Do not pass go, do not collect $200. There is no escaping the fact of having to shell out $15,000 for the new yet-to-be-passed-in-both-houses health care bill, H.R. 3962. Plus, you must do this regardless of any pre-existing insurance plan whether you like it or not.

To me, this seems a bit on the side of authoritarian rule, where the ruling party says ‘jump” and you have to jump. I could have sworn that I live in the United States of America and not 16th century France. And if it’s the case that I live in America, doesn’t that also mean that I have the right to protest ridiculous laws?

Yes, I think I do.

Case in point: The Joint Committee on Taxation recently sent a letter to Representative Dave Camp (R-MI) that explains the various taxes and penalties for failure to comply with H.R. 3962.

First off this is a tax on anyone who isn’t able to keep an ‘acceptable health insurance coverage.” This tax is the lesser of an arbitrary guesstimate made by the Secretary of the Treasury in conjunction with the Health Choices Commissioner, or 2.5 percent of the taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income. This confusing tax will be in addition to the regular income tax, but us college students under our parents’ insurances need not worry because they are fronting the bill with their money, not ours. Isn’t that great? Naturally, the tax doesn’t apply to the poor or those with religious obligations.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the penalties get worse. Much worse. It mostly stems from people attempting to avoid the tax, thereby becoming tax evaders. The harshest civil penalty is not so bad, only $5,000 for ‘taking a frivolous position on a tax return.” The criminal penalties really start hitting home as evidenced by a fine of up to $250,000 and/or imprisonment of up to five years. Of course that’s only if you willfully avoid the tax, which also happens to be a felony, but whatever. And all this is stemming from the mandate that everyone must pay a tax on this ludicrously expensive health care system. Even the bill itself is $2.24 million per word, and since there are about 400,000 words in the 1,990-page document, it adds up rather quickly.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the lowest plan a family can choose from is $15,000. And if the family doesn’t want to pay, then the principal member of the family could go to jail. But seriously, incarcerating people who don’t see a health care plan as a moral obligation? That’s just wrong.

Nerger is a member of the class of 2011.

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