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article imageHouse health bill would impose jail terms for non-compliance

By Michael Krebs     Nov 7, 2009 in Politics
Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp raised concerns on the health care bill's ability to impose civil and criminal penalties on Americans who do not comply with the mandate on taking up insurance coverage.
If you willfully do not comply with the health insurance mandates set forth in the House health care bill, you could face steep fines and imprisonment sentences of as much as 5 years. The civil and criminal penalties in the House bill have caught the attention of Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp.
In a letter released from the Joint Committee on Taxation, two scenarios were determined that could lead to imprisonment: "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.”
The letter was in response to a request from Congressman Camp over the penalties that would be imposed should an individual fail to comply with the health care mandate.
“This is the ultimate example of the Democrats’ command-and-control style of governing – buy what we tell you or go to jail. It is outrageous and it should be stopped immediately,” Camp stated in a press release.
The House bill has been facing significant delays, as the Democratic leadership have been struggling to obtain enough votes to move it through.
"There are many people who are still looking to get a comfort level that this is the right thing to do," House Democratic leader Steny Hoyer told Reuters on Friday. "We're trying to answer any concerns they might have."
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