By John McClaughry
Last Saturday the Vermont House and Senate finalized approval of a stupid and odious bill to impose a mandate on every Vermonter to buy overpriced state-approved Obamacare health insurance.
Yeah, or else what? The cowardly legislators weren’t willing to tell the public what’s in store for them if they don’t obey the mandate. They created a working group to develop the penalties next January.
Let’s get real here. Just what penalty is the state going to impose? This was a central part of the Health Security Act, promoted but not enacted in the 2005 legislature. (At least the promoters of that bill had the courage to actually declare the penalties.)
Here’s what those penalties were to be: “Individuals who are not otherwise covered, and who refuse to participate in the Plan, will be sanctioned by some combination of denial of motor vehicle registration, drivers’ license, homestead property tax exemption, hunting and fishing licenses, and enrollment in any school or college in the state.”
Add to that a straight-out tax or fine, as in Obamacare, loss of your income tax exemption, confiscation of your income tax refund, garnishing of your wages, and maybe, for particularly defiant behavior, a trip to the correctional center, and you have the full panoply of state power over the liberty of Vermonters.
I applaud the sixteen House members, all Republicans, who stood up and said no. We haven’t heard the last of this.
John McClaughry is vice president of the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.