Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baucus: Buy Your Health Insurance Or Go To Jail

It cracks me up every time I hear about Republicans spreading "false information" over Obama's healthcare proposals. Well here is one that isn't coming from the Republicans and it ought to be enough to scare anyone. Today ABCnews is reporting that when questioned about Max Baucus's bill and the provision for a $1,900.00 penalty for persons who do not buy health insurance the reply was jail time could be involved.

The latest spark is a letter that Thomas Barthold, the chief of staff to the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation, sent Thursday to Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev.

Given that the health-care bill written by Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus contains a $1,900 fee (or excise tax) for not buying health insurance, Ensign wanted to know what would happen if an American didn't pay the penalty.

In a handwritten letter, Barthold told Ensign that under an existing provision of the Internal Revenue Code, willful failure to pay a fine can result in being charged with a misdemeanor which could carry a penalty of up to $25,000, or up to a year in jail, or both. The handwritten letter was a follow-up to an answer that Barthold gave Ensign during Thursday's mark-up of the Baucus bill.

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