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  • Video: Pelosi Says Jail "Very Fair" Punishment For Not Buying Health Insurance

    According to the non-partisan Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), the House health care bill passed last Friday empowers the federal government to imprison people for up to five years if they willfully refuse to buy federally regulated and approved health insurance.

    Shomari Stone of Komo 4 News in Seattle pressed the Speaker on this point yesterday. Watch:


    UPDATE: This video has since been marked “private” by an unknown party. We are trying to track down a public version.
    UPDATE: It’s back up!
    President Barack Obama recently told ABC News’ Jake Tapper that he shares Pelosi’s belief that jail time is an appropriate punishment for not buying health insurance. Obama did not always believe this. Debating Hillary Clinton in 2008, Obama said:

    And I think that it is important for us to recognize that if, in fact, you are going to mandate the purchase of insurance and it’s not affordable, then there’s going to have to be some enforcement mechanism that the government uses. And they may charge people who already don’t have health care fines, or have to take it out of their paychecks. And that, I don’t think, is helping those without health insurance.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    84 Responses to Video: Pelosi Says Jail "Very Fair" Punishment For Not Buying Health Insurance

    1. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      After watching the video, I'd like to tell Ms. Pelosi "Your discussing matter's well beyond your level of governance. Health care entitlement and welfare provisions belong with individual states and local governments." Leftist view health care as a public service, much like having police coverage. Well if that's the case, nationalize all police agencies. And while your at it, throw in unlimited powers to make arrests. "You're a d—– genesis Ms.Peolsi." NOT!

    2. Victoria Talbot, Los says:

      That makes me a common criminal! I pay as I go for my health care, and now, that is an offense punishable by jail time! Wow. IS THAT MESSED UP OR WHAT???

      • Charles T says:

        The progress of tyranny in any society is toward the laughably absurd but still possible situation where everything that is not mandatory is forbidden, and everything that is not forbidden is mandatory. The passage of Obamacare is a great day for tyrants!

    3. Mary Calif says:

      You lie Pelosi, When you go to the emergency room your bill dose not go out for everyone else to pay. I injured myself and went to the emergency room w/out insurance and paid my own bill with a payment plan till paid in full. I was asked if I wanted to fill out papers for assistance to help pay my bill but was denied because I owned a car. The only health care we pay for is the illegals that are here in this country. Wakeup America, they are going to send you to jail for not having health insurance.

    4. Bill Sr. Jacksonvill says:

      Where would a liberal policy like this stop?

      If you don't buy car insurance and you have an accident you go to jail?

      And carried a little farther and ask:

      If your're out of work and refuse to get a job, say even with one offered to you by big brother government, you should be sent to jail, right?

      Then the question becomes, didn't Hitler and Stalin use this same reasoning?

    5. Jamie, Arizona says:

      This is insane. I would love to have insurance. Unfortunately it's not provided by my husband's employer (a very small company) and it costs more than we can afford. Yet his income is too high for us to qualify for any kind of assistance. Maybe if we didn't waste our money on frivolous things like food and electricity to cook that food we could buy insurance. What are these people thinking?

    6. Anon, USA says:

      Assuming that one who uses an ER isn't going to be able to pay, or simply won't pay, is fallicious. I too had an emergency in May, called a friend who is a doc, he suggested a trip to the ER and when I arrived, I was evaluated, tested, poked and prodded and released. My bill arrived, $900, which I promptly paid. No biggie. If I didn't have the $900, I would have simply called and established a payment plan and paid my bill, on the agreed to terms, without any problem. When you take the risk to not insure, you know your risk exists and make arragements to pay, just as you do when you buy a car and can't afford to pay up front, or buy a house and can't pay up front the total. What is wrong with this country that we now assume anyone without insurance isn't able to or won't pay?

    7. Scott, Dallas TX says:

      This IS insane. Jamie, Arizona truly the only reason any of this is happening is because everyone that is making these decisions are pampered and have plenty of money. Plus not to mention have all of this covered by the government. They just don't care about anyone but themselves.

    8. Edward from AZ says:

      Not everyone at the ER does pay as some of the previous posters have stated. When a bill is not paid it is ultimately passed along through the system and we all end up paying.

      Also, unless you have read and understand the bill you can not pass judgement. The bill calls for tax credits to offset some of the cost of the coverage and also fines and jail time is based on your income levels. Therefore the low income and even some middle class income people will not be faced with fines or jail time.

      Educate yourselves before you make unfounded accusations.

      Thank you.

    9. rachael Pa says:

      Edward from AZ- that doesn't make sense… "jail time is based on your income levels. Therefore the low income and even some middle class income people will not be faced with fines or jail time."

      So then only the rich people who don't have nationalized health insurance (who by the way could pay for themselves if they needed to visit the hospital) would be penalized? Isn't this essentially a tax then? and they will jail anyone who doesn't pay… yup i think they just started taxing the rich on everyones healthcare… essentially that is what it boils down to.

    10. Glenn, Wisconsin says:

      Its going to get real crowded in those alredy full jails. I'm not paying!

    11. Big Daddy Matty, Los says:

      "[U]nless you have read and understand the bill you can not pass judgement."

      The irony's getting pretty thick in here.

    12. Greg, Dallas says:

      Edward, I don't need to 'educate myself' to know that the federal government requiring the purchase of any product on pain of jail time is profoundly unconstitutional, no matter how few people it affects.

      The comparison argument that "well, we have to buy car insurance and that's not unconstitutional" is just plain stupid. No one is forced to buy car and drive it. If you buy one, you have to insure it – that makes perfect sense. But requiring people to buy insurance just because they exist is offensive. Our government is saying "if you breathe, you have to buy insurance or we'll put you in jail." There are absolutely no constitutional grounds for such a breach of our liberties.

    13. Bobbie Jay says:

      Couldn't bring myself to watch.


    14. J.C. Hughes, Texas says:

      Edward in AZ. You're darned right I'll pass judgment. Who the heck cares about reading the federal's misguided healthcare bill. This legislation is totally in the wrong hands. Such social reform is the purview of the individual states. I don't know your age or background, but you'd better grow up quick. Sounds like you need some early government history and economic lessons yourself. You sound like some starry eyed liberal zombie caught up in the far left's propaganda blogoshpere. Do yourself a big favor, don't fall for the political elitists' con job spewing out of the Beltway.

    15. Frances from MS says:

      The public version is now on YouTube:

    16. Dave, Dallas Georgia says:

      Speaker Pelosi is the worst excuse for a Speaker that this country has ever had to endure. She is the most ignorant liberal I have ever seen to be so, supposedly, well educated. Everything she and her other liberal cronies are trying to make us believe is worthless, or about as worthless as the money being printed. I want you to try and put me in jail for not having health insurance. Somebody's liable to get shot. Probably me, but I will not go alone. I want our "REPUBLIC" back!!!

    17. tommyboy62 says:

      Gee, I wonder where all the supporters of Princess Pelosi are tonight???

    18. T.H. Boston Ma. says:

      A true communist psycho!!! This loony needs to go…along with all other incumbents….vote em' out 2010 and 2012!!! Our future depends on it! They have failed us too many times!!!

    19. Steve, San Francisco says:

      So, you think you live in a free country, do ya? Whatever gave you that silly idea?

    20. Pingback: Video: Pelosi Says Jail “Very Fair” Punishment For Not Buying Health Insurance | Conservative Principles Now

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    22. Kevin, TN says:

      Some have commented that there was no problem with paying the ER bills because they made a payment plan. Well that is because you are responsible people. I speak from 14 years of experience from working in health care when I say there are many that don’t work by choice; they mooch off of handouts and think we owe them something, American and immigrant alike. Where I live most of them are frequent flyers in our health care system and never take responsibility and do not pay. That is not the main reason I chose to comment, the real reason was to say there is a government that will rule by subjection. It was predicted thousands of years ago, and this book has a 100% accuracy rate, the Bible.

      It tells of a government that will make its people be subject to its rule and it they don’t the consequences of that. This will become a global government rule. The “land of the free” will be a thing of the past, and it is a shame and disgrace to all the men and women that have served, fought and died all through history to make America free. It is a shame we don’t stand and defend that. I thing we truly are witnessing the start of the government rule in the last days and it’s “Mark” for mankind. Look to Jesus Christ now, he alone can bring true freedom to us all.

    23. Michael Valentin, Br says:

      Sending folks to jail for not having health insurance, totally defeats the purpose of needing it to begin with. I'm a person living with a terminal illness, what does this healthcare reform mean for persons like me?

    24. Jennifer, NC says:

      Whether a person with low or no income goes to the emergency room/doctor and doesn't ever pay the bill or goes to the emergency room and pays with government funded healthcare…it's still money out of my pocket in the long run. I either have to pay the increased fees my doctor poses to those who can pay because he doesn't get the money from those who can't or I have to pay for someone elses health insurance with my hard earned money. The bottom line is our society needs education. Education about how to use the healthcare system, when to go to the MD, what is considered an "emergency" and what is not and how to take care of themselves. If our overly liberal government wants to provide healthcare for the underprivilidged they need to open a bunch of free or sliding scale payment clinics and find some liberal, left wing doctors to staff them and provide care for free!!!

    25. Dakota, TX says:

      It's going to cost the Government a whole lot of money to build all those jails! Fight those Constitutional court cases, house all us "criminals", feed us, and pay for our free (in prison) medical costs. PROOF that Pelosi and gang have NO common sense at all.

    26. Nicolai Alatzas says:

      I think we spend on average some $30,000 annually to imprison some 2.2 million people in the US. When I say "we" I mean that the tax base pays.

      So if you fail to pay for "affordable" health care you go to Jail? And cost the tax base another $30,000 on top of what ever your hospital bill was?

      What's next affordable prisons with health care? This is clearly going to solve the worlds problem.

      Has anyone read the bill and can confirm or deny this crazy little video?

    27. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Dear Steve, San Francisco,

      Good point. And, we have the left coast "progressives" and the northeast "tag-alongs" to thank for it.

      California and Massachuessets will lead in the destruction and socialization of our country. Thanks to those good constituents for keeping these marxists in political office.

      Most of these citizens will not think it so funny when they wake up and realize their rights are trampeled.

    28. st paul says:

      how many pages is the ehalth care reform now? over 2,000? you have to be an attorney to figure it out. it isn`t for the average joe to know.

    29. Alex, Windsor ON says:

      This won't end with health care insurance. Eventually, they will create legislation that will find something illegal in every aspect of every day life. The Stasi have arrived. Where will they put 150 million political prisoners?

    30. Libertyworld USA says:

      Rarely has one so naked of clothes put on such gaudy airs.

      And rarely has one so empty of substance been so wantonly full of himself.

      Rarely has one so incompetent been so drunk with self-assured arrogance.

      And rarely has one from the flag of unity so stood for such its antithesis.

      Rarely has one so praising of words shown his own such rank dishonor.

      And rarely has one from the flag of healing so sickened the state of their nation.

      And rarely has one so hostile of spirit been so well defined by cowardice.

      But never has one so hateful of liberty been given such reigns of its lifeblood.

      And never has one so full of self-hate been so slathered with cheap adoration.

      Never has such a high head of state bowed so low at the alter of self-loathing.

      And never has one with head so high been in so completely over it.

    31. Bob TX says:

      This is an outrage. This is the best they can come up with??

      Its our own fault. WE voted these people into office… It is definitely time to VOTE for the right people. Make your vote count!

    32. Dennis A. Social Cir says:

      When the members of Congress sign up for the public option, then and only then will I think this whole mess is a good thing. Pelosi needs to sit down in the corner and put her nose to the wall. She is acting like a spolied brat and cries when she doesn"t get her way. Even if we go to jail we will still get the health care of a socialist government, plus be fed and provided a place to sleep. I do wish pelosi would show the American people in the Constitution where this is mandated. Guess she will be the second in command to obama and his dictatorship, thats right there is no second in command to a dictator. She will still be the puppet on the string just as now.

    33. Linda, Mobile Alabam says:

      It sure seems to me that the freedom loving San Franciscans need to get some tea parties going and get Pelosi out of office once and for all. There must at 5 of you!! How about it San Fran?

    34. Gin says:

      I agree with Bob. I think the entire standing congressional and executive branches should be overturned. Set term limits, so we do not get "corrupt lifers" in the government. Let's unite and get rid of the corruption in Washington. Do you really think they are "public servants" or tyrannical rulers?

    35. Bulwyn says:

      This Legislation is unconstitutional

    36. John, Colorado says:

      Couldn't get a straight answer? The Botox treatments have numbed Pelosi's face so much she can only talk in double speak.

    37. philip says:


    38. Da Dog says:

      How about "jail for no brains"?

      This would essentially wipe out the entire Congress of Fools and the White (Chocolate) House.

      Someone should do a drug test on Pelosi. She's either whacked on meds or in dire need of a lobotomy.

    39. Jeanne Stotler, wood says:

      First the act in UNCONSTITUTIONAL,I have health care through Medicare and a supplemental policy, wepaid into Medicare when I was working and almost a hundred a mo. is taken from my SS check every month. Illegals should not be free, neither should anchor babies be citizens, Liberalism is ruining this country. When the first shots of the NEW Revolution were fired Nov. 3rd, these liberals should have gotten the message. Our own congressman ignored his constituients and voted for this bill, all WILL BE REPLACED in 2010, WE THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN.

    40. R. Cox, Canton, GA says:

      Is there a video or transcript of Obama saying this also?

    41. Duke, Ohio says:

      Such compassion. Why not take that approach to taxes; If you pay nothing, they you transfer the burden to everyone else! Pelosi is a clown.

    42. charlie mississippi says:

      Would speaker polosi be in favor of conjugal visits for those that don;t have or can;t afford a wife or husband?

    43. Carol, AZ says:

      This is my understanding of some of the proposal.

      The law clearly provide for rationing of health care.

      Senior citizens are at the top of the list.

      Free health care is provided for illegal immigrants.

      Abortion continues to be debated.

      Hospital admissions, payment to physicians and the allocation of necessary medical divices controlled.

      Decisons for these rights , or not, will be forced on medical professional's and thier expertise.

      I do not understand why the AMA is no screaming about this aspect in the proposal and many other "force decisions" within, this proposal.

      The proposal is the largest illegal tranferance of power ever proposed by the Excutive Branch of our Gov't.

      This tranfer of power is a direct violation of all constitutional rights.

      All personal info. will be controled by the Gov't.

      Financial, employee, physician, hospital, care given , or not.

      Your rights to privancy, your rights of free choice ( 4th amendment) GONE.

      If you have a health care provided which is NOT pre-approved by the Executive branch of our Gov't,

      (the Gov't will appoint a health care czar to run the program )

      you will be taxed which is really a fine, or YES even jailed.

      This portion of Gov't take over , this illegal act will eventurally force out a % of private providers further forcing us to be funneled into the Gov't system.

      I can not stress enough how this take over frightens me based on the tenets of our constitutional rights.

      This is a Gov't run system which will invade all aspects of our lives.

      If the Gov't really wanted to provide a program to cover the millions of hard working Americans who have loss Health care since unemployment,the "Bridge Program " which has been proposed by some legislators is the solution.

      The actual stats for the "true figures of unemployed" buied for months, lately exposed.

      If you are enraged by Nancy P., an what this idiot is suggesting please think about the transfer of power If this proposal is signed into law.

      This bill must be killed and other reforms made to inprove upon a system that 80% of American have stated they are happy with.

    44. John, Oklahoma says:

      If jail is fitting for not buying healthcare then what is the consequence for not paying your taxes like most of her leftwing allies in Congress? How about illegally entering the United States? Is that a minor offense? When will our conservative base wake up? It's still our country get and vote and help get this malaligned administration out of office! That's change WE can believe in!!!!

    45. Richard, Missouri says:

      Im just glad to see "PATRIOTS" standing up for there "RIGHTS"

    46. JFK, Virginia says:

      Where in the U.S. Constitution did the Founding Fathers grant the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) the authority to legislate what citizens must purchase, how much they must pay for it, what the product must provide, and the penalty that is to be imposed for non-compliance without redress or appeal.

      Not too many years ago the National Socialist Party in Germany ruled in this manner, and are our elected officials now elevating that dictatorial policy as the optimum means of governance for the United States. Do you suppose our Representatives in the House and Senators believe that the NAZI example is an enlightened approach, and the way things ought to be done.

      Let’s hope not!

    47. Richard, Missouri says:




    48. Jill, California says:

      Treason is an offense punishable by jail too. How about it, Pelosi? When will you serve your term in jail?

    49. Larry, Calif. says:

      Curious how bleeding-heart liberals (often so vocal against imprisoning the likes of a Roman Polanski, for example; or some "crusader against injustice" who willingly tramples on the rights of others to further his cause) can justify jailing citizens who simply choose not to buy health insurance, merely on the basis that such refusal interferes with their socialist (Marxist?)agenda. With them, the end always justifies the means.

    50. Touloulah, TX says:

      I think most of you are on point, however, I think we could put an absolute end to the problem if we make it mandatory that those in the "elite" government have the same insurance they are trying to push on us! I mean, if they are going for Socialism, shouldn't they have to live by the same rules?

      And while we are at it, maybe we could work to change the fact that one only has to put in a few years in "service to the government" and then get retirement at full pay, and primo medical insurance for the rest of his (her) life!!!

      Yup, things really need to be changed….but not the health insurance! At least not the way "they" want to change it.

    51. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      No American Citizen may be imprisoned for a debt of money, unless that debt be incurred under fraud! Not in Taxes, not in credit cards and most certainly not for Health Care!

    52. Randy Miller Mt Vern says:

      Maybe we should change the system and send to jail those members of Congress who; don't provide transparency, don't read the bills they vote on, let lobbyists write the legislation, make their own poersonal interest withdrawals from the Treasury Atm Machine, that look into the camera and lie to the citizens of this country. How many other violations could we come up with if we really analyzed their behaviors?

    53. Mary Maupin says:

      Maybe Polosi should be jailed for misusing PUBLIC FUNDS of flying back and forth in a "Company Plane". I think she should consider that she just might be in that line of the unemployed next year. But then, she has enough hidden money to eat and pay her bills from the years she has deceived the public.

    54. Zeke, MN says:

      No Public Housing

      No Public Transportation

      No Public Health Care

    55. Touloulah, TX says:

      you are right, if this is the kind of society we are heading towards then the farmers and the school teachers and the garbage collectors and the janitors should all recieve the same health care as the doctors and attorneys and congressmen and the by the way, the same damn wages too! If you want to be fair to everyone, lets do it right.

    56. Sue, Pennsylvania, w says:

      I am so proud to see so many freedom loving Americans out there. Keep up the fight, and I do mean the fight. American turn back to God,He is taking His hand off of us, because we asked Him to. How sad. As for Eward from Az,you are a sad case. I have many things I would love to say to such a Liberal as you, but I feel it would just go over your head, especially since it's buried in the sand.

    57. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      See ya all in Jail.

    58. Alex, Windsor ON says:

      I have an idea for a little display of dissent. We could all simultaneously turn ourselves in.

    59. Martin, Indio Califo says:

      Pelosi is full of it. Thank God this pile of crap they call a health care bill isn't going to pass. I'm glad they did it, though. Now people are so mad they will vote all their sorry butts out of office.

    60. Chuck Carle, KC, Mo. says:

      When oh when are we going to have our fill of the bloated, self serving group supposedly serving us in the political system? They have been showing 100% mockery of our constitution, and our entire democracy. It is way past time that we clean house, vote out the majority, and TRY and vote in some responsible citizens. True patriots who remember and care that it is supposed to be government for the people, and not the other way around. Most of us are full to overflowing of the "high handed" attitudes and out of control spending and waste of the Washington crowd. They need to be voted out,not given a big pension, expenses, and health care, and need to go to work selling on straight commission to get some reality back into their lives. Their removal would free the honest citizens from a bloated bunch of elites that have out lived their usefullness.

    61. Scott,Kirkland says:

      If politicians don't live up to the promises they make when they run, they should face fines or imprisonment for fraud. If they don't balance the budget or are found to misappropriate funds they should be fined or imprisoned. They should garner a wage that is more than fair and any monies created outside of what the tax payers pay them should go back to the people to offset the wages we pay them, if they are found to keep monies outside of what we pay them they should pay fines and jail time. This is the only way we will clean up both parties and turn our country around.

    62. Moose says:

      "How can we pass judgment on a bill that we haven't even read?" Some one previously states! I agree how can we pass judgment on this bill? I guess it is only the same amount of reading that our legislators did before they passed judgment and VOTE. None if any. How many congressmen stated they also didn't read it.

      Okay, lets read it. How many pages are referenced to "be scribed in at a later date." Great Blank Check Legislation.

    63. Potential Criminal. says:

      J.C. Hughes, Texas writes:

      "After watching the video, I’d like to tell Ms. Pelosi “Your discussing matter’s well beyond your level of governance"

      Your right, but your also wrong J.C. A more appropriate observation might be that she is discussing matter’s well beyond her level of intelligence & or comprehension. Further more, she is basically declaring poverty a crime, and condoning the imprisonment of anybody who can't afford, or just plain doesn't want, what the government is "selling". Some racket eh? Kind of like a monopoly, in a way. I would love to have a business like that! "Buy my product, or else!" I would also like to know, since depending on which date is available & or correct, we are talking about the potential kidnapping, & forced imprisonment of 2-10+ million people. Not to mention the children involved, whose families the government intends to brutally rip apart & destroy. So i'm asking, where is the money is going to come from to build new prisons? Since potentially the incarceration rate may double, triple, quadruple, or even higher. New orphanages & social workers for the children, whose parents, the government kidnapped. The lost tax base, on a local, and national level from all these new "criminals" not contribution economically. We are talking, potentially, TRILLIONS of $$$ per year. And like that will not further debase the dollar? But why worry. After all, our government only has our best interest at heart. They know what is best for us, and how to spend out money. Right?

    64. david, arkansas says:

      i have not seen anyone address this question. if a health care bill passes congress and senate i assume it will be deemed a LAW since it mandates health insurance on U. S. citizens. is it constitutional for them to exempt themselves from this bill if it is a federal law? how can congress and senate exempt themselves from ANY federal law. anyone up on constitutional law i'd appreciate your comments.

    65. Susan,Virginia says:

      Excuse me??????

      Speaker Pelosi………. Where is your conscience? How can you lie so easily? Send the bill to you?? (meaning congress)

      When has the emergency room, hospital or doctor EVER sent the invoice for services rendered to an uninsured patient to congress for payment? Unless, of course you're talking about Medicaid or Medicare (an example of government run health insurance).

      The government does pay the bill for those on Medicaid(poor and indigent-they contribute $0 for this coverage) and Medicare which is funded by employee/employer taxes at 2.4% of ALL WAGES paid to all that are employed. Additionally, a monthly premium is collected from anyone insured under Medicare.

      Part A -0- if you've worked & contributed 40 quarters or 10 yrs / $254 – $461 if you've worked less time

      Part B – around $100 per month

      From my personal experience they get my address on file and send the bill to me. I'm responsible for paying the bill. If I can't pay in full (which has been the case at times) we work out a payment plan. If I choose to invest in a health insurance policy to leverage any potential financial risks due to medical expenses – that's my business and my right to choose.

      This Democratic Party loves to preach the right to choose, as long as it is politically expedient. This legislation is expedient to fill the government coffers, as they will control 1/6 of our nation's economy. Don't be fooled that what this is really all about!

      Come on, people … just imagine a convicted felon walking into a jail cell shared with a convicted rapist and the rapist asks them, "What are you in for?" And they reply, "I didn't buy health insurance."

      LOL ~ this is what will result in what she has called "fair legislation"

      This congress reminds me of the line from the move 'Forest Gump'… "Stupid is as Stupid does"

    66. Zoltanne in Virginia says:

      Jail? Really?

      A felony?

      As in any dissenters no longer get to vote?

      Seems like part of a plan.

      So much for “The National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009”.

    67. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      I will never defend so-called “white-collar” criminals like “Bernie Mad Off With The Money.

      But, what this government and many lobbyists are doing to the American People is infinitely worse. It is not just the money, but the deceit and destruction of whatever trust and values are left.

      Then I hear a certain administration official say “We need to trust what they are doing?”

      Is there a legal licensed doctor out there who will volunteer services for conducting lobotomies?

    68. Law Student, Santa R says:

      Failure to buy into the government's health care plan shouldn't be a criminal offense. This idea is repulsive and can be likened to being jailed for debt. Cruel and Unusual punishment is violative of our Constitutional rights….I believe the U.S. Supreme Court will be called upon to decide whether jail time for failure to buy health insurance violates substantive due process and the 8th Amendment's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. This is another example of big brother overstepping its authority!

    69. judy, Richland, WA says:

      Is it possible that millions of us could all band together and refuse to obey; they cannot put that many people in jails; this would be civil disobedience, allowable in cases of government tyranny. Also, what's the plan for getting Pelosi out of office?

    70. Robin, NY says:

      Penalty for failure to purchase insurance is a tax, not jail time. Section 501 of the House health care reform bill provides that an individual must be "covered by acceptable coverage at all times." "Acceptable coverage" includes "qualified health benefits plan coverage," "grandfathered health insurance coverage," "Medicare," "Medicaid," coverage provided to members of the armed forces and their dependents, "coverage under the veteran's health care program," people who receive health care "through the Indian Health Service," or other coverage deemed acceptable by the Secretary of Health and Human Services. If a person does not have acceptable health care coverage, Section 501 imposes a tax on that person "not to exceed the applicable national average premium":

      (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.

      (b) LIMITATIONS.-


      (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.

      Bill does not impose tax on those below the threshold for filing a federal income tax return. The Joint Committee on Taxation states: "The additional tax does not apply … if the person's income is below the threshold for filing a Federal income tax return." Indeed, Section 501 of the bill imposes taxes on "the excess of … the taxpayer's modified adjusted gross income for the taxable year over … the amount of gross income specified in section 6012(a)(1)" of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 6012(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code provides that "a return is not required of an individual [who] … has gross income of less than the sum of the exemption amount plus the basic standard deduction applicable to such an individual."

      "Hardship cases" are exempted from the tax. From Section 501(f):

      (f) REGULATIONS.-The Secretary shall prescribe such regulations or other guidance as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section, including regulations or other guidance (developed in coordination with the Health Choices Commissioner) which provide-


      (2) a waiver of the application of subsection (a) in cases of hardship, including a process for applying for such a waiver.

      Willful failure to pay income taxes can result in civil or criminal penalties. Gateway Pundit quoted from a press release by Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) that in turn relies on a letter from the Joint Committee on Taxation. That section of the letter dealing with "civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance" specifies that Camp asked the committee to "discuss the situation in which the taxpayer has chosen not to comply with individual mandate and not to pay the additional tax." Thus, the letter is not discussing the penalties for failure to buy insurance, but the penalties for both failing to buy insurance and failing to pay the tax. The committee's letter explains that the tax code provides penalties to prevent tax evasion of any sort: "The Code provides for both civil and criminal penalties to ensure complete and accurate reporting of tax liability and to discourage fraudulent attempts to defeat or evade tax." [Joint Committee on Taxation letter, 11/5/09]

      Fewer than 100 people convicted for "willful failure to file or pay taxes" in fiscal year 2008. From the Joint Committee on Taxation letter: "Of the 666 convictions reported above for fiscal year 2008, fewer than 100 were convictions for willful failure to file or pay taxes under section 7203." [Joint Committee on Taxation letter, 11/5/09]

      Most delinquent taxes and penalties "collected through the civil process." The Joint Committee on Taxation letter states:

      The majority of delinquent taxes and penalties are collected through the civil process. In determining whether a penalty applies along with an adjustment to a tax return, the examining agent is constrained not only by the applicable statutory provision, but also by the written policy of the IRS not to treat penalties as bargaining points but instead to develop the facts sufficiently to support the decision to assert or not to assert a penalty. [Joint Committee on Taxation letter, 11/5/09]

    71. Robin, NY says:

      Maybe you Right Wing Fearmongers ought to stop being lemmings and puppets and read the bill so you know what the heck you are talking about. Instead you sit around waiting for Rush and Beck et al to feed you your daily dose of KoolAid.

    72. Stephen, NJ says:

      Dearest Robin, NY,

      I've read the bill. Have you?

      Don't go and label people lemmings until you have your facts straight.

      I did enjoy your cookie cutter liberal rant though.

    73. Stephen, NJ says:

      Robin, in case you decide to follow up:

      "the lowest cost family non-group plan under the Speaker’s bill would cost $15,000 in 2016"


      The US tax code, Section 7201 states:

      "Any person who willfully attempts in any manner to evade or defeat any tax imposed by this title or the payment thereof shall, in addition to other penalties provided by law, be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $100,000 ($500,000 in the case of a corporation), or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both, together with the costs of prosecution."


      You can continue to nod and agree with everything your party spits out. Or you can open your eyes and realize that our government was never meant to operate in this way.

      And don't go assuming we're all republicans. I'm personally not a republican; I don't want this plan because it's one more grab at power from our federal government. It's time for people like you, Robin, to wake up.

    74. mark, Ga. says:

      Stephen, don't waste your time on people like Robin. When she says anything about reading a bill you would have to wonder what planet she has been on lately, I mean I've never seen a congress like this liberal one pass bills without reading or even knowing what is in them or saying what's the point " we don't have time and we would need a team of lawyers" And talk about lemmings and not being able to think for themselves! I don't think I need to say any more about that. We conservatives need to press our individual state governors to stress the tenth amendment, this is our tool to push back this tyrannical government peacefully.

    75. Mary Edwards, Scrant says:

      I don't have a problem doing what I already have been doing for my whole life-paying for my own health care insurance!Where the reform needs to come in is that I should no longer be required by the government to pay for the health care insurance of others via medicaid.Let everyone get a job-some kind of job and have their health care insurance provided by their employer for the individual to buy through his or her group at work.Just like me.I think that there are truly not that many people who really can't work at all ever in their lives,it is a matter of attitude.I have seen people who are profoundly handicapped physically and /or mentally hold down jobs.They support themselves and their families-so in my book no one has an excuse other than that the government is giving out "free stuff" so lets get our share.But it is at the expense of life long, employed, taxpayers like me.Also, no one in this country shops for an item, finds a product they like, one which they can afford to buy and then says "oh, no I won't get that item, I'll let Uncle Sam pick what he wants me to have instead".We handle our shopping/buying on our own and there is no reason health care insurance shouldn't be another purchased product the same as any other thing we select and pay for our selves.Freedom to choose products because of their merits and correctness for our needs is what drives our economy.I think what would make the biggest impact on the "haves" -vs- the "have not's" in this country would be to make them go out and support their own lifestyle by honest work instead of having the safety net of the American taxpayer, we have enough on our plate already.We need to encourage independence and self worth, not by allowing people to do nothing because they can get away with it, but by being proud of what they can accomplish on their own with out the safety net (which has now become a way of life and the family inheritance to some).Finally, if we want health care reform, let's reform what we have.Don't make something new,I'm sorry Uncle Sam you aren't doing a great job with what you have- I.E. social security and medicaid/medicare as it is now.Let's fix the cost of law suits for human errors in the medical field which drive the cost of care and insurance up.Medicine is a science,albeit it can't be exact as no two patients are exactly the same, and error can occur.We have to understand that going in.Start with changing some of the things that keep health care and health care insurance not affordable for everyone's employer to provide or individuals to buy for themselves.By the way, if we do away with insurance companies in whole or in part what will you do with the unemployed from those jobs that end with the current system?.You folks in government need to think about those of us who actually pay for all of the stuff you want to provide-it's easy to say you want all this change when you won't have to ever use the substandard service it will bring-your top rate insurance is paid for for life!

    76. Simon, CA says:

      Throwing Americans in jail for refusing to be fleeced by the private health insurance companies is Cruel and Unusual Punishment and is a violation of the Eighth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

      Some people pay cash to doctors for the care they receive. Assuming that all Americans will burden the heath care system if the do not have health insurance is absurd.

      If preventing burden on the health care system were the real reason behind the iron fist policy, then how come the illegal aliens are not subject to fine and jail time for not having health insurance when they are the ones proved to be a real burden to the U.S. health care system?

      It is foolish and inappropriate for Obama to compare mandatory health insurance to mandatory auto insurance. Auto insurance is for protecting the victims when the driver is at fault. People have the right to chose to take public transport and ,therefore, not to buy auto insurance. Similarly, Americans have the right to choose to pay cash to see doctors instead of choosing to buy insurance.

      And what happens to diversities that the liberals under Obama have been bragging about? Many Native Indian Americans and some Asians prefer their own herbal medicine and cure which do not fit into the expensive chemical based medicine scheme provided by insurance companies. How come Obama wants to violate their rights of liberty and freedom to chose their own cure?

      It is hypocritical and evil for Obama to allow women to kill their fetuses in the womb at will by claiming that that they have the Constitutional right to choose to do whatever they want with "their own bodies" yet he wants to deny other people the Constitutional right to choose how to cure their own bodies.

      Private health insurance is a product. If the product is a good one people do not need to be threatened by jail time to buy it. They would buy protection for their health voluntarily. However, when it is a bad product at high price, people would refuse to buy it for good reasons.

      Instead of truly reforming the health care system and the private insurance industry to make it affordable to the poor Americans who wants it, Obama has chosen to violate the U.S. Constitution of banning Cruel and Unusual Punishment by forcing them into a corrupt system to be exploited in his vain hope of getting political scores.

      If the mandate of forcing Americans to buy health insurance from private insurance companies under the threat of jail time becomes law, Obama will go down history not as a president who has achieved health care reform but as a pro illegal alien despot who feels no qualm for putting poor Americans in jail for not having health insurance while as a matter of fact allowing illegal aliens to continue to exploit the U.S. health care system at the expense of the U.S. taxpayers.

    77. Paul Indiana says:

      Through this process of health care reform, one thing has become perfectly clear. Some of us just don't get it. People do not deny themselves health care insurance because they want to. They do so because they prefer food, heat, and clothing to paying what amounts to insane premiums for health care insurance. In the case of the speaker, speaking as she did, She just doesn't get it. With 10% or so of our fellow Americans unemployed, where do the rule makers think these Americans will get the money to buy health care insurance? Throughout this debate, the health care industry itself has seldom been targeted. I say this industry is the largest price gouging business on the planet. If there is a storm, the price of bread can rise. If a person becomes ill, the options are few. In other words, people don't use the health care industry system because they want to, they use it because they have to. Pay or die in other words. What a great Christian Nation we are.

    78. T.C. Pa. says:

      Giving insurance companies the power to prosecute for not buying thier policies?

      Very unsettling.

      I believe It's called "coercion"

    79. Bob, California says:

      Why do you feel it neccesary to misquote Pelosi? As anyone who watches this video can see, Pelosi not say "it is very fair to send those who do not buy health insurance to jail."

      When you use the term "says" in the title for this article, it gives the false impression that Pelosi said the words you claims she said. She chose to not address the issue of jail in her response. She turned the focus onto the justifications for the tax penalty.

      If you had said used a phrase like "dodges the issue of jail time" or even "ignores the jail consequence" you would be presenting an the facts, albeit with a slant. However, this title has veered the article into the realm of inaccuracy.

    80. Jim, Texas says:

      Obama – This is not Germany or whatever country you seem to think this is. This is America, land of the FREE. You know that word, right? You should look it up in a dictionary sometime.

      Stop listening to these foreigners who think they know what's best for America when they probably read the constitution upside down. They don't know what's best for us!

      Guess it's time to move to Canada or something. Canada has mixed reviews on healthcare from what I hear, but it may just be better than what we are getting at this momemnt. Ha! Mandated healthcare; that's rich!

      Warning: Not buying a happy meal at Mcdonalds can now be punishable by fines up to $200. We care about the safety of your children as we need them for the Naz- I mean American army.

    81. Mike Vernon, FL says:

      And this, coming from the person who is number 3 in the chain of leadership, yes, she could be President. How insane. How liberal can you be? I would love to run against her and I would play this excerpt over and over again. If her district re-elects her, they should go to jail. What was she thinking? Hell, let's put us all in jail and let the government support ALL of us….oh, wait, that IS what she wants. But, with all of us in jail who is going to work to pay the taxes to pay for all of the programs they are coming up with? Ummmmm…bet she didn't think of that?

    82. Pingback: Under Deconstruction: Answering (Actual) Reader Mail! | Appetite for Deconstruction

    83. Michael says:

      Thank you Californians for voting that horrible woman in for so many years. As far as I can tell all you people in California should be apologizing to the rest of us for voting her in. I hope to see a lot of Californians in our Texas prisons since you people love to imprison your own people and send them to Texas. Keep sending all your hard earned money by imprisoning so many people to other states since you have no more prison room. It costs $90,000 a year to keep a person in prison and is also why your state is going bankrupt. You deserve everything you are getting! We should just get rid of California and those stupid democrats there ruining everything thinking that the rest of the world should take care of them.

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