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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Sep 10, 2009

It appears that Senator Max Baucus (D. Mont.) is about to cause a ruckus in his home state.

In legislation Baucus is proposing, anyone who failed to get health insurance once the system is overhauled would pay a fine. How much?

Up to $3,800 a year.

That’s how much a family of four earning $66,000 a year, three times the federal poverty level, would pay for failing to get health insurance. We all know that a family of four earning that much isn’t rolling in dough, and $3,800 is a pretty hefty chunk of change. Individuals earning three times the federal poverty level would pay a fine of $950. On the bottom end, penalties would start at $750 a year for individuals and $l,500 for families.

What’s ironic is that Baucus hails from one of the most conservative – and poorest – states in the nation. While the recession has hit Montana hard, forcing people at times to choose between buying groceries and paying heat bills, now Baucus comes along and adds one more bill to the pile.

It will be very interesting to see if he’s re-elected.

Forcing people to buy health insurance is simply un-American. Not only that, it’s socialistic – or worse.

People should not have to buy health insurance if they don’t want to. Many people live from age 20-40 or beyond without health insurance. They’re healthy so they don’t need it.

People should be given the choice as to whether they want to buy health insurance or not. If they choose to not have it, then possibly they could sign a waiver agreeing that they would not apply for medical assistance. That would only be fair.

Even President Obama, who has taken his share of heat over health-care legislation, has said that he does not want to force people into buying health insurance.

Maybe Baucus should listen.