In a townhall-type event in Oklahoma, Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) was so completely disrespectful of the crowd that his cheekiness defies civility. Two issues: he was asked about the possibility of going to prison for the refusal to buy government-mandated health care, and didn't like the crowds reprehension when he said "Nancy Pelosi is a nice lady." There are two videos included in the one below and it makes me nauseous to hear my Senator lecture me on judging people.
READERS: MY APOLOGIES - THE FORMATTING HAS GONE BATTY ON THIS POST.
A women in the crowd asked about the possibility of going to prison for failure to buy what the government is selling. There were two provisions called that prison sentence.
If these two provisions did not make it to law, let me ask you Mr. Coburn, how would we know? It was in the House bill. The Senate took it out. How can we keep up with what was in the reconciliation package?
This was Coburn's answer:
The intention is not to put any one in jail. That makes for good TV news on FOX but that isn't the intention,"...Well, it certainly was the intention of Nancy Pelosi to level a prison sentence:
The legislation that created the law that now looms over us, originally had a provision for a stiff fine and imprisonment. This from the Committee on Ways and Means Republicans, November 6, 2009:
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.” [page 3]
When confronted with this same issue during its consideration of a similar individual mandate tax, the Senate Finance Committee worked on a bipartisan basis to include language in its bill that shielded Americans from civil and criminal penalties. The Pelosi bill, however, contains no similar language protecting American citizens from civil and criminal tax penalties that could include a $250,000 fine and five years in jail.
“The Senate Finance Committee had the good sense to eliminate the extreme penalty of incarceration. Speaker Pelosi’s decision to leave in the jail time provision is a threat to every family who cannot afford the $15,000 premium her plan creates. Fortunately, Republicans have an alternative that will lower health insurance costs without raising taxes or cutting Medicare,” said Camp.
The newsmaker seems to be that Coburn said Nancy Pelosi was a very nice woman. The crowd didn't like that and he challeged them: "Do you know her? Have you met her?" Now that makes my blood boil. Of course we don't know know her. We do not live in the rarified air of Capitol Hill...as you do. We just know what she says and what she does. Coburn, that answer was disrespectful - and why the snipe at FOX? Jail time was in the original bill so it caught the attention of those actually "reporting" on the bill.