Thursday, April 29, 2010

Obamacare Jail

Different Stripes

Boned Jello

How silly can this get? The normally clear thinking Sen. Tom Coburn, you'll remember, went asshat a while back, sounding "like a' Kumbaya' minstrel in a Soho sub-station [Coburn bashes Fox, praises Pelosi].   Senator Tom charged specifically that FNC had falsely warned that Obamacare carried with it a threat of jail-time for the non-compliant.  He appeared on the O'Reilly show a few days later, whence the host made this statement.

"We researched to find out if anybody on Fox News had ever said you're going to jail if you don't buy health insurance. Nobody's ever said it." - Bill O'Reilly

One of those "media fact-checkers" (St. Petersburg Times) · , citing Media-Matters fer chrisake, decided to arbitrate, and came to this conclusion.  O'Reilly misspoke; Coburn was right.

So, it turns out that several Fox shows mentioned the possibility of jail. Some examples:

• Paul Gigot, Oct. 3, 2009: "If you don't pay up, the IRS could punish you with a $25,000 fine or a year in jail."

• Greg Mueller, a guest being interviewed by Sean Hannity, Nov. 10, 2009: "They're going to put all these people in jail."

• Andrew Napolitano, Nov. 10, 2009: "If you don't buy just what they say is right for you, the government may fine you, prosecute you, and even put you in jail."

• Glenn Beck, Nov. 12, 2009: "There has got to be some way to force everybody to have health care, right? It is jail."

Oh my.  But, guess what, besides who gives a rat's-ass?  Doesn't every law passed, at any level, ultimately carry with it a death penalty, forget jail time, if you don't comply?

 "But Rodge, you getting killed in a shoot-out with the police had nothing to do with not paying a parking ticket.  It was because  ... - oh."

 I'm not arguing that I have the right to ignores laws, just that jail is a penultimate consequence. Being a bit more realistic, go to a federal correctional facility and ask for a show of hands by those incarcerated for evading some tax, or EPA law, or possessing an eagle feather.    Obamacare funds the hiring of 16,000 IRS enforcers. 1+1 and Kumbaya, mofo.

UPDATE: After rereading this post I feel it needs some clarification.  Under Obamacare law, Americans who can afford health insurance but refuse to buy it will face a fine of up to $695 or 2.5% of their income, whichever is higher. As things stand, the IRS will in 2014 be charged with collecting the fines -  but will not have the power to seek jail time.  The agency's only tool is to to withhold refunds from taxpayers who decline to pay the penalty. So, just make sure you don't overpay withholding tax, something you should be doing anyway, and give them the finger.  That smoke-and- mirror amendment, BTW, was added at the last minute to counter the very charges made above, in 2009.    I'll argue that a law without any enforcement provision, is not law, and will be - must be - changed before 2014. 


Anonymous said...

The shotgun sings the song.


DougT said...

Once again, you racist, homophobic, Fox-watching, Tea Partiers have it all wrong. It's a "tax" not a fine: You know, one of those "taxes" that OKenya said he hasn't imposed.

The curious thing, of course, is this. As I understand it, the IRS will enforce the Taxfine by a deduction from your tax refund. How many of those 30 some-odd million people who either refused to purchase insurance or who can't afford insurance do you think even file tax returns, much less get refunds?

Anonymous said...


Bobby Ahr

tom said...


Bobby Ahr

... Why, yes. The ultimate penalty would be death. The thing next in line would be jail, and the third[some other -ultimate] would be a fine.
Howcome its OK to snork around in the IRS forms, to ask for 'license and registration' upon a supposed traffic violation, to ask for a copy of your drivers license when you show up at the Doc's office or rent a car or take a test drive, but a TOTAL invasion of privacy when asked if you have a green card? OT, maybe, but same boat...

Anonymous said...

Of course the feds want us all to be felons so that they will have a hammer to whack down any of us moles who dare to stick our heads up. One Nation Under Arrest.

But I think that this lack of an enforcement provision is intentional. As insurance gets more expensive due to federal mandates, more people and employers will stop carrying it. Healthy people will realize that it makes more sense to buy insurance only when faced with extra-ordinary medical expenses. The only ones who keep up coverage will be the chronically ill. This will further drive up costs and drive companies out of the market. The government will then step in and offer a public option to fix the crisis.

We will be left with a two tier system: private insurance for government workers, union members and the rich - God bless them - while the rest of us will be in failing public plans. Just like Cuba.

Mission Accomplished!


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