As we wade through the numerous ways that the health care legislation may be unconstitutional, here's one saying the mandate to purchase may not be enforceable, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. This is well-worth paying attention to - don't leave without reading the red text below.
From BigGovernment's Morgen Richmond:
[Richmond] "However, it turns out that the Democrats who crafted this bill significantly – and I mean significantly – hamstrung the ability of the IRS or any other federal agency to enforce or collect on this mandate. Here is what the federal Joint Committee on Taxation had to say about this issue in a report released earlier this week:
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.
[Richmond] In other words, as the law is written the federal government has no legal authority to enforce this mandate, nor will it have any recourse to collect any penalties that go unpaid! ...
[Richmond] The net result will be an ever increasing shift of healthcare costs on to those who remain in the insurance system (or to tax payers), and possibly even the bankruptcy of the insurance industry. Given all the double-talk the past year over the public option, and the demonizing of private insurers, it is hard not to wonder whether this was by design...Click the link above to read the entire discussion at BigGovernment.
Others talking about the 'mandate.'
Graphic found at Tax Shelters