Sen. Tom Coburn caused a stir when he recently suggested that Fox News had spread the falsehood that you could go to jail under Obamacare for not buying insurance. Bill O’Reilly said this week when he interviewed Coburn: “We researched to find out if anybody on Fox News had ever said you’re going to jail if you don’t buy health insurance. Nobody’s ever said it.”
But a number of people on Fox News had in fact said it, as you can see here in this video. The New Republic‘s Jonathan Chait sees this video as evidence that there was something to the White House’s claim that “Fox News is not a news organization.”
But the idea that you could go to jail didn’t get started with Fox News. The idea spread because under some versions of the health care bill you could have gone to jail. On September 25, Politico reported:
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) received a handwritten note 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.
Violators could be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in jail or a $25,000 penalty
ABC News reported on the letter as well. As Allahpundit notes, “It’s not like the possibility of prison was some far-out conspiracy theory: Obama and Pelosi were both asked about it months ago, when the bill was still taking shape, and both conspicuously declined to say ‘no way.'”