I spent a couple of hours yesterday researching an issue on Health Care Reform by reading sections of the Senate Bill and the House Reconciliation Bill. I didn't get a definitive answer and because I am not a lawyer and don't want to take 40+ hours for further research, I would welcome a knowledgeable comment on this.
The question concerns the individual mandate. The penalty starts for an individual at $695 or 2.5% of AGI, whichever is greater. I was trying to determine if the maximum penalty was capped. I couldn't find where it was. The significance is that this would pretty much mandate that very high earners that may self-insure currently join the system and purchase insurance ( $8,000/yr for a cheap policy vs. 2.5% of $20MM). This may not seem like a big deal now, but down the road it could be huge. Great Britain doesn't allow people in the health care system to pay for private care outside the system in the UK. They have to leave the country.
It really wouldn't surprise me if the penalty wasn't capped. There seems to be a certain amount of glee from the Progressives that pushed this bill; not only do they want to "spread the wealth" from the "rich" to the "poor", but they want to eliminate any advantages in treatment one could receive by paying cash for it. Yes, that's right. They feel that reducing the current high quality of care some now receive to be a worthy achievement.