J Wright - 09/28/09
After reading a piece in Politico.com, not a radical right-wing web site by any measure, I'm convinced beyond any doubt that the present Obama administration and its fellow lawmakers in D.C. are totally out of their minds. The problem? If this version of Obamacare passes into law and you don't buy mandated health insurance you can be fined, or jailed.
Politico.com published: "Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.
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. He signed it "Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold."
The note was a follow-up to Ensign's questioning at the (Senate Finance Committee's) markup. This is the Committee that is headed by Senator Max Baucus of Montana. Originally he had a “gang of six:” himself, two other Democrat Senators plus three Republican Senators, holed up for several weeks attempting to hammer out what he referred to as a “bipartisan” health care reform package.
Apparently those Republicans, including a very liberal Olympia Snowe, concluded they were included only for “show”. When none of their suggestions were accepted by Baucus and the others, they walked. Now Senator Baucus is holding full committee hearings in an attempt to quickly mark up a questionable reform plan that up to now has had about 500 additional amendments added to it. The old adage about the definition of a camel comes to mind: a horse designed by a committee.
Yes, we need health care/treatment reform; but we don’t need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. And I totally question the constitutionality of mandating, or forcing citizens to buy anything.