"Welcome to Healthcare.gov, this is a stick-up," is what the welcome message to all visitors of that website should read. But no, seemingly some American people believe that their federal government can simply wave their magic wand and create a statutory law that mandates, no, forces individuals and families to buy so-called "affordable" health insurance. I don't see how $200, $300, $500, or $900 premiums per month before yearly deductibles is "affordable" to anyone. And no, I'm not making these numbers up. Of course some people must have an inkling that this thing is not going to work, let alone illegal for government to do. Early reports of the enrollment on the first two days of the opening of 'Obamacare,' shows that less than 1% of people in select states which posted enrollment statistics have signed up for their wonderful government subsidized "healthcare." Then again it could be the fact that there's no hope for us - 99% of so-called enrollments have been lost, deleted, backlogged or simply unfinished since the opening of the "marketplace." Maybe the electronic trouble will kill the system so we don't have to rely on our politicos. Yet hopefully more people don't give in to the hype over the so-called law, which is really only a tax. Meaning that if you don't sign up and follow the demands of your loving nanny government, you'll be fined the amount of your tax returns each year you file (tax return dollars withheld), and possibly more. And yes, the IRS will try to get their "fines" from you; just ask the 16,500 new IRS agents the federal government hired last year. Yet according to Douglas Shulman, former IRS commissioner, in April of 2010 answered that despite the fines seen on paper the law carries a "Waiver of Criminal Penalties," meaning that people who do not comply with buying insurance or even comply with the notice of fines, that no criminal penalties can be levied against individuals, families, or businesses. The only catch is the aforementioned, that you will not see a penny of your tax dollars back when you file each year. Despite some claims that say driving privileges, or property liens or jail time could result in non-compliance, supposedly they are untrue and the federal government cannot do anything past sending nasty letters and withhold tax returns as penalties. We'll see about that, especially since the law has been revised so many times since 2010 and amounts to over 10,000 pages of legislation that no lawmaker has read. Either way, the government is penalizing you for not buying a product, which brings me to another point.
The federal government in general has no right, whether statutory law exists, to mandate its citizens to buy any product, whether that be insurance or bubble gum, because any government who compels a population to do something that goes against an individuals' will, especially spending money and threatening them with fines, penalties or even jail time for not complying, is nothing short of a totalitarian world and an enslaved society.
In fact, the State of Ohio has an amendment that they included in 2011 to the Ohio Bill of Rights which reads as follows:
"'Preservation of the freedom to choose health care and health care coverage.' (A) No federal, state, or local law or rule shall compel, directly or indirectly, any person, employer, or health care provider to participate in a health care system. (B) No federal, state, or local law or rule shall prohibit the purchase or sale of health care or health insurance. (C) No federal, state, or local law or rule shall impose a penalty or fine for the sale or purchase of health care or health insurance."
Since this is in the Ohio Constitution and I'm an Ohio citizen, then I suppose that I can legally be non-compliant with any federal, state or local mandate, as well as legally refuse to pay any fines and or comply with penalties. As such, I would hope that the State of Ohio would be ballsy enough to stand by me and other Ohioans when it comes down to the line and the federal government is coming after us with their guns drawn (hopefully hypothetically).
In essence, what has happened since this socialized medicine law was written by the insurance companies and big pharmaceutical corporations themselves, is that a can of worms has been opened. No matter whether the legislation was passed in Congress, supported by the (bought and paid for) Supreme Court, and now takes its place amongst the other 600,000 plus statutory laws that the United States has on the books, is that the PPACA is a bad law full of high costs, penalization, more bloating of government, strain on the healthcare industry in a time of doctor shortages, and a bureaucratic mess that leaves the American people penniless; while their money gets siphoned through insurers and into government to fund the program which costs 100 times what it should. If people were only allowed to save their money through health savings accounts and search for their own healthcare, even across state lines, making competition paramount for insurers to welcome new customers with superior coverage plans, then we might get somewhere near a good healthcare system. As well, it warrants the notion that people with preexisting conditions cannot be covered by healthcare insurance if that means that other customers are paying for somebody's illness or mistake simply because it occurred. That would be like purchasing an insurance plan for your house that had already burned down, and expected the company to build you a new one, only on the principle that you purchased the house insurance after something had occurred. It doesn't make sense, otherwise the term "insurance" doesn't apply. If it is an ethical question, since healthcare applies to people and not things, then there needs to be a paradigm in the healthcare system itself and the expectations of doctors compensation need to change, so that people who need treatment can get it no matter what (insured or not), and not be left with debt that will ruin their lives just as much as an illness or injury can.
If something doesn't change, between the socialist healthcare system that is just vamping up, to our $17 trillion of debt, or our foreign entanglements that weigh heavy on dollars and lives, there could be a revolt in America very soon, especially if people really start waking up to smell the bull that D.C. has piled before us. Whether it be peaceful or not, Washington's got a rude awaking coming to them and even so, if the American people retain their idiotic complacency and are afraid to raise up in numbers, we have got the same coming to us. The bad thing is, the longer any side waits the implications are just going to get worse. We're all asking for it and frankly all of us might simply deserve it.
Stop and think.
Sam Ludtman lives in Reno.