Don't Sign, Don't Pay the Fine

By —— Bio and Archives--October 22, 2013

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Recently, there have been many attempts to get a handle on why there is so much public discontent. I think all the reasoning can be boiled down to one idea: Americans feel powerless. Millions of us look at Washington, D.C. and see one thing and one thing only, namely a ruling class that is completely out of touch with ordinary Americans and their concerns.


Fortunately that same ruling class, in their unbridled hubris, has made a critical error. They’ve presented the public with an extraordinary opportunity to give the federal government one of the grander smack downs that any public could give any out-of-control government. And all the American public has to do to give Washington that smack down is…..nothing.

Right now, the Obama administration is in the process of rolling out the so-called Affordable Healthcare Act that requires millions of Americans to buy health insurance, or pay a fine. It is being rolled out, even as Congress and their staffs remain cradled in their own healthcare cocoon, retaining the 75 percent subsidies on their health insurance premiums, even though the law as written required members of Congress and their staffs to purchase their premiums on the government exchanges created by the law. It is being rolled out even as our president, whose administration’s entire agenda can be reduced to the idea that “we’re going to do whatever we want, and we dare someone to stop us” unconstitutionally dispensed with the employer mandate that was also part of the law as written.

I bring both of these factoids up for two reasons: one, it reveals the utter hypocrisy of Democrats and their media propaganda pushers who, in the midst of the government shutdown, solemnly declared that ObamaCare is the law of the land and must be followed. What they were really saying is that only part of the law must be followed, as in the part that doesn’t screw with the ruling class, and the part that keeps the business community, aka, the wellspring of political campaign contributions, relatively assuaged until the 2014 election is over.

If all of this sounds like the Orwellian idea that “some animals are more equal than others,” it’s because that’s precisely what it is.

I think it’s time the American public gave Congress and the Obama administration a taste of their own medicine, so to speak. Thus I am presenting a simple slogan, that embodies the very same kind of large-scale civil disobedience that progressives cherished during the Vietnam War. To wit:

Don’t sign, don’t pay the fine.

No doubt this will make some progressive heads explode, but not all. They too realize what an unmitigated disaster the rollout of ObamaCare has been, with Obama’s most useful idiot, Washington Post columnist and Journo-list info coordinator, Ezra Klein, leading the way. Much like Lyndon Johnson’s immortal realization that “if I’ve lost (former CBS news anchor Walter) Kronkite, I’ve lost the country,” the Obama administration’s loss of an uber toadie like Klein is serious business. It gets even worse when one realizes that Johnson lost Kronkite because the anchorman told the American public a bald-faced lie about our troops losing the Tet Offensive, even as subsequent facts reveal we kicked VC butt from pillar to post.

Klein, by contrast, has told the truth. The rollout of ObamaCare truly is a disaster, and the president and his minions really do “deserve all the criticism they’re getting and more,” Erza writes.

As I said above, the beauty of this strategy is that it requires nothing more from the American public than sitting back and watching this monstrosity implode. Again in its unbridled hubris, the administration revealed that it needs at least 7 million Americans to sign up for the plan, of which at least 2.7 million must be between the ages of 18 and 35. That would be people between 18 and 35 who are getting a particularly raw deal, because without young, healthy Americans signing up for premiums – that cost far more than they should in order to subsidize older, sicker Americans – ObamaCare enters a “death spiral.”

Now I know what some of you are thinking. If I don’t sign and I don’t pay the fine, the IRS could come after me. Maybe, but by the time that happens, ObamaCare will be a corpse. Moreover, I’m betting a ton of Americans would be willing to pay that fine, plus interest if necessary, to guarantee ObamaCare’s demise.

And that’s assuming the IRS can come after you. In order for that to happen, they’d have to prove you refused to sign up for the program. Last week, another critical flaw in the Healthcare.gov website was revealed by the Wall Street Journal:

Insurers and the exchanges are supposed to swap electronic files every 24 hours that track the policies consumers select and their subsidies and check their lists against each other. The problem is that the exchanges rarely generate accurate 834s.

Our sources in the insurance industry explain that the 834s so far are often corrupted or in the wrong syntax, and therefore unusable unless processed by hand. In other cases the exchanges spit out multiple 834s enrolling and unenrolling the same user and don’t come with time stamps that would allow the insurer to identify the most recent version.

The upshot is that the exchanges, the insurers and the consumers will often have different records on file. These mismatches are an architectural flaw that could persist for years. The administrative-bureaucratic tangle will only become more complex as more people enroll, providers start billing insurers, patients show up in doctors offices thinking they have coverage they don’t, and the IRS starts fining Americans for not having insurance.

The IRS fining people who insist they signed up, even as those same people discover they don’t have insurance? Can you say class-action lawsuit? Sure you can!

Combine millions of Americans who already despise this bill, with those who get whacked trying to obey a law that Congress and the business community got exempted from, and I’m betting it’s the shortest of short steps to initiate the only viable “people’s revolution” that is completely within the public’s power to engender. The ancestors of the very same public who tossed tea into the Boston harbor, because they too were sick and tired of ever-expanding and oppressive government.

Don’t sign, don’t pay the fine.

Americans need affordable healthcare. What they don’t need is something that’s not affordable, and does nothing more to provide healthcare to people than hand them a piece of paper saying their entitled to go find it. No doubt it hasn’t occurred to some Americans that having health insurance and getting actual healthcare are two different things, but they are. And when big hospitals announce that they will be demanding upfront payment for non-emergency treatment because Americans “increasingly on the hook” for more of their medical costs refuse to pay their bills (you did know that ObamaCare premiums cover as little as 60 percent of your total bill, and you’re responsible for the rest, didn’t you?), affordable goes out the window as well.

Need another reason to resist? Here’s two. One, buried in the source code of the the healthcare website is the following sentence: “You have no reasonable expectation of privacy regarding any communication or data transiting or stored on this information system.” Two, many of the people who belonged to the radical leftist group ACORN have reinvented themselves as ObamaCare navigators. And navigators in general have been subjected to lax background checks, if they’ve been checked at all. That may explain why one Kansas navigator had an outstanding warrant for her arrest, another was part of a pro-immigration protest that took place on the private property of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, and a third navigator in New York was discovered to be an illegal alien from Peru. No doubt the Obama administration and its supporters would like you to believe such cases are anomalies. The tip of the iceberg is a far more likely scenario.

Don’t sign, don’t pay the fine.

For decades, the American left has hectored the American public to stand up and “speak truth to power.” I couldn’t agree more. Now is the time, and Obamacare is the vehicle. The icing on the cake is that Americans will be using the very same power to the people tactics the left has employed for years: massive and enduring levels of civil disobedience, coupled with a unifying slogan.

Don’t sign, don’t pay the fine.

© Copyright 2013 The Patriot Post


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Arnold Ahlert -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Arnold Ahlert was an op-ed columist with the NY Post for eight years.

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