New crime in HopeandChange Era? Failure to insure

Senator John Ensign (R-NV) wanted to get an answer on the implications of the individual mandate in the ObamaCare bill floated by Max Baucus (D-MT) during the markup session.  Ensign asked Thomas Barthold, chief of staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, what would happen if a taxpayer refused to buy health insurance and then refused to pay the subsequent fine, which could run to $1900 for an individual.  Barthold replied that one shouldn’t do the crime if one doesn’t want to do the time:

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. He signed it “Sincerely, Thomas A. Barthold.”

See the note for yourself here.  This should come as no surprise.  Thanks to Baucus, the IRS would enforce the individual mandate, and a failure to comply would impose the fine, which in Baucus’ own words is called an “excise tax.”  Those who refuse to pay their taxes will eventually go to prison for it, unless the person is someone like Tim Geithner, who then gets to run the agency that puts people in prison for failing to pay their taxes.

Great system they’re building in Washington, isn’t it?

Update: Somehow, I wrote “Sessions” when I meant “Ensign”.  Weird.  My apologies!

Update II: Second big question — will ACORN start providing advice on how to evade these taxes, too?

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