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The penalties in the health care law will effectively encourage the uninsured to buy health insurance.
Candidate Obama, 2008

“In some cases there are people who are paying fines, and still can’t afford [health insurance] so now they’re worse off than they were.  They don’t have health insurance and they’re paying a fine...  And in order for you to force people to get health insurance you’ve got to have a very harsh stiff penalty.”



Now that we all know Americans will, in fact, face fines for the failure to purchase health insurance, we thought we would put that subject up for the Fact or Fiction vote for our readers.  For facts, we turn to our trusty resource, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and their analysis of the effects of the health care law.



Read, Verify, Learn, Vote!



The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

For many individuals, the penalty amounts for not having insurance coverage were not sufficiently large to have a sizable impact on the coverage decision.   Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Report, Page 7

The balance of 18 million would choose not to be insured and to pay the penalty (if applicable) associated with the individual mandate.  For the most part, these would be individuals with relatively low health care expenses for whom the individual or family insurance premium would be significantly in excess of any penalty and their anticipated health benefit value.   CMS Report, Page 8

...the per-worker penalties assessed on nonparticipating employers are relatively low compared to prevailing health insurance costs.   As a result, the penalties would not be a substantial deterrent to dropping or forgoing coverage.   CMS Report, Page 7

Taxpayers who are required to pay a penalty but fail to do so will receive a notice from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that they owe the penalty. If they still do not pay the penalty, the IRS can attempt to collect the funds by reducing the amount of their tax refund in the future. However, individuals who fail to pay the penalty will not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty for such failure. The Secretary can not file notice of lien or levy on any property for a taxpayer who does not pay the penalty.    Congressional Research Services (CRS), Page 7

So, we want to hear from you, what do you think?
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Do you think the penalties in the new health care law will effectively encourage the uninsured to buy health insurance?
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Voting Key


Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True