This kind of thing is so predictable that it’s a wonder that we haven’t seen more of these moments coming from the increasingly rare open town-hall forums this month. When legislators don’t bother to read bills before supporting them, they will obviously fail to know all the nuggets of disasters contained within them. The beauty of this clip is that the question that flummoxes Specter comes not from a Tea Party protester but from one of Specter’s putative allies from a union:
The key takeaway comes at the end:
“In a free society, if people absolutely insist on not being covered, that’s ultimately going to be their choice.”
Had Specter done his job, he would already know about Section 401 of the House version of ObamaCare. King Banaian read it over a week ago and highlighted this particular portion in order to make clear that the bill does indeed impose individual mandates and assigns penalties for non-compliance:
In General- Subchapter A of chapter 1 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new part:
Subpart a. tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.
‘Subpart A–Tax on Individuals Without Acceptable Health Care Coverage
‘Sec. 59B. Tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.
Sec. 59b. tax on individuals without acceptable health care coverage.
‘(a) Tax Imposed- In the case of any individual who does not meet the requirements of subsection (d) at any time during the taxable year, there is hereby imposed a tax equal to 2.5 percent of the excess of–
‘(1) the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year, over
‘(2) the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1) with respect to the taxpayer.
‘(1) TAX LIMITED TO AVERAGE PREMIUM-
‘(A) IN GENERAL- The tax imposed under subsection (a) with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed the applicable national average premium for such taxable year.
‘(B) APPLICABLE NATIONAL AVERAGE PREMIUM-
‘(i) IN GENERAL- For purposes of subparagraph (A), the ‘applicable national average premium’ means, with respect to any taxable year, the average premium (as determined by the Secretary, in coordination with the Health Choices Commissioner) for self-only coverage under a basic plan which is offered in a Health Insurance Exchange for the calendar year in which such taxable year begins.
‘(ii) FAILURE TO PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR MORE THAN ONE INDIVIDUAL- In the case of any taxpayer who fails to meet the requirements of subsection (e) with respect to more than one individual during the taxable year, clause (i) shall be applied by substituting ‘family coverage’ for ‘self-only coverage’.
2) PRORATION FOR PART YEAR FAILURES- The tax imposed under subsection (a) with respect to any taxpayer for any taxable year shall not exceed the amount which bears the same ratio to the amount of tax so imposed (determined without regard to this paragraph and after application of paragraph (1)) as–
‘(A) the aggregate periods during such taxable year for which such individual failed to meet the requirements of subsection (d), bears to
‘(B) the entire taxable year.
Why doesn’t Specter know about this part of ObamaCare? Shouldn’t he have educated himself on the particulars of the “reform” before attempting to defend it in town-hall meetings? More critically, would Specter commit to opposing a bill that explicitly rejects his stated standard? If not, why not?
Read the bill, Senator. Inform yourself rather than spread “disinformation,” or Linda Douglass may have to track you at the White House’s Snitch Central.