I believe the penalty for not doing so is only a small fine, haven't heard anything about jail time. As well, it can be waived in cases of financial hardship, no? Healthy people make more money and put more money back into taxes than unhealthy people, so if you look at the penalty as being a government incentive to have health insurance it makes more sense than looking at it as a punishment to me, even though it IS a punishment. Come to think of it, why didn't they make it an extra tax burden instead of defining it as a penalty?
I guess the idea of the government forcing you to buy something is stupid and I can understand how people would be against it. If we want to maintain private insurance and private healthcare so desperately, why not just offer a tax-funded government insurance voucher healthcare system or something?
SEC. 5000A. REQUIREMENT TO MAINTAIN MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE.
(a) REQUIREMENT TO MAINTAIN MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE.—
An applicable individual shall for each month beginning after 2013 ensure that the individual, and any dependent of the individual who is an applicable individual, is covered under minimum essential coverage for such month.
(b) SHARED RESPONSIBILITY PAYMENT.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—If an applicable individual fails to meet the requirement of subsection (a) for 1 or more months during any calendar year beginning after 2013, then, except as provided in subsection (d), there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual in the amount determined under subsection (c).
(2) INCLUSION WITH RETURN.—Any penalty imposed by this section with respect to any month shall be included with a taxpayer’s return under chapter 1 for the taxable year which includes such month.
(3) PAYMENT OF PENALTY.—If an individual with respect to whom a penalty is imposed by this section for any month—
(A) is a dependent (as defined in section 152) of another taxpayer for the other taxpayer’s taxable year including such month, such other taxpayer shall be liable for such penalty, or
(B) files a joint return for the taxable year including such month, such individual and the spouse of such individual shall be jointly liable for such penalty.
(c) AMOUNT OF PENALTY.—
(1) IN GENERAL.—The penalty determined under this subsection for any month with respect to any individual is an amount equal to 1⁄12 of the applicable dollar amount for the calendar year.
(2) DOLLAR LIMITATION.—The amount of the penalty imposed by this section on any taxpayer for any taxable year with respect to all individuals for whom the taxpayer is liable under subsection (b)(3) shall not exceed an amount equal to 300 percent the applicable dollar amount (determined without regard to paragraph (3)(C)) for the calendar year with or within which the taxable year ends.
(3) APPLICABLE DOLLAR AMOUNT.—For purposes of paragraph (1)—
(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), the applicable dollar amount is $750.
(B) PHASE IN.—The applicable dollar amount is $95 for 2014 and $350 for 2015.
As anyone can tell you, if you fail to pay your penalties on your tax return to the IRS you will receive jail time.
The idea of the government forcing you to buy something is not only stupid, it is illegal and unconstitutional. We do have a tax funded government healthcare system - medicare/medicaid.
The main issue with private healthcare is the fact that citizens are not legally allowed to purchase insurance from interstate companies. This in turn voids any competition between companies (see: car insurance, cable companies), driving up the price. If the laws were amended to allow the people to compare and shop around interstate companies, competition would be higher, thus driving down the price and making private healthcare more affordable, and defeating the purpose for any government intervention. Instead, we were pushed into Obamacare, which I do not support, which is just as bad.