Look Out … It’s the Obamacare Police!

When Congress was passing the Obamacare law in 2010, some members of Congress suggested observers ignore the ugliness of the legislative “sausage-making” process in favor of the final result.

But it turns out that enforcement of this law may prove as ugly, or even uglier, than either metaphorical or literal sausage-making.

To start with, there’s a penalty for failing to purchase health insurance as the law mandates. This is particularly relevant to young people. Young people are the least able to afford health insurance, and the most likely — generally being healthy — to ignore the need for health insurance.

According to our government, we are all morally and legally each other’s keepers. Therefore, if some stranger fails to purchase health insurance, while you did, then it’s still your problem.

You see, Obama is different from many other politicians. When he ran for office — twice — and stated, “You are your brother’s keepers” — well, he meant it.

By voting for Obama twice, a majority of Americans have given Obama, as well as the IRS assigned with enforcement of this law, every reason to believe that they agree. If this isn’t what a majority of Americans intended by voting for Obama, and if they don’t like the implementation of this principle, in practice, then — well, it’s now their problem.

The penalty will start relatively small, which has led to speculation that many young and healthy people will simply choose to pay it this year as opposed to buying insurance. It starts at $95 per person or 1 percent of family income, whichever is greater. But over the next several years, it rises to $695 per person. While aggressively pursuing these fines could prove politically unpopular [reports FoxNews.com 4/10/14], failing to do so could also increase deficit projections.

A lot of young people voted for Obama because he thought he was on their “side,” and because they thought he was “cool.” How cool is it to send the IRS into your home, your bank account or your paycheck to mandate that you buy services you may or may not want, or may or may not require?

The rationale for the law is essentially that everyone needs health insurance, whether they think so or not. That is arguably true. However, by what right does the government impose on everybody any particular policy, whether it’s good for the person, or not? Couldn’t we make the same case for things that Obama supporters would never support — such as government edicts regulating sexual or reproductive habits, for example?

A lot of people fall for the idea of the social welfare state because, they feel, it gives them more freedom. “I shouldn’t have to worry about paying for doctors. Or retirement insurance. The government should take care of that for me.” Well, the government must do so by a certain means. That always means — by definition — things like fines, police cars, handcuffs, jails and criminal records. How much freedom is that, you social welfare lovers out there?

Arguably, everybody needs a car to get around. Everybody needs groceries. Do we send government agents into people’s homes to ensure that they’re buying all that they’re supposed to buy? Why not, if the principle rationalizing Obamacare is valid?

Do most people still think Obama is cool? Some polls suggest not, but polls are not always reliable. He’s simply doing what you (the electoral majority, that is) ordered him to do: Boss you around and restrain your freedom even more than it already had been restrained before he entered the White House.

The IRS did not respond this week to a question about how many additional employees have been hired as a result of Obamacare. Nor will the IRS specify (yet) whether it has the power to garnish wages or place a lien on private property if individual citizens fail to do its bidding.

The lesson, especially for young people, is: Ideas (and votes) have consequences. Obama, as well as his probable successors (in both parties), actually mean it when they say your life does not necessarily belong to you, and that it belongs to the society at large. In practice this always means: The government — acting on behalf of “society at large” — will tell you what to do, and you will do as you’re told.

If you let your elected leaders legislate away your individuality and your individual rights via such an idea, then you have only your own erroneous thinking — or inattention — to blame.

By the way, how about establishing a free market for medicine? Get the government out of medicine, completely and forever. No regulation, no subsidizing, no controlling (aside from objective fraud or malpractice, of course.) Let supply and demand set the terms. Could the free market do any worse of a job than Medicare and Medicaid, and now Obamacare, have done to date, bankrupting the federal budget and turning medical care into a dysfunctional, confusing mess? The relatively free market has done a fine job filling our grocery store shelves, supplying our innovative smart phones and computers, and turning the Internet into a trillion-dollar economy all on its own. What’s so bad about the free market for medicine, when (to the degree permitted) it has blown away the competition in so many other areas crucial for human existence?

Stop making the mistake of thinking that “freedom” consists of having the big power of big government do things for you, so that you won’t have to. Isn’t it better to have a little bit of responsibility for your own health and life, as our present government will not allow, in exchange for liberty and sovereignty over your own life?

Grow up America!

Be sure to “friend” Dr. Hurd on Facebook. Search under “Michael Hurd” (Rehoboth Beach DE). Get up-to-the-minute postings, recommended articles and links, and engage in back-and-forth discussion with Dr. Hurd on topics of interest.