Proof of Health Care Insurance – To the IRS!

John Edwards now says he’ll turn the IRS into a quasi-police agency for health care. When individuals and families file their taxes, they’ll have to provide proof of insurance. If not, they’ll be financially penalized or have their wages garnished for “back premiums with interest and collection costs.”

Under the Edwards plan, when Americans file their income taxes, they would be required to submit a letter from an insurance provider confirming coverage for themselves and their dependents.

If someone did not submit proof of coverage, the Internal Revenue Service would notify a newly established regional or state-based health-care agency (which Edwards has dubbed a Health Care Market).

If the individual was not eligible for either of those existing public programs, the regional-health care agency would enroll the individual into the lowest cost health-care plan available in that area. The lowest-cost option could be a new Medicare-like public option or a private insurance plan.

The newly covered individual would not only have access to health benefits but would also be responsible for making monthly payments with the help of a tax credit.

The exact size of the financial obligation would vary according to a person’s income (lower-income Americans would receive larger tax credits).

If a person did not meet his or her monthly financial obligation for a set period of time (perhaps a year, perhaps longer) the Edwards plan would empower the federal government to garnish an individual’s wages for purposes of collecting “back premiums with interest and collection costs.”

In Massachusetts, the only state with such a mandate in place, only about 10,000 of the 215,000 uninsured who aren’t eligible for subsidies have enrolled so far. The Edwards plan would punish the uninsured and eventually put them in hock by garnishing their wages.

Could Health Care prisons be far behind? Lenin would be proud.

Source: ABC News

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