I have always thought that Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a bit confused, mostly because of her appearance on an XM-radio Hanukkah special talking about taking her children to her friends house for Christmas, but now she is showing real signs of memory loss problems.
Two days ago she conducted town hall meeting in Fort Lauderdale (video below). One of her constituents asked Wasserman Shultz where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance. The Congresswoman responded that the new health care law did not require individuals to buy health insurance.
“We actually have not required in this law that you carry health insurance,” Wasserman Schultz said at the townhall meeting.
HUH? No Mandate? Did she read the same bill I did? The bill requires that you purchase health insurance or pay a fine. Didn’t she read in the paper about all of those State Attorneys General filing a lawsuit against Obamacare because of the individual mandate? Maybe she is spending too much time with fellow Progressive Floridian Alan Grayson and caught whatever mental disease is troubling him.
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The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code, the nation’s tax law, adding a section entitled, “Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage,” section 5000A.
“Subtitle D of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 is amended by adding at the end the following new chapter: ‘‘CHAPTER 48—MAINTENANCE OF MINIMUM ESSENTIAL COVERAGE ‘‘Sec. 5000A. Requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage.”
Contrary to Rep. Wasserman Schultz’s claim, this section of the law requires that every individual certify to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they have a government-approved level of health insurance coverage.
“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,” the law reads.
Individuals who fail to comply with this “requirement” are assessed a “shared responsibility payment”–a fine collected by the IRS.
“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…there is hereby imposed a penalty with respect to the individual in the amount determined under subsection (c).”
That penalty will be no more than $750 per person who does not have health insurance, up to a maximum of $2,250 per household or two percent of household income, whichever is greater.
The law does not create additional tax filing statuses–like the current married or single-filing status–nor does it mandate that not having insurance would place an individual in a different tax bracket, as the mortgage and child deductions can.
“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,” says the new law.
Either Ms Wasserman Schultz is suffering from some sort of short term memory loss or she is lying through her teeth. My vote is for the later. Watch the incident on video below: