Pipe Bomb not set to detonate.
One of the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordability Act of 2010* that many people worried about was the penalty for not purchasing insurance. It was long assumed that this was nothing but a front because charging the penalty would be a political loser and it would be hard to enforce in the first place. Well, courtesy of Big Government, the Senate Joint Committee on Taxation has weighed in and said that it is the provisions to enforce the penalties are lax at best and will not be enforced at worst:
Individuals who fail to maintain minimum essential coverage in 2016 are subject to a penalty equal to the greater of: (1) 2.5 percent of household income in excess of the taxpayer’s household income for the taxable year over the threshold amount of income required for income tax return filing for that taxpayer under section 6012(a)(1);67 or (2) $695 per uninsured adult in the household. The fee for an uninsured individual under age 18 is one-half of the adult fee for an adult. The total household penalty may not exceed 300 percent of the per adult penalty ($2,085). The total annual household payment may not exceed the national average annual premium for bronze level health plan offered through the Exchange that year for the household size…
The penalty applies to any period the individual does not maintain minimum essential coverage and is determined monthly. The penalty is assessed through the Code and accounted for as an additional amount of Federal tax owed. However, it is not subject to the enforcement provisions of subtitle F of the Code. The use of liens and seizures otherwise authorized for collection of taxes does not apply to the collection of this penalty. Non-compliance with the personal responsibility requirement to have health coverage is not subject to criminal or civil penalties under the Code and interest does not accrue for failure to pay such assessments in a timely manner.
So, what we have here is an intentional pipe bomb that is not set to detonate upon activation, but to detonate prematurely on purpose. In essence, if the penalty will be weakly enforced then everyone from businesses on down to individuals have an incentive to not purchase insurance until absolutely necessary (and in the case of businesses, to dump employees on the government). This is the nightmare that the insurance companies were afraid of: they will be hit with a surge of insurable sick people and not have enough money to pay for them (that’ll learn them for trying to negotiate with the Dems).
In essence, in this exchange between Bill O’Reilly and Rep. Anthony Weiner, Weiner is right: the law will not have any agency collect the fines because hey! the government ain’t gonna collect them anyway:
Then again, the IRS is the most efficient body on the face of the planet when it comes to taking your money so I’m going to have to say that Weiner (heh) is wrong.
*That’s Obamacare for you simpletons who don’t know what’s best for you.