Just when you thought the news about health care reform couldn’t get any worse, it does.
Check out this appalling tidbit.
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance.
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.”
What? What?! A year in jail or a $25,000 fine? Are you kidding me? Is it a news article or a bad joke?
So, let me get this straight…instead of a scary old single-payer health care plan, Obama decided that we’d go with something a bit more bipartisan. He started this whole debate right from the beginning with a bad move, abandoning the one plan that would have been simple, covered everyone, and would finally have reigned in the insurance companies that have operated like vultures on the health and wallets of Americans. And maybe we won’t get a public option either. And then they want to make us buy insurance from the same crooks who got us into this mess and threaten us with fines if we don’t…and then they’re going to set the fines at $25,000?
Just how do they think people are going to come up with that money? If they can’t afford $13,000 a year for health insurance, how are they going to come up with $25,000?
They won’t, of course. People will go to jail instead. They better build a ton of jails. Oh, wait, didn’t they do that already?
I can’t believe it has come to this. I just can’t believe it. Our government has completely lost its collective mind. It’s especially telling that they would impose such a severe fine just for refusing to buy health insurance; I suppose a few grand here and there doesn’t sound like a lot of money to them. And don’t forget that your legislators have their medical all paid for by the government!
Now, of course, they’re trying to compare it to making people buy car insurance in order to drive legally, and telling us that it’s our responsibility to chip in for our health care.
First of all, I think making people buy car insurance is also a damn racket and would be better done by a single payer system run by the government. Why should our government force us to buy anything from anybody? Am I the only one who thinks this?
I still buy car insurance, though. I gripe about it but I get it. But car insurance is relatively affordable and there’s a lot more competition in the car insurance industry.
Health insurance is different. Some areas are dominated by only one or two health care insurance companies, and it’s buy it from them or do without. Prices for health care and health insurance have been rising uncontrollably for years while the quality of health care available to Americans has just gotten worse.
The other big difference between car insurance and health care insurance is that you can choose not to drive a car if you really don’t want to buy the insurance, but if every American is required to buy health insurance just for existing then there’s no legal way to opt out of it.
As for my responsibility, I have no problem with pitching in for a good health care system, maybe through a few negligible taxes. Why not? But this is like being shaken down and I resent it.
We’re already at the point that health insurance industries are bleeding people dry with insanely high premiums, and then if you actually need some medical care, they might decide not to pay for it, and you can either go without or find out afterwards that you’re going to be stuck with a bill that’s going to bankrupt you.
We should be setting up an intelligent, simple system like in England or Canada. When Hillary & Bill Clinton tried to do health care reform, at one point they talked about having a plastic card, like a credit card, that would be your card for your medical insurance, and everyone would have one. That sounded really good and simple to understand to me, and I suspect a lot of people would have approved of the plan if the insurance companies hadn’t screwed up the whole debate back then.
But noooooo, no simple easy solutions for us. Let’s not come up with an easy-to-understand plan that covers everyone. Let’s not haul off those insurance scam artists off in handcuffs, like we oughta be doing. Let’s come up with a plan that kills lots of people and takes everyone’s money away!
I mean, you’re going to make everyone pay money to those con artists pretending to provide health insurance? They’ve already proven themselves to be completely indifferent to the suffering of the people they “insure”, and I see nothing to indicate that it’s going to get any better.
In Massachusetts, they’ve set up a system where they make everyone buy into the system. They still have 200,000 people uninsured there, and Massachusetts has the highest health insurance premiums in the nation.
Hell, why don’t we just line up everyone in America and take all their money and property right now?
I know this will sound rather weird, but I think if we passed a single-payer system, it sounds all “socialist” and stuff but I think it would be better for everyone’s wealth and especially for businesses. (How profitable would American businesses be if they didn’t have to provide health insurance for their employees?)
If we go with this “capitalist” plan, we’re going to end up like a totalitarian Communist regime where the state owns everything and most people have no personal wealth of their own, except in America it’ll all belong to the richest fraction of people, who own the state.
I know in Obama’s address to the nation he mentioned putting some rules on the insurance companies, like making them cover people regardless of pre-existing conditions, and stuff like that; but after hearing Obama advocating single-payer as a candidate and then abandoning it as president, and being for making people buy insurance when he was against it as a candidate, I’m just not going to be too surprised at anything that goes on in this debate anymore. Who knows what they’ll decide to change about it next week.
Of course, I know this stuff hasn’t passed yet, and it’s all still in the talking stages. But this is looking grim. Really grim. I never thought it would come to the point where our government openly considers taking everyone’s money away. It sounds crazy to even say it out loud or write it down. But how else is this liable to end up?
Ya know, this is why people don’t trust the government to do stuff right. Give them a simple assignment (“cover everyone’s health care”) and they’ll screw around with it till they can find a way to enrich the already rich and screw everyone else. And yeah, I know how hypocritical it sounds to advocate for single payer in one paragraph and gripe about how the government messes things up in another. Unfortunately, it doesn’t follow that private enterprise does things any better. I think the problem with our government is that they’re in the pocket of all the capitalists with money, and the people no longer have the political clout we used to have.
How much worse can this get? Do I even want to know the answer?