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  • Nothing Voluntary About Obamacare's Mandate

    Some supporters of the health care “reform” bill being shoved through the Senate are dismissing concerns over the individual insurance mandate and the tax penalty imposed on those who don’t meet that requirement. They claim that because § 5000A of the bill waives criminal prosecution of taxpayers and says that no liens or levies can be filed on the taxpayer’s property, this is supposedly a “voluntary mandate” and the IRS can’t do anything against you if you refuse to pay the penalty.

    That claim is wrong for a number of reasons. First of all, if you refuse to pay the penalty or you refuse to provide any information on your health care status on your tax return, you will face the prospect of being audited by the Internal Revenue Service, something that rightly scares all taxpayers, including those who are law abiding and have done everything they think they should to comply with the law. IRS tax audits are notoriously intrusive, intimidating, and expensive, and the IRS is known for its consistent inconsistency in applying its complex and Byzantine rules and regulations.

    The IRS, which is known for its habit of disregarding court decisions that disagree with its interpretations of the law, may use audits and the ability to find problems in a taxpayer’s finances in areas totally unrelated to the health care mandate to force compliance with the mandate and coerce payment of the tax penalty imposed by Reid’s bill. There will certainly be pressure from Congress, which has oversight and budget authority over the IRS, to do so. CBO itself made clear that the financing of healthcare reform is based in substantial part on generating $167 billion in “penalty payments” from individual taxpayers and employers, i.e., businesses whose worst nightmare is getting audited by the IRS. If there is mass civil disobedience by American taxpayers refusing to comply with this provision on their tax returns, there is no doubt that the need for this revenue will cause Democrats to attach a quick one-sentence amendment to a must-pass appropriations bill in the future that voids the waiver of criminal prosecution and the ability to levy a taxpayer’s property.

    Second, taxpayers will have to make sure they calculate the regular taxes they owe during the course of a tax year precisely and not end up with the IRS owing them a refund. If they don’t, the IRS will be able to offset the refund against the health care tax penalty the taxpayer owes to the government. I spoke with one of the best tax litigation lawyers I know in Atlanta, someone with lots of experience representing clients against the IRS. He told me that the language limiting liens and levies against taxpayers would not prevent the IRS from seizing a refund because that is not considered a lien or a levy.

    Third, most Americans pay their tax bills and their debts without IRS liens or criminal penalties because they are honorable people who pay all of their debts and they don’t want a failure to pay to affect their credit ratings. It is silly to say debts are not debts just because criminal penalties may not apply.

    Finally, while Reid’s bill may not have criminal penalties, the bill passed by the House certainly does. And these two very different approaches will have to be reconciled if the Senate passes health care legislation as is expected. Even if the House bends to the Senate’s version on this particular issue, the idea that millions of taxpayers will have the courage or the resources to defy the IRS is completely unrealistic. The very idea of using the taxing powers of the state to force compliance with this law is one that should shock the conscience of everyone, even those who support “reforming” our health care system.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    30 Responses to Nothing Voluntary About Obamacare's Mandate

    1. Zippy says:

      your party has no solutions. your party put us in this mess. your party de-regulated the market. your party spent 4.3 Trillion dollars. your party started the war. your party did nothing for healthcare for 30 years plus. your party lies. your party fear mongers. your party is always on the wrong side of history. i will be suprised if this comment is allowed on this joke of a website.

    2. Art says:

      The IRS has a long standing record of imposing it's will regardless of how inaccurate or unconstitutional it may be.

      In recent days the EPA has shown this same type of impudence and total disregard for the facts.

      No government funded or subsidized office, be it the IRS, EPA or any other organization, should be allowed to operate unregulated or uncontrolled.

      This allows them to function as judge, jury and executor.


    3. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Excellent Points Hans!

      Also, who is running the IRS and who is running the House Ways and Means Committee?

      The average Joe is going to get hammered if he/she speaks out. This is not going to happen to our fearless leaders because they will not be enrolled in this garbage. They are rich enough to have their own excellent separate coverage.

    4. Dexter, San Francisc says:

      ObamaCare – the latest and last of great the swindles. But so much more than that.

      Although it may not be pointless as most of the particularizations of corruption seem to be these days, this is yet another of what has become inumerable instances of criminality and chaos in two of the branches of our government. Nine divided magpies do not fix the problem.

      It does no good to track each atom of the bomb's explosion in the field.

      We cannot afford to deflect attention from deriving a set of solutions — it is not one political party or the other, but the whole political class; we will get nowhere itemizing the features of every eddy current in the sewer, changing the curtains will do no good either.

      This is the time to reform the legal community and divest ourselves of such governmentalism we are now burdened with, using the Constitution as a guide and flushing the corrosive contamination that has come to dominate the Republic.

      If no forceful action is taken, it will be honest citizens who are decimated as a price for starving them out as the only solution; at the same time we fighting against external terrorists we are being terrorized by those supposedly elected with over 20 million agents of extortion. There has to be a better option in each persons life than for it to be this way: to live free.

    5. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Dear Zippy,

      There always those who cannot let the truth set them free.

      What are you talking about anyway?

    6. Motordog,Pomona,CA says:

      Zippy shows his(her) ignorance for everyone to see. The Democrat party has been on the WRONG side of history for a long time. Read up on your history STUPID and you will see that they did NOT want to abolish slavery. They did NOT support Civil Right legislation or Voting Rights. What an idiot you are. The Republican party has healthcare solututions but they do NOT have BIG government as the answer.

    7. B Nuckols, Texas says:

      The House voted to raise the debt ceiling to 12.4 Trillion. What's the number in the Senate? The debt was less than 10 trillion a year ago, so it's gone up half again as much in this year as it did in the 8 years before. (Remember – Jumpin Jeffords caucused with the Democrats in order to ensure that Republicans did not have majority in the Senate during the Bush Administration.)

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    9. Bobbie Jay says:

      Zippy may be an immigrant.

      As I personally know, the government failed to conduct this country in accordance to American principles when immigrants were arriving influx and instead created massive programs for immigrants, who in general, continue to be government dependents and clueless to the principles of the freedoms, independence and expectations of this country and where the government covers up, makes exception to or hold no accountabilities.

      It is the job of government to reign in immigrants as Americans. Not reign in immigrants to depend on Americans!

    10. RabbitZ71 , S.C. says:

      Well , all I would like to say about this & many more matters is this ……WE NEED TO CLEAN OUT ALL INCUMBENTS IN HOUSE & SENATE IN WASHINGTON IN THE NEXT ELECTION !! That is what needs to be done & start over .

    11. RabbitZ71 , S.C. says:

      I'm tired of working for BIG government !! Our government needs to be working for the people instead . Further more, where do they get off giving themselves a nice pay raise & not giving us (retired people ) a cost of living raise ? I'd like them to live off $20,000 a year & see just how they would survive !!

    12. April, Colorado says:

      Zippy, don't waste your time. I've tried engaging in rational and respectful debate on this website…not going to happen. I've had men from Texas call me "sweetie" and tell me that I was stupid, naive and un-Christian. Many of the bloggers on this sight are on the fringe. Take heart. We know that our country is a better place when it's citizens are healthy and well-educated. We are the majority…and for good reason.

    13. Bushey says:

      We should begin drilling oil in the U.S. We would have many more jobs which would bring with it "healthcare". This would retain our money in the U.S. and weaken the oil rich nations who are using our money to destroy America.

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    15. Bill, Kansas City, M says:


    16. Conservatives United says:

      April and Zippy,

      Thats the point. When this DEATH CARE BILL becomes law, their will be MORE SICK PEOPLE THAT WILL DIE!!!!!!

    17. Freedom of Speech, T says:

      Dear April, Colorado,

      The truth is that the overwhelming number of people in this country have said NO. The polls must be an inconvienent truth when they do not show the outcome you desire, eh?

      This administration lied its way into the White House. Please don't make the bloggers list how many. We have been over this ad nauseum.

      Your "majority" democrats lied and now pass legislation that will effect EVERYONE through bribes. Please don't make the bloggers do your homework and show you how and where.

      Moreover, the first and foremost responsibility of the Senators is to protect and defend the Constitution. THAT is supposed to mean something – like protecting your rights…

      If you studied what they have done, you would know they failed their oath. That is enough to demand their resignation through recall, where possible. Americans from all parties and beliefs are sick and tired of the DC pork and games (see overwhelming poll numbers again, please). WE WANT POSITIVE CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

      The fact that people with your view cannot or will not agree that it is corrupt unadultered abuse of power that is tearing this country apart is sad. Moreover it is dangerous to the rule of law that POTUS espouses.

      Rocky Mountain High?

    18. matt, bend, or says:

      zippy and april have you two ever heard of the constitution of the united states, no where in is health care adressed. but it does give you the the right as of now to express your opion but i am sure this will be coming to an end too if this socialist administration has their way.

    19. John B. San Diego says:

      As far as comments made I don't see where we have much choice except to start removing members of Congress systematically as they come up for re-election that's the only thing that will change Washington DC. The only thing constant is change, the thing we must do is become more engaged with specific changes. Obama's "change we can believe in" is as opaque and ambiguous as anticipated change gets. I submit many of his supports are wondering exactly what it is we can expect next.

      Obama and the brand of change he represents is something I can't believe in and I reject. Making the IRS any more powerful just does not make any sense all that accomplishes is running more jobs offshore. Leaving in droves America’s business and industry try to avoid the tremendous burdens placed on free enterprise as our government switches to over taxing over regulating mandates eventually leading us into socialism/Marxism.

      Zippy will not get it until his official name is "Citizen Zippy" good luck to you and your kind comrade.

    20. Peter Asher, Oregon says:


      Most of being healthy is obtained by proper choices in diet and lifestyle and most of being well educated is obtained by availing one's self of the educaional facilities in place or simply reading books instead of the texting screen.

      Poor health and lack of education are NOT the results of lack of taxpayer funding!

    21. Dale, Atlanta says:

      Great… another tax.

    22. Jeanne Stotler, Wood says:

      When they taught the Constitution in schools I learned that ther was a thing called STATE RIGHTS, The states can have separate laws as LONG as they don't override the Federal Constitution. Since the beginnning our States ran their own Education programs, and they should, the constitution does not say that FREE HEALTH CARE. It is not perfect, but this bill is not the answer,first most Congressmen are Lawyers,so are the Obama's and they are not going to vote against the biggest factor that has caused escalated health premiums. Lobbiest and special interest groups control congress and they(Congress) LISTEN TO THEM not to us. These spec.int. groups pay for their reelection cost and other goodies, we just vote. We need to correct this, we need some Honest hard working and good Americans to run, then they need to correct all this from bottom up.

    23. Pat Smith says:

      My children worked very hard all through school making perfect grades, studying not playing, doing drugs or getting drunk. Neither child ever came home drunk and they worked up to their potential. My Daughter went to 4 years of college, got a triple major, went to 4 years of Medical School, 1 year Internship, 2 years of Residency and 3 more years of Speciality training. She is still paying for Medical School. During training she worked long hours and including all night after working all day. She still when on call can work all day and get called all night long. She is not rich, she makes an average salary, pays for others salaries, pays for malpractice insurance. It has only been drug users that have tried to sue to get easy money, they didn't get any either. Obama has just spent 1.4 trillion dollars of debt in 2009 and he is not through yet. I've read we owe 10 trillion more than the total net worth of everything we have in America. And you want more. Did you never learn money doesn't grow on trees or do you think it's easy to earn it. Socialism never works anywhere. Sure it equalizes things, everybody is poor with no hope of ever getting richer. I think all of the whiners should roll up their sleeves and get to work.

    24. Roger, Henderson, Nv says:

      does this mean that the 18 year olds will have to buy health ins. with the money they make at MD's, KFC's, BK's. I'm not sure they could afford to work. If that happens then where will we go for fast food? Obama Burgers For The People maybe.

    25. April, Colorado says:

      The 18-year old has to buy car insurance so, if they hit your car, there is fair and appropriate compensation for your damages. If the 18-year old buys a lift ticket and breaks a leg on the skislope, then their health insurance coverage should pay. My premium should not be the 18-year old's catastophic insurance program. The current system IS a give-away and those who have insurance policies pay for those who don't. Time for EVERYONE to pay. Insurance companies have us in a choke-hold! Regulations are necessary in order to drive down the costs so that people (young and old) can afford to buy insurance at a reasonable price and receive the health care that they need.

    26. April, Colorado says:

      Mr. Asher of the Oregon Coast, "We are only as strong as our weakest link." I'm not calling for more welfare. I'm saying that we must bolster those in need of healthcare and education. Not only because it is the right thing to do, but because we improve our society and economy by doing so. What do you think we are doing in Iraq? Besides building airforce bases, we are building hospitals and schools. Why is it OK for taxpayer monies to go to providing healthcare and education in Iraq and not in our own country? We should bolster our own people. The Democrats have never proposed a FREE program, but rather one that requires people to buy into a plan. Right now, millions of people are unable to buy into an insurance plan because it is unaffordable. If we are going to teach them to fish, instead of just giving them a fish to eat…then we should at least give them a fishing pole.

    27. Bobbie Jay says:

      What do yuo mean bolster those in need? Who are those in need? Those that don't want to afford to pay for it? Why don't you give people credit to have their own will to deal with the consequences of their choices? There will be plenty of people who get it for nothing, April.

      Iraq isn't established as America once was. They didn't have capitalism and free markets. Obana is throwing that establishment away! It is government's job to ensure no corruption to the consumers. Reasonable rates, services and regulations. Ir's gotta be very difficult to avoid temptation by government. The government influences corruption. then points their finger at the insurance co. to confuse your concern. Why would you trust such an untrustworthy government, personal strangers, frauds whose neglect to do their job in the first place, created this crisis or your idea of this crisis. Why accept government's demanding claims, they know what is best for you? IT'S A TRAP! Not to mention your personal health will be exposed to more then just you and your doctor.

    28. Drew Page, IL says:

      Dear Zippy — (what a cute name) keep drinking the Kool-aid.

      And April — You say you are not calling for more welfare? Yes you are. You say we need to bolster those in need of healthcare and education. When you say 'bolster', I can only assume you mean 'pay for". What's that, if not welfare?

      You may think it the right thing to do. And you may think we improve our society and economy by doing so. You are entitled to those opinions and I support right to express those opinions. I would strongly encourage you (and Zippy) to liquidate all of your assets and use the money to 'bolster' anyone you please, for whatever it is you think they need. You will certainly feel better if you do this and I will applaud your efforts to improve society and the economy.

      Now just as I support your right to say and do these things, I hope you will be equally supportive of my right to say that I prefer to improve my own economy, pay for my bills only and to improve society and the economy in my way, by not being a burden on it.

      Now this may come as a shock to you, but I believe that we improve our society by being self reliant

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