So you want to end Obamacare, but are wondering what you can actually do about it today. You’re not alone.
Should you wait for another Supreme Court opinion, support “repeal and replace,” or hope an all-new Congress and President will do it for you in 2017?
Look, don’t kid yourself. None of these are going get the job done. But for people who support the Founders’ Constitution and personal liberty, there still is hope, as long as these strategies are quickly abandoned.
Here are five important facts that can help Americans bring down Obamacare – whether the federal government wants them to or not.
1. The IRS can’t collect
Current federal law expressly prohibits the IRS from using liens to collect for failure to pay the “shared responsibility” tax under Obamacare. And even the IRS itself makes this information public. On their website, they note:
The law prohibits the IRS from using liens or levies to collect any individual shared responsibility payment. However, if you owe a shared responsibility payment, the IRS may offset that liability against any tax refund that may be due to you.
Earlier this year, a report at the Washington Post noted that as many as 6 million people are expected to owe the fee this year, and even Rep. Paul Ryan’s office acknowledged the inability of the IRS to collect should people refuse:
“All the IRS can do to get the money is ask an individual to pay it, and, if they don’t, reduce their future refunds”
In other words, if you refuse to participate and refuse to pay – they’re not going to do anything significant.
2. The feds can’t run Obamacare on their own.
It’s already widely known that federal bureaucrats aren’t good at getting a website up and running properly, and they’ll waste millions of dollars trying to do it. But states act as the front line for operation and enforcement of most parts of the federal act.
Once he became boss, Al Capone didn’t do a lot of his own dirty work. He paid henchmen to take care of things for him, under his orders.
Today, the states act as henchmen for the feds. Some of them operate exchanges, which takes some of the burden off the federal bureaucrats. Others handle paperwork and other regulatory or enforcement needs for the feds. A report released in June noted that states have already spent $880 million and 27.1 million hours handling such work for the federal government.
3. States don’t have to participate
If the federal government didn’t need help from the states, they wouldn’t try to get it, but they’ve put heavy pressure on states to handle enforcement from the get-go.
“CCIIO [the federal Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight] has been working to collaborate with those states and really leverage state processes and resources to accomplish CMS’s direct enforcement,” Teresa Miller, who oversees implementation of the ACA’s insurance reforms for CCIIO, told POLITICO in 2013.
Under both the Constitution and even modern Supreme Court jurisprudence, the states simply don’t have to handle these big jobs for the federal government.
In Federalist #46, James Madison advised – as a first response to federal overreach – a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union” by individuals and states. He said doing so in multiple states would be extremely effective at stopping federal power.
“…would present obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter”
In four major cases spanning over 150 years, the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld this strategy as the “anti-commandeering doctrine.”
The short version? Obamacare is a federal act, so the feds can figure out how to enforce it on their own. This, however, might be pretty tough for an entity that can barely get a website up and running.
4. Things are already happening
While it’s impossible to know how many people are already refusing to pay the so-called “shared responsibility” tax, it is happening.
Indiana accountant Scott Frick told the Washington Post that one of his clients, after learning he would have to fork over $850 for going without insurance last year, thought about the IRS and decided not to pay, just to “see what happens.”
States are taking action as well.
On July 1, a new law went into effect in Arizona that, among other things, bans the state from “funding or aiding in the prosecution of any entity for a violation of the act.” This would prevent the Arizona Department of Insurance (DOI) from investigating or enforcing any violations of federally mandated health insurance requirements, something that could prove particularly problematic for the feds if other states take the same action – since federal government doesn’t have an enforcement arm to handle such issues, nor do they have the resources to create one.
A number of state legislators have already indicated that they plan on introducing legislation in 2016 banning their state from participating in various parts of Obamacare implementation or enforcement. This includes Sen. Mae Beavers (TN), Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (AR), Rep. Bill Chumley (SC), and Sen. Kevin Lundberg (CO).
In previous sessions, legislators in other states worked on bills to withdraw their state from all or parts of the federal act. This includes Rep. Jason Spencer in Georgia, Sen. Bob Onder and Rep. Keith Frederick in Missouri, Sen. Chris McDaniel and Sen. Angela Burks Hill in Mississippi, Rep. Tim Harman in Indiana, Rep. Mike Ritze in Oklahoma and Del. Joe Ellington and Del. Larry Faircloth in West Virginia.
It will be up to people in those states to contact these legislators to encourage introduction of similar legislation in 2016 (links are provided above).
5. This has been done before
American colonists used a multi-prong strategy of protests, boycotts, local legislation, and outright disobedience to bring down the hated Stamp Act of 1765.
Prohibition and the Volstead Act went virtually unenforced well-before it was repealed. Massive individual noncompliance coupled with more than two dozen states refusing to help with federal enforcement led to its repeal.
Individual resistance in the underground railroad coupled with Northern states refusing to help enforce the federal fugitive slave act of 1850 helped render one of the worst laws in American history virtually null and void in practice, even though the law was not repealed.
TAKING ACTION. NOW.
These examples of a successful “Peoples’ Nullification” should be seen as a blueprint for today.
While state actions are a big piece of the puzzle, the penalty for not having insurance is the linchpin of the entire federal act. But with no way for the IRS to collect the tax, some people are already displaying courage and refusing the mandate.
Without enough signups, and without enforcement and support from a number of states, the entire system will come crashing down.