This story has not received enough play, and has been lost in the shuffle of Obama’s UN and G-20 appearances.
The Senate Joint Committee on Taxation is considering the tax aspects of proposed Democratic health care bills. Republican Senator John Ensign has revealed that the bill (in whatever form it takes) will include a provision making it a crime, punishable as a misdemeanor, to fail to either purchase “acceptable” health care coverage or to pay the tax for not having coverage.
At one level, the threat of imprisonment as an enforcement tool for the health care mandate is perfectly understandable. The tax on those who do not purchase acceptable health insurance is not a revenue device, it is a means of coercion. So if the tax is not sufficiently coercive, then jail is the next option.
As I have said before, get rid of the mandate. It is the tip of the iceberg of government intrusion into the most personal aspects of your life, with a jail cell waiting.