Diary

Go directly to jail

This is a letter to the editor published by the Newburyport Daily News on 11/18/09. It was not posted online,so I’m posting it here.

To the editor:

Nancy Pelosi has strong-armed her health care control bill through the U.S. House. She accomplished this feat by a margin of 3 votes, 220-215(218 needed for passage). A lone Republican, Rep. Cao of New Orleans, who doesn’t seem to understand the concepts of limited government or individual liberty, voted for passage. Considering the narrowness of the vote, President Obama’s intervention proved decisive. He rallied wavering Democrats by referring to opponents of nationalized health care as “teabag, anti-government extremists”. So much for the promise of a unifying, post-partisan presidency, but I digress.

As for the bill itself. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that the true 10-year cost is almost $3 trillion. Remember, to disguise the impact on our national debt, the bill starts taxing right away, but doesn’t start spending until 2014. The bill increases taxes by $1.2 trillion and cuts Medicare spending by $628 billion. Seniors can decide for themselves if these cuts will lead to rationed care.

The bill also imposes a federal mandate to purchase insurance. Every American will be required to buy ” acceptable health insurance coverage”; the CBO projects the cheapest family plan will cost $15,000 in 2016. The plan does provide subsidies, but those are likely to disappear when the costs explode. So, many Americans will be forced to buy insurance they can’t afford or pay a penalty of 2.5% of their income. What happens to those Americans who can’t afford to pay the fine because they are trying to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table? They can be sent to prison. From H.R. 3962: Section 7203-misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year. Section 7201-felony willful evasion punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 5 years.

The Democrats in Congress have decided they know what’s best for America. It’s either follow their rules or go to prison. Hardworking Americans deserve a better choice.

Paul Breau
Newburyport