Monday, November 4, 2013

Should Doctors be Arrested for Non-compliance?

"We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Nancy Pelosi on The Affordable Care Act.

There are many misconceptions about The Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare. The first is that it is a law. The second is that it is a tax. It is really neither, but it is both. It is a strange hybrid between the two. In short, it is an odd creature that has never really been seen before. Perhaps the best explanations for what Obamacare is, or is not, can be found here.

If the bill had been read in the first place, perhaps this wouldn't have happened. Perhaps our congress critters would have realized what a severe clusterfuck it was and wouldn't have passed it. After all, passing a bill without knowing what's in it is sort of like going to a pet store to buy your kids a cute little puppy for Christmas and coming home with a mystery package containing some kind of animal you haven't seen, but the clerk assured you the kids would adore it so much more than a run of the mill puppy. Christmas day rolls around and your child opens the package with great anticipation and out pops a dangerous, feral wolverine ready to turn your happy holiday into a mad Christmas nightmare.

Well like it or not congress did pass this monstrosity. They did set a dangerous, feral wolverine loose in the house even though their intent was to give the kids a cute, furry, harmless pet. Now we, the people, must deal with the huge mistake our supposed representatives foisted upon us. They certainly aren't. They exempted themselves from it. Kind of like the parents hiding in the bedroom and making the kids figure out how to handle the wolverine.

As an aside, perhaps the funniest aspect to this are those who still try to defend Obamacare and the Obama administration. In the wake of all the proven lies, the broken promises and the broken website, there are still people in the administration who will try to convince the public that all is well, and there are still people who truly believe. They still think government mandated private health insurance is a good idea, that it still saves money, or that at least it was well intentioned, despite the protests, the website problems, the lack of transparency, the job loses, the lost income, the cost increases and the phenomenal number of people losing their insurance and their doctors. You want to talk about being in denial? It's kind of like those people with the wolverine refusing to believe the store clerk lied to them. They sit there looking at a growling, rabid wolverine, in the midst of destroyed draperies, a sofa that's been ripped to shreds, after little Suzy's had her left eye clawed out and little Tommy's had his right ear chewed off, and say, "But it's so cute and cuddly and unique." Well, it is unique.

So this terrible, awful bill passed and now we have to deal with it. How do we deal? If it is a law then we have to, as the above video suggests at the end, disobey en masse. If it is a tax, we must refuse to pay it. Now, a law will more or less try to punish you for doing something you're not supposed to do. A tax tries to make you do something you don't want to do. We see both these approaches in Obamacare. It might seem like one is trapped and has to obey to stay out of trouble, but as always human beings are very good at figuring out ways to get around any given situation. This is why, IMHO, Obamacare is doomed.

Obamacare acts like a law in that it tells insurance companies and doctors they can't do this or they can't do that. It acts like a tax in that it mandates purchase of insurance and imposes fines on those who would refuse to buy. Much frustration revolves around what can be done against such blatant abuse of power. Many people feel that nothing can be done and so they just try to go along to get along. That's what the powers that be want. They want people to believe they are powerless. Yet there is actually much that can be done to peacefully change things. It's mostly just a matter of disobeying. It's mostly just a matter of remembering that each individual has the power to just say "no" and that by doing so you are refusing to simply give in to tyranny. There are even ways to go about saying "no" and still staying off the radar, so to speak.

Doctors and their patients are beginning to figure out ways to get around these intrusive laws. One, a Dr. Michael Ciampi featured in the clip at the end of this article, has taken a route many other doctors are taking and is moving to a cash only practice and refusing to accept insurance of any kind. He states he doesn't want to work for the insurance companies or the government anymore and simply wants to work for his patients. It's a novel concept, I perform a service for you and you pay me.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with this, but the insurance industry might. After all, if one can get the same quality service at less cost, one will usually opt for the cheaper option. Cutting out the middleman usually reduces cost because, well, now the middleman isn't taking his cut. That's what healthcare insurance companies have become, middlemen. They're not going to take kindly to someone who threatens their income, and they've already shown that they're willing to use government enforcers as strong arms to force Americans to buy their products. It wouldn't surprise me if their next step is to pass some kind of law to force doctors to accept insurance, nor would it surprise me to find out that such a provision is already buried deep in the tome that is Obamacare.

So what could they do? Charge private doctors in cash only practices with tax evasion, or with conspiracy to commit tax evasion for providing such services? After all, Obamacare is a tax despite the fact that so many promised it would not be a tax. Fine them so much that it puts them out of business? What if they refuse to pay the fines? Should they go to jail then? Should they be put in prison the same way many other tax protesters who have refused to pay their income taxes have been? Is this the road we want to travel?

We are supposed to be a free society. We are supposed to have freedom to associate with who we want to associate with. At the same time, we are supposed to have the freedom to not associate with people we don't want to associate with. These doctors obviously don't want to associate with these insurance companies. They should not be punished for that. No one should ever be forced or coerced to buy any product or service ever, which is exactly what Obamacare does.

Government is supposed to protect the weakest minority, the individual, from powerful corporations. They are not supposed to make powerful corporations even more powerful by agreeing to help them extort money from hard working individuals who have tried to do what's right and followed the rules their whole lives. If anyone should have to worry about going to prison it should be the corporate executives and the politicians who have helped to bring this abomination of a tax law to pass. I can only hope the establishment's enforcers come to realize this when they're asked to take the next steps.

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Caged in America: A Collection of Essays Celebrating Freedom. By Szandor Blestman

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