"Tyranny: What kind of country would imprison citizens who felt it was in their best interest not to purchase health care insurance? We may soon find out.
Sen. John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, got an interesting handwritten note last week from the chief of staff of Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation. Tom Barthold told Ensign that an American who did not buy health care insurance or pay the fee — up to $1,900 — that is required from those who opt out would find themselves in deep trouble with the government.
"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," Politico reported. Ensign was initially asking questions about the penalty that would be assessed anyone who did not buy medical insurance as mandated if the Baucus bill becomes law. He wanted to know if the fine — originally $3,800 for a family but dropped to $1,900 after sharp GOP criticism — was a tax hike. Barthold told Ensign the IRS would indeed "take you to court and undertake normal collection proceedings" if the fee wasn't paid.
Tax hikes for failing to buy insurance? Sent to a federal prison for disobeying the government's orders to have health care? If you conservative bloggers don't want health insurance, you will be taxed for it anyway. If you fail to pay the tax, you'll go to prison.