I blog about free markets in medical care and transparent pricing.
No law is complete without an “or else” clause, as I like to call it. This is the last section of any law that spells out the punishment for non-compliance and the enforcement mechanism to carry out the punishment. That is the nature of the law then, isn’t it? To make us do what we wouldn’t normally do. Rather than serve its original purpose, the law, rather than protect our property, is now used primarily to confiscate it. This is beautifully articulated in Bastiat’s masterpiece, “The Law.” You can read it here.
Don’t buy health insurance and you will pay a tax/fine/whatever, a penalty enforced by the IRS and the full force of the federal government, guns and all. Refuse to pay and they will seize your bank accounts, put a lien on your home, you name it. Next comes the warrant for your arrest. Refusal at this point can get you killed. It seems as if there is no escaping this tyranny. That is what the government creature would have us believe. But remember the old saying that the government cannot function or even exist for that matter without the consent of the governed? The reason this is still true is the final check on tyranny, once all others have failed. Hint: all others have failed.
I’m talking about nullilfication, a subject not talked about in schools or by big media. This can assume two forms, a statewide version where individual states (colonies really, but I’ll call them states) ignore federal laws, and jury nullification, a concept I’ll come back to shortly.
States have ignored the national I.D. tyranny from D.C. First one state, then another said they just weren’t going to do this. Local law enforcement was rendered toothless with these declarations. More and more states are ignoring federal drug laws, Oregon, being the latest. Several governors have said they simply won’t comply with Obamacare. This is state nullification and was not a concept unknown to the founders. This is usually an informal, “Nope. We’re not gonna do that,” sort of thing. One legislator in Oklahoma has plans to introduce a bill that formally nullifies the individual mandate. Joining Dr.’s Ron and Rand Paul, Representative Jim Jordan, Ohio, has been open in his encouragement of governors to ignore Obamacare, urging them to reject the mandate on setting up insurance exchanges. Is there more of this to come?
Jury nullification was also no stranger to the founders. Juries simply wouldn’t render guilty verdicts if they thought the law was stupid or unjust. Modern juries are instructed by judges to render their verdict solely based on the facts of the case, never judging the law. Here’s some bad news for the tyrants. More and more juries are judging the law in addition to the facts. Notice how many cases federal prosecutors are losing these days. John Edwards, Roger Clemens and many others. Now there’s this news: the governor of New Hampshire just signed a law that gives defense lawyers the leeway to instruct juries of their duty to judge the law as well as the facts. This is incredibly bad news for the tyrants.
Here are three interesting things to read about nullification. This, by William Grigg, one of my favorite writers, is a posting on Lew Rockwell’s website today. Lysander Spooner, a radical legal theorist of the 19th century is discussed here, as perhaps the most important advocate of the concept of jury nullification. Best selling author Tom Wood’s brilliant book on nullification is also worth looking at.
It is more clear to me than ever that the purpose of our government is to distribute loot to those who patronize our “representatives.” The laws written that confer an advantage on one at the expense of another, or transfer property from one to another, all lose their teeth and legitimacy with the widespread adoption of peaceful resistance in the form of nullification. Government says, “Do it or else.” Nullification says,”Oh yeah? Who’s gonna make me?” If this trend toward nullification becomes popular, this could mean trouble for the Unaffordable Care Act and many other vicious and tyrannical laws.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.
The idea that a branch of the leviathan federal government (that is in charge of reviewing the power of the very same leviathan government) would issue a ruling that would limit the power of the very same leviathan government is naive. This corrupt “brother in law” arrangement, as Gary North has called it, precludes any objectivity by SCOTUS. As Tom Woods has said, it should come as no surprise that a government that is in charge of determining its own powers has expanded its powers. Today’s ruling was a surprise only in that Roberts sided with the left.
The court’s decision has insured that the bill will continue to do what it was intended to do all along: bestow power, money and favors upon those who brought their check books to Washington as this debate unfolded nearly 4 years ago. Small insurance companies, unable to comply with the Medical Loss Ratio provision will go out of business. That was the point. This is the reason that the large insurers supported this bill. Less competition for the big boys who will now be in complete control. Small hospitals (particularly rural hospitals) will more likely succumb to hostile takeover bids by the big city corporate hospitals. That was the point. That is the reason the American Hospital Association supported this bill. Physicians will sign on as hospital employees unable to afford the computerized medical record expense or just feeling disgust toward the end of their careers. That was the point. Physicians who will as employees do as they are told are much easier to control than the private practitioners focused on the needs of their patients.
The pharmaceutical industry, whose profits were protected by this bill, will continue to make incredible amounts of money. That was the point. Newt Gingrich, lobbyist, and his HIT (health information technology) clients have already walked with billions. They will continue to do well. That was the point.
The whole focus was getting everyone insurance. The bill doesn’t do that! It does, however, penalize people for not buying insurance. Seriously, who benefits from that?
There never was a discussion about costs. The reason for this is that if costs are rational, the cronies listed above will not achieve the same profit margins. Costs will be discussed, whether the elite want them to be or not now, as the court’s decision will cause the cost of health care premiums to increase very shortly. This will force an examination of the costs of care, the result of which will alarm those who have not paid attention to this aspect of the issue. More and more facilities and physicians will post their prices to the embarassment of the large hospitals and insurance companies that supported this legislation.
The curtain on this sham will finally come back as more and more physicians opt out of Medicare and Medicaid, leaving folks with “coverage” but no care. Make no mistake: the losers of this court’s decision are the poor and the elderly. No one will see them. This will be the deadly proof that this bill was never about health care at all, but about business as usual in Washington. The court’s decision will truly reveal that the purpose of this bill like almost all others was to make already rich people much richer.
G. Keith Smith, M.D.