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Flout the Healthcare Mandate Penalty? Face the IRS

Americans who fail to pay the penalty for not buying insurance would face legal action* from the Internal Revenue Service, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

The remarks Thursday from the committee's chief of staff, Thomas Barthold, seems to further weaken President Barack Obama's contention last week that the individual mandate penalty, which could go as high as $1,900, is not a tax increase.

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* The handwritten note Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received on Thursday from Joint Committee on Taxation Chief of Staff Tom Barthold confirming the penalty for failing to pay the up to $1,900 fee for not buying health insurance. (pdf)