Americans who refuse to buy affordable medical coverage could be hit with fines of more than $1,000 under a health care overhaul bill unveiled Thursday by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama's top domestic priority.Nudge?! This isn't a nudge. It's intimidation, it's coercion, it's scaring the crap out of freeborn Americans to kowtow to an all pervasive evil federal nanny state.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated the fines will raise around $36 billion over 10 years. Senate aides said the penalties would be modeled on the approach taken by Massachusetts, which now imposes a fine of about $1,000 a year on individuals who refuse to get coverage. Under the federal legislation, families would pay higher penalties than individuals.
In a revamped health care system envisioned by lawmakers, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now. The government would provide subsidies for the poor and many middle-class families, but those who still refuse to sign up would face penalties.
Called "shared responsibility payments," the fines would be set at least at half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation. The goal is to nudge people to sign up for coverage when they are healthy, not wait until they get sick.
In a statement, Obama welcomed the legislation, saying it "reflects many of the principles I've laid out, such as reforms that will prohibit insurance companies from refusing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and the concept of insurance exchanges where individuals can find affordable coverage if they lose their jobs, move or get sick."
The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.