Health Care and Politics

Democrats drafting health care legislation are considering slapping an unspecified financial penalty on anyone who refuses to purchase affordable health insurance.

Democrats are considering a new tax on certain health insurance benefits as one of numerous options to help pay for expanding coverage to the uninsured.

Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, confirmed the proposed penalty for those who refuse to purchase coverage.

Obama’s plan to spread coverage more widely carries a price tag estimated at higher than $1 trillion over a decade. House Democrats are considering cutting projected Medicare payments to home health care, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, hospitals and others to cover costs.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton,said a mandate was essential. At one point, she said she was open to garnisheeing the wages of anyone who refused to comply. gging!

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