History Shows What the Individual Insurance Mandate Could Look Like

May 16, 2018

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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Beverly May 19, 2018 at 12:18 am

Just another way for legislators and onsurance companies to get their hands in our already almost empty pockets! Punish us for not having enough money to by expensive insurance then penalize us by taking away our only means of making any money…..our vehicles and our drivers licenses. Time to drain the Montpelier swamp!


Fred May 19, 2018 at 9:32 am

And STILL,,,,No one “down there” can tell me or ANYBODY where In the US or State Constitutions they find anything that gives them the POWER to FORCE ANYBODY to buy ANYTHING from the state ??? This is another “cash cow mandate” to be used as a slush fund for bloated government. Too big, too many “laws” too many failed policies. All this illegal trash does is pad the pockets of certain “law makers” and the insurance companies they represent. When are you going to TELL THEM you’ve had enough ??? Free Choice = Freedom,,,,,got any ???


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The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

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