Reform Unraveling

Investor’s Business Daily
September 28, 2009

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?

Don’t think that it could never happen here, because law-abiding citizens who have harmed no one are already being arrested for doing nothing more than living their lives.

Consider the Indiana grandmother arrested in July, four months after buying two boxes of cold medicine in less than a week. She ran afoul of a state law that prohibits the purchase of more than three grams of pseudoephedrine by one person in a seven-day period.

Reports say Sally Harpold was simply buying Zyrtec-D and Mucinex-D for her husband and daughter, not to make or help anyone else make methamphetamine, an activity policymakers were trying to shut down when they passed the law. Yet she was arrested, handcuffed and booked anyway.

If a grandmother trying to take care of her family is treated this way, imagine how citizens who refuse to participate in a government takeover of health care would be dealt with.

With such stories being uncovered on a regular basis, no wonder public support for a health care overhaul has hit a new low. Rasmussen now has 41% in favor vs. 43% just a week ago.

Stories about locking up people who don’t wish to be forced into the system, and reports that, yes, the Democrats do want subsidized health care for illegal aliens aren’t exactly rallying Americans behind the congressional majority’s idea of reform.

The article continues here.

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