Coverage Mandate Under Fire – WSJ.com

Posted by Jason | Posted in Government, Health Care | Posted on 18-11-2009

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An article in the Wall Street Journal discussing jail time if you don’t buy health insurance.

The notion of imprisonment has its origins in the bill’s requirement that most Americans must get health insurance, with the help of government subsidies if necessary, or pay a special income tax of up to 2.5%. If someone refuses to get insurance and refuses to pay the tax, that person would be guilty of tax evasion. Criminal penalties for willful tax evasion, which are pursued in rare cases, include a fine of as much as $250,000 and up to five years in prison for the most egregious cases, Republicans point out.

Rep. Peter Roskam (R., Ill.) said on the House floor that this means the health overhaul comes with handcuffs. “Now, I am not talking about figurative handcuffs,” he added. “If you don’t comply with the individual mandate, what happens to you? You can be subject to five years in prison and you can be subject to a quarter of a million dollars in fines.”

Supporters of the health overhaul say this is a distortion and prosecutors don’t pursue criminal penalties for tax evasion except in drastic cases. “It’s like saying you could be jailed for jaywalking,” said Rep. Robert Andrews (D., N.J.).

via Coverage Mandate Under Fire – WSJ.com.

So there you have it. Don’t worry about jail time. You can rely on the Government to only use it in “drastic cases”. Who decides what’s drastic? Also, just because you don’t get sent to jail doesn’t mean you are free? The IRS would inflict high penalties on you, and ultimately could confiscate your property and your bank account. Oh but don’t worry. You still live in a “free” country.

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