In what appears as a neverending bill, packed away deep within the health care reform bill will prevent future Congresses will not be able to reform a single word. This was brought to light by South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint.
How tyrannical is that? Preventing changes whether the would be for the good or for the bad. Preventing changes to something that is in opposition by the majority of the people.
This little provision that is being brought forward by DeMint is bringing quite a buzz. Especially with regards to the constitutionality of the bill. Not only with it written so changes are not allowed, it is also being debated over how they can mandate that everyone must be covered or you will be fined.
That’s Right – Jimmy D to force a vote on ObamaCare’s Constitutionality
Here’s the Senate version:
(2) SPECIAL RULES.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law—
‘‘(A) WAIVER OF CRIMINAL PENALTIES.— In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty imposed by this section, such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty with respect to such failure.
‘‘(B) LIMITATIONS ON LIENS AND LEVIES.—The Secretary shall not—
‘‘(i) file notice of lien with respect to any property of a taxpayer by reason of any failure to pay the penalty imposed by this section, or
‘‘(ii) levy on any such property with respect to such failure.
There’s no penalty at all for failing to get insurance or failure to pay the penalty. It’s not a mandate.
Here’s the House version:
Prosecution is authorized under the Code for a variety of offenses. Depending on the level of the noncompliance, the following penalties could apply to an individual:
• Section 7203 – misdemeanor willful failure to pay is punishable by a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment of up to one year.
• Section 7201 – felony willful evasion is punishable by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years.”
Now, this is something that will become an issue once the two health care reform bills are merged. So, currently Jim DeMint and John Ensign have raised a Constitutional Point of Order on the Senate floor that will be voted on tomorrow. Here are their statements:
“Forcing every American to purchase a product is absolutely inconsistent with our Constitution and the freedoms our Founding Fathers hoped to protect,” said Senator DeMint. “This is not at all like car insurance, you can choose not to drive but Americans will have no choice whether to buy government-approved insurance. This is nothing more than a bailout and takeover of insurance companies. We’re forcing Americans to buy insurance under penalty of law and then Washington bureaucrats will then dictate what these companies can sell to Americans. This is not liberty, it is tyranny of good intentions by elites in Washington who think they can plan our lives better than we can.”
“I am incredibly concerned that the Democrats’ proposed individual mandate provision takes away too much freedom and choice from Americans across the country,” said Senator Ensign. “As an American, I felt the obligation to stand up for the individual freedom of every citizen to make their own decision on this issue. I don’t believe Congress has the legal authority to force this mandate on its citizens.”
For more commentary:
Also take a look at what Heritage has on this very issue.