Pelosi: Buy a $15,000 Policy or Go to Jail

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Posted: Nov 07, 2009 11:17 AM
A letter from the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) sheds some light on the consequences outlined in Pelosi's new health care proposal for those who choose NOT to comply with its new individual mandate--including up to a $250,000 fine and 5 years in jail:

Key excerpts from the JCT letter appear below (courtesy Ways & Means Ranking Member Dave Camp, R-MI):
“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]
                                                      
Criminal penalties
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.” [page 3]
Rep. Camp reports that according to the CBO, the "lowest cost family non-group plan under the Speaker's bill would cost $15,000 in 2016.