Pelosi’s Obamacare: Pay up or pay fines, jail time

In a stunning example of the level of arrogance and disregard for personal liberty coming out of Washington today, more of the facts on Nancy Pelosi’s version of Obamacare are coming to light and they aren’t pretty. Furthermore, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that the lowest cost family non-group plan under Pelosi’s “affordable health care” will cost $15,000 in 2016.

First and foremost, this legislation contains an mandate that you maintain a “level of acceptable health insurance” all year or face fines and possible jail time for continued non-compliance.

The Republican members of the House Committee on Ways & Means highlighted this actual text from the legislation Nancy Pelosi is trying to cram down everyone’s throats by today:

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.”

Excerpts from the JCT letter explaining the madness:

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]

Here are the criminal penalties as outline in Pelosi’s Obamacare legislation:

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.”

Apparently some members of the Senate Finance Committee worked to remove the criminal prosecution from any Senate versions of this bill. Speaker Pelosi did not take the same consideration:

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.

It is stunning to me that Democrats are hell bent on passing this piece of trash and impugning it on the American people, those who they’re supposed to represent. Congress will not be subject to the same health care plan nor these same qualifications, they have a fantastic array of private health insurance plans to choose from. It is only the citizens of this country they’re going to force onto a government-run health insurance plan as they see fit, be it by fines, taxes or criminal prosecution.

I pray this does not pass and from many signs, the Democrats are having a civil war within their own party since some moderate Democrats are slightly concerned over this health control taxation bill and their chances for re-election. Pelosi cannot get members of her own party, in a majority in the House, to sign on and vote for this wretched legislation.

The GOP put together an excellent side-by-side comparison of the Pelosi Obamacare plan and the Republican plan, you can get it here as a PDF. Also see this.

In other news, President Obama’s wasteful $700 billion stimulus plan has now given us 10.2% unemployment, the highest in 26 years. I’m sure President Obama will defend his economic incompetence by blaming the previous administration.