In case you haven't heard, the House passed H.R. 3962 on November 7th, 2009. The vote was 220 to 215. If you want to see how the final vote went down check this out.
Unfortunately, the stupid Stupak Amendment was adopted. The Stupak Amendment, brought to us by Congressman Bart Supak (D-MI), limits a LEGAL medical procedure for women.
This all starts with the Hyde Amendment from 1973 which prevents federal funds being used to pay for abortion. Personally, I don't care if you don't support a woman's LEGAL right to choose and don't want to pay for it. It's the LAW.
The Stupak Amendment goes beyond Hyde. Women who want to make sure that they have access to a LEGAL medical procedure would have to purchase a supplemental plan but could not use subsidies to pay for it. Plans receiving subsidies cannot offer abortion even if they require women to pay for the LEGAL medical procedure out of pocket.
Disclaimer: The verbiage of the Stupak Amendment is "not available"so take what is being reported with a grain of salt.
See how your Representatives voted here.
Interestingly, 39 Democrats voted FOR the Stupak Amendment and then voted AGAINST the Health Care Reform bill. If you aren't going to vote in favor of the bill why even cast a vote on the amendment?
I want to let you in on a secret, I live a fascinating life. For instance, I watched C-SPAN all day Saturday - yes, all day! I even popped up some popcorn. No, not the microwave lung cancer causing variety. But the real stuff using organic, non-GMO popcorn & coconut oil then topped with melted organic butter, sea salt and Fair Trade chocolate chips. Oh yes people, it's highfalutin and fascinating all day over here!
If you don't live as fascinating life as I do, you can cruise on over to C-SPAN and find out what your representative had to say!
So anyway, while I was munching on my delicious popcorn treat and watching C-SPAN I heard over and over and over again how H.R. 3962 would send people to jail if they didn't get insurance.
Hmmmm, interesting. So I searched the bill, and you can too. You can find it here or as a PDF here.
The interesting thing is, the bill doesn't say anything about sending people to jail. How could it be argued over and over and over again that it does?
Let's start with the facts, mosey on over to the PDF file and find Section 501 (its on page 296 and starts at line 16). The facts are that if you don't have coverage then you will be fined. The fines are 2.5% of your annual gross income not to exceed the "applicable national average premium for such taxable year". In addition there are several exemptions including religious.
A little math: for someone earning 30,000/yr the tax would be $750 (this is assuming that they don't have an exemption nor work for an employer providing health insurance and choose not to purchase health insurance).
Here's where the Republicans played fast and loose with what's IN the bill. See, in the U.S. if you don't pay your taxes and you get caught and you don't pay or negotiate with the I.R.S. when you do get caught, then you may go to jail.
This is not new to this bill, this is part of the I.R.S. code. Come on, it's pretty much what inspires people to pay!
"Yeah" for Health Care Reform, "Boo"for the Stupak Amendment and "Cool Your Jets" because now we've got to wait and see what the Senate has in store.
Start contacting your Senators telling them that you want the Stupak Amendment OUT of the bill.
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