The individual mandate is unenforceable

That’s essentially the conclusion of the Joint Committee on Taxation (page 33, here):

The penalty applies to any period the individual does not maintain minimum essential coverage and is determined monthly. The penalty is assessed through the Code and accounted for as an additional amount of Federal tax owed. However, it is not subject to the enforcement provisions of subtitle F of the Code. The use of liens and seizures otherwise authorized for collection of taxes does not apply to the collection of this penalty. Non-compliance with the personal responsibility requirement to have health coverage is not subject to criminal or civil penalties under the Code and interest does not accrue for failure to pay such assessments in a timely manner.

This is a big deal. It means that the entire system the Democrats has forced on us is untenable. (Even more than we thought it was.) The individual mandate is essential to the whole system: without it people can wait until they get sick to purchase health insurance, and (under the pre-existing condition provision) insurers will be forbidden to reject them or charge them an actuarially fair rate. Without forcing healthy people into the system, costs will skyrocket.

(Via Big Government.)

POSTSCRIPT: As I noted earlier, even the individual mandate doesn’t entirely solve the problem, but the properly is certainly much worse without it.

UPDATE: But see this.

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