Senate Proposes “Health Tax” on Fittest Americans

In a revamped health care system envisioned by senators, 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 fines of more than $1,000.

The details were unveiled Thursday July 2, in a health care overhaul bill supported by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

Called “shared responsibility payments,” the fines would offset at least 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.
[continued at The Seattle Times]

If you were given a choice, would you vote for or against this proposal? Why?


  1. Seems reasonable to me. Te alternative is like allowing people to sign up for flood insurance only after they’re underwater. Calling it a health tax is misleading political doublespeak.

  2. No, “health insurance” is doublespeak, and it should be renamed as “sick insurance” so we can have an honest discussion about its merits.

    Do you know why don’t healthy people don’t like to sign up for health insurance? Some of them realize that self-administered preventative care and health maintenance is a much better deal.

    Under this proposal, people who spend the time and effort to keep themselves as healthy as possible, will pay twice. In other words, it is a health tax.

  3. Flood insurance is a bad analogy. Imagine you live in a condo complex filled with pyromaniacs, who insist you pay your “fair share” of the fire insurance, based upon the “inevitability” that the entire building will go up in smoke.

    Now, the insurance adjuster knows all your neighbors are criminally insane, and prices the group policy accordingly. You are not allowed to move to a different building, or to otherwise opt-out of the plan.

    Does that sound reasonable to you, Steve? 😀

  4. By the numbers, the healthy people will be paying too much. But individually it is a different thing. Someone can be healthy with a very unhealthy lifestyle. That is very different from a healthy person with a very healthy lifestyle.

  5. I don’t think I’ve ever used medical coverage for health. It’s always been unexpected emergencies.

  6. My health insurance is Taijiquan (and a few other tricks). I negotiate real, cash prices with doctors and dentists. Most of them like it and I save a bundle.

    I’d vote no. I’d not ever sign up, too.

  7. The price of new techniques and technologies goes up, sure, but the price of old ones keeps going down. We have safe drinking water and safe food, we have no deadly epidemics or plagues, and we have anti-biotics.
    As we say on Passover, ‘it would have been enough!’
    What will they come up with next, a government agent to hold our hand while we’re crossing the street?

    The only reason for a young healthy male to get sickness insurance is to protect his home or other accumulated wealth assets from long odds.

  8. Yes.

    Ultimately we already pay this ‘tax’. When people default on hospital payments we, the tax payer, pick up the bill. Due to financial reasons some people don’t get treatment until they have spread whatever they have to their entire family and most of their friends. This ends up costing the tax payer more far more than a simple 1-2 week course of antibiotics. (and far more than a $10 immunization a few years back)

    Quick disclaimer. I likely have a bias on this since I’ve worked on ambulances and had to walk away from someone who is probably going to die within a week since he refuses to go to hospital and bankrupt his family. In those situations you walk slowly in the hope that he will go unconscious before you drive off since then you can actually get him to hospital and save his life.

  9. This is probably do to the fact that everyone in the Senate is living off of an array of supplements and chiropractic adjustments every day. Some of us actually live off of a healthy diet and good exercise. Maybe instead of health care insurance we should look at our education system.

  10. I’d like to get more information about the bill and possible side-effects, but I think the link you provided doesn’t go to the same article.

  11. Mandated coverage sounds like another give back to the private insurance companies. A win-win situation for them but not the public. Unlike auto insurance, driving a car is a privilege and having auto insurance is a necessary expense. We don’t choose to get sick and need to pay for health care. A single payer system or “medicare for all” would level the playing field for all Americans.

  12. Gold star for Helene, and David Goldhill:

    …Accidentally, but relentlessly, America has built a health-care system with incentives that inexorably generate terrible and perverse results. Incentives that emphasize health care over any other aspect of health and well-being. That emphasize treatment over prevention. That disguise true costs. That favor complexity, and discourage transparent competition based on price or quality. That result in a generational pyramid scheme rather than sustainable financing. And that—most important—remove consumers from our irreplaceable role as the ultimate ensurer of value…

    Fundamentally, the “comprehensive” reform being contemplated merely cements in place the current system—insurance-based, employment-centered, administratively complex. It addresses the underlying causes of our health-care crisis only obliquely, if at all; indeed, by extending the current system to more people, it will likely increase the ultimate cost of true reform.

  13. Mike Adams, Natural News, quoted for truth:

    …This has now been confirmed by Tom Barthold, the Chief of Staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation. And it’s not merely about jail time; it’s also about the $25,000 fine that could be levied by the IRS against individuals who refuse to buy health insurance. That this is even being considered just boggles the mind.

    As Paul Craig Roberts brilliantly pointed out in a recent essay, this is like trying to solve the homeless problem by forcing homeless people to buy a home, then throwing them in prison when they can’t afford to.

    The brutal facts of the matter are inescapable: The American people are too broke to buy their own health insurance, and the American government is too broke to buy it for them…no nation in the world can afford to foot the bill for a country full of sick people.

    Why don’t I need health insurance? Because I don’t visit doctors and I don’t get sick. If you don’t get sick, you don’t need health insurance.

    Of course, silly doctors ask, “Well what if you suddenly get sick out of the blue?”

    What, you mean through voodoo or something? Sickness without cause? Do doctors really believe in spontaneous sickness that magically appears without reason?

    All sickness has a cause. That much should be obvious. And if you eliminate the causes of disease, you won’t experience disease.

    President Barack Obama wants to label me a criminal. He wants to fine me twenty-five thousand dollars and throw me in prison for one year for my refusal to pay money into a corrupt, broken sick care system.

    Note that the people who are destroying their own health — and putting huge cost burdens on the health care system — are not considered criminals at all. People can destroy their own bodies through junk foods, toxic chemicals and substance abuse…but as long as they pay up, they’re considered “good Americans” who are participating in the health care system. Meanwhile, people like me who take care of our own health, who place no burden whatsoever on the health care system, and who refuse to pay mandatory premiums into a corrupt health insurance industry are going to be threatened with arrest and imprisonment…

  14. After voting against H.R. 3962 – Affordable Health Care for America Act, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today made the following statement:

    “We have been led to believe that we must make our health care choices only within the current structure of a predatory, for-profit insurance system which makes money not providing health care. We cannot fault the insurance companies for being what they are. But we can fault legislation in which the government incentivizes the perpetuation, indeed the strengthening, of the for-profit health insurance industry…

  15. Well, Obama has removed my freedom to use alternative medicine rather than western, materialistic, superficial medicine. In my ten+ years as an adult (I am a thirty-two year old artist in perfect health) I have had medical insurance a few times, but mostly I have only had catastrophic insurance. In my years without mainstream insurance I learned that holistic medicine has cured illness that could not be healed by doctors.
    I voluntarily choose not to have mainstream insurance because I’ve learned that much of the medicine and prescriptions given me by doctors has not been able to cure ailments that holistic medicine has completely removed from my body. Therefore, I purchase the cheapest form of insurance (catastrophic insurance) to help pay for emergency bodily repair.

    As of Obamacare passing, I will now be forced by gun and threat of jail to purchase a PRODUCT that I do not want.
    I am now forced to purchase a product because I am alive and breathe air. BTW, this is a product I cannot afford.

    My messge to America is “Stop listening to the media because there is nothing altruistic about collectivism and losing freedom.”

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