D.C. Passes Law Requiring People to Buy Health Insurance or Have Their Property Seized

Just when you think the move for government control of health care couldn’t get any worse, somehow it manages to. Last Wednesday, the District of Columbia City Council approved a requirement for all DC residents to purchase health insurance. The mandate would take effect in January, right when the federal mandate penalty drops to $0, as per last year’s tax law.

The D.C. mandate contains three elements that make it just as bad as, if not worse than, the federal mandate it is intended to replace. . .

Suffice it to say that the district’s individual mandate did not attract much attention. Unlike last week’s initiative vote on raising wages for tipped workers, or the battle over “right-to-die” legislation in the nation’s capital, restoring the individual mandate has slipped below the news radar screen. Some online searching Thursday found no references to the D.C. Council’s mandate vote in the Washington Post, or (but for a brief blurb in Politico) other online news articles discussing recent developments.

A cynic might believe that the D.C. Council acted in such a low-key manner by design. The council did not approve the mandate as a stand-alone bill, but wrapped it into a 297-page Budget Support Act. That bill contains such unrelated provisions as an amendment regarding the Fort Dupont Ice Arena, technical corrections to a supermarket tax incentive program, and amendments regarding civic associations using public schools.

Likewise, a press release by the D.C. Council summarizing Wednesday’s meeting contained not a word about imposing the individual mandate, nor did the council website show any stand-alone votes on the mandate itself. This lack of disclosure pushed me to contact my council member, Charles Allen, to find out what had happened at the council meeting Wednesday. (Read more from “D.C. Passes Law Requiring People to Buy Health Insurance or Have Their Property Seized” HERE)

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