All the Stupid People, Where Do They All Come From?


President Barack Obama participates in an Affordable Care Act videoconference. (White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Just when I’m in a positive frame of mind, I go and read something so stupid it makes my head want to explode. There are a lot of sites that advise people not to buy health insurance in compliance with the Affordable Health Care Act. However, that’s not what has my head expanding. It’s the number of brainless nitwits who assert that noncompliance will result in not just fines but imprisonment.

There is no imprisonment for not buying health insurance. Don’t believe every stupid bit of information that you read on the Internet.

There are fines for not having health insurance. In Obamacare’s first year (2014), the fine is $95 per adult or one percent of income, whichever is highest. The penalty is half the adult amount for children under 18. The penalty goes up every year, landing at $695 or 2.5 percent of household income in 2016.

If you own a car, states require you to buy at minimum, liability insurance. This is not to protect you but to protect your fellow drivers from being hit by uninsured drivers and having to either pay out of pocket or file a claim with their insurance and risk an increase in their rates.

When you get sick, (and unless you die young from an accident, you will get sick at some point in your life, and traipse off to the emergency room with no insurance) the rest of us pay for your health care. Those ridiculous overcharges at hospitals are to create sufficient funds to cover treating the uninsured.

So while you defiantly refuse to spend $100 per month on health insurance (if you’re in good health with no pre-existing conditions your insurance costs will be low), when you are in an accident or become seriously ill and take yourself to the emergency room and are hospitalized, who do you think pays for your medical care? You have no insurance. The hospital can try to collect, but if you have no assets worth a crap, then there is nothing for the hospital to collect from you. And in spite of the nonsense I’ve read recently, there is no such thing as a debtor prison in the United States. Your property, if you have any, may be forfeited but no one goes to prison because he or she cannot pay their debts.

sheria reidPlease stop spreading misinformation and declaring that anyone is going to prison because he or she does not purchase health insurance. If you’d rather pay a fine, so be it.

As for the “Chicken Little” cries that the AHCA equals Socialism, I suggest you start with the basics and check out Wikipedia’s entry on Socialism.

It’s exceptionally simplistic and ultimately inaccurate to characterize Socialism as a redistribution of wealth. However, I don’t have the time nor energy to give a fundamental lesson in Socialism.

Sheria Reid
The Examined Life

Friday, 23 August 2013


  1. briankk says

    “All the stupid people, where do they all come from?”

    Democrats import them by the busload, around election time…

  2. Ryder says

    Ahhh… it’s not stupidity. It’s called “a rumor” and some rumors are just wrong.

    You’re worked up over nothing.

    It’s not stupid to think that failing to comply with government may result in jail time.

    It happens every day.

    Try again.

    (and since the IRS is the enforcement arm of Obamacare… and if people decide to NOT pay the IRS enforcement fines or assessments or taxes or whatever you want to call them… what do you think happens to people that don’t pay the IRS?)

    • duitdon says

      I’m afraid you are miss informed!!! What do you think will happen if you don’t pay up. Jail if for those that commit fraud or refuse to follow the law. Good lord, you think the liars are just passing rumors. It’s called propaganda and is done by those like the nazis in world war ll. Think!

    • Sheria says

      Failing to pay your income taxes is a criminal act, it’s fraud and as such can be punished by jail time. Failing to pay your credit card debt, or other personal debts, unless fraud may be proven, is a civil infraction and cannot be punished with jail time. The creditor may sue you to collect the debt and the court can force the sale of your property to pay off the debtor, but you cannot be jailed simply for owing a debt.

      If a state has a statute that specifies that there are criminal penalties for failing to buy liability insurance for your car, then you may indeed be jailed for violating the statute. However, the ACA has no provisions, none, nada, declaring that there is a prison sentence for failing to buy health insurance. The penalty is a fine. Don’t pay the fine, and the federal government may pursue collection with additional fines and penalties but barring a violation of some other law such as fraud, there is no jail time. Without a specific criminal penalty in the ACA, no one can be jailed simply for not purchasing health insurance. The penalty is a fine, not jail time.

      • says

        Just out of curiosity but how do they think they’re going to collect the fine? Out of my almost non-existent bank account? It would cost more than the fine itself for the bureaucratic paperwork to collect it. Will they send cops to my door to shake me down? Arrest me? That costs money too. Seems like a regulation with no teeth. I’m willing to buy health insurance if I can afford it, and if EVERY effort is made on the other side to keep costs low (no more $75 hospital aspirins!) but the vast majority of us who had our money stolen by banksters a few years ago aren’t in any condition to drum up thousands every year.

        Maybe if they stopped spending money on overseas police actions, bailing out Wall Street and taxed lobbyists 99.9% of their income, and instead spent that money on infrastructure, education and putting a solar panel on every roof, we’d have not only a more stable economy, but more people working and educated.

        • Sheria says

          Dawn, I think that your concerns are valid. My point wasn’t that fines are a piece of cake to pay but that there are no provisions for jailing people for failing to purchase health insurance. I agree that there are more important matters to be addressed. I think that the ACA is just the start of addressing the issue of affordable access to health care for all of us.

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