Dem Representative: No Individual Mandate in Obamacare

Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz is demonstrating what is either willful ignorance of the health care bill she helped to pass, or a willingness to continue to misrepresent that legislation to the people. Take your pick.

From CSN News:

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D.-Fla.) is insisting that the new health care law she voted for last month does not mandate that individuals buy health insurance, despite language in the law that plainly says otherwise.

At an April 5 town hall meeting in Fort Lauderdale (see video below), a constituent asked Wasserman Shultz where the Constitution authorized Congress to mandate that individuals buy health insurance. She responded that the new health care law did not require individuals to buy health insurance.

In a written statement to CNSNews.com on Wednesday, her press secretary, Jonathan Beeton, said it was true that the health care law did not mandate that individuals buy health insurance and that Wasserman Schultz stood by her assertion at the townhall meeting.

Uhuh. I suppose we have always been at war with East Asia as well.

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 compy(sic) with this “requirement” are assessed a “shared responsibility payment”–a fine collected by the IRS.

Oops.

It makes me wonder if she was one of those who didn’t bother to read the bill before passing it. Or if she’s just lying.

Allahpundit at Hot Air comments:

Her point here, I think, is that fining people for failing to buy insurance technically isn’t the same thing as requiring them to buy insurance. Don’t want to buy it? No problem — the government will simply take some of your money instead. It’s like saying you’re not “required” to pay your taxes because you can of course “choose” not to pay, in which case the IRS will simply garnish your wages and put a lien on your property. Not a perfect analogy since in my hypothetical the compulsion involves only the government and not some third-party private entity, but then, that’s what makes the mandate so goshdarned special, isn’t it?

It’s honestly amazing to me that even at this late date a liberal like Wasserman-Schultz lacks the guts to explain to her constituents honestly what the mandate is about.

Yes, Allahpundit, she lacks guts, but you’re missing the point: the left is never honest about what the policies they implement are about. If the left had been honest about the details of Obamacare,nowhere near as many people would have supported it. If the left decided to be honest about it now, even more people would be angry that this monstrosity got passed. By nature, socialism is dishonest.

Allahpundit also features a video of the townhall meeting in which Schultz makes the claim that the law doesn’t say what it actually says, so take a look.

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