs, particularly to those already ill. To enforce this must be a State function as it represents us all collectively. To brand this with propaganda as an “ism” does not detract from it humane objective. If many cannot afford to pay, then many will suffer fines and imprisonment, if necessary on behalf of the common good.  Sacrifice is good. Give up your foolish notions of individualism, free will, and liberty. The good of the Nation, our Fatherland, is paramount. The good of humanity, the social commune is paramount. Fascism and Communism, as that misguided soul, Ayn Rand, pointed out as two sides of the same coin called Collectivism. The future is here. Face it or confront the authorities. You are too weak, too foolish to do anything about it, aren’t you? 

      19. Wheh, that was close my unemployment benefits just ran out and I need a room and food. Did you know your allowed a single bed room and a T.V. with a screen of up to 72 inches in Federal prison? They are required to give us access to cable if you pay for it to! Thank You Pelosi for giving me free room and board.

      20. Behhhhhh behhhhh! You folks really believe this crap?

      21. Well,  if you do go to jail then at least you’ll have health-care since prisoners are the only US citizens who are guaranteed it.

        Funny how scum of society get something that lots of hard working americans can’t afford.

      22. I wish I could read it! They have gone out of their way to keep it from being available to average Americans! I went to his little website and found what I expected… a whole lot of double talk and a “simplified” version. What is that about? I don’t want to see some ignorant politicians “interperetaion” of the bill, I want to read it for myself! What are they afraid of? If it’s so fabulous why can’t I type “healthcare bill” into my search engine and find a copy of it in the first three pages of matches? Why would’nt they put it up on their website as is, no simplifications or interperetaions, bare bones? Seems like they are trying to pull a fast one on us! Lennin, Stalin, and Hitler are laughing at us! and those boys and girls we left in the ground in Europe, Asia, and the middle east are spinning in their graves! Welcome to the Peoples Republic of America! Where if you don’t agree with the government, you are jailed! Soon jail time won’t be good enough and they will progress to executions!


      1. Catastrophic Consequences for Our Nation are 100% Guaranteed - [...] are seeing it already in mandatory health care, violations of which are punishable by prison sentences. We see it…

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