So many discredited talking points about Obamacare, so much fun debunking them. Again and again.
“Death Panels” are a favorite of bear-killing bonehead Sarah Palin. Then there are the never-ending fears of single payer and creeping socialism. Throw in FEMA camps and forced implantation of microchips, and you have something Alex Jones might envy. Most of these fear-mongering lies are like Rush Limbaugh’s feet — they are still there, but they haven’t been seen in a long time.
A long dormant lie made an attempted comeback on a recent broadcast of Fox & Friends (motto: “Fairly Unbalanced Morning Spews”), co-host and giant troll doll Brian Kilmeade resurrected one of the biggest whoppers that ever rolled down B.S. Mountain — that not paying the tax penalty for having no health insurance will land you in jail.
Kilmeade crouched this lie within the broader current strategy of scaring younger people from obtaining health insurance, claiming that they will be motivated to buy insurance “in order to avoid prison time or whatever ramifications.” Nothing softens a Big Lie better than attaching a meaningless weasel phrase like “whatever ramifications”. Admittedly, those are a lot of syllables for Kilmeade to pull out of his… TelePrompTer.
Just what are the real ramifications of not paying the penalty? According to Politifact, the Treasury Department has very little it can do other than reduce any refund owed by the amount of the penalty. No liens, no collection scares, no paycheck garnishments, no time in a prison cell. The IRS will send a form letter if a penalty is owed, but the usual means of pursuing such penalties will be toothless in contrast to normal collection procedures. The ACA is specific about the extent of IRS enforcement:
“In the case of any failure by a taxpayer to timely pay any penalty (…) such taxpayer shall not be subject to any criminal prosecution or penalty.”
Kilmeade could have that explained to him and his malleable viewers, but time and circumstance will bear out the truth, even if the letter of the law is insufficient persuasion. Knowing the confirmation bias of Fox’s friends, the truth usually fails to pop their fear bubble. It’s the real prison in this equation.
Watch the video below.
h/t: Freak Out Nation