The past month hasn’t been good for supporters of the Obamacare health law. One leading advocate, Senator Max Baucus (D-Montana), admitted that the implementation would be a “train wreck.” A recent study of Oregon health outcomes cast doubt on the benefits of expanding government health care, such that even the left-leaning Slate called it “bad news for ObamaCare.” The American public remains deeply skeptical of the law. In response, the federal government has been mounting a big public relations campaign to sell Americans on the alleged benefits of Obamacare.
Some recent examples:
— The Washington Times reported that Secretary of Health Sebelius urged the country’s pediatricians to help promote the law to their patients.
— NPR reported that President Obama has asked the nation’s mothers to promote ObamaCare to their kids. Specifically, “The White House is counting on mothers to nudge their young adult children to sign up for health insurance.”
— Forbes reported that PR firms and ad agencies are anticipating a windfall of “hundreds of millions” (if not billions) of government dollars to promote ObamaCare to the public in the next few months.
— The Washington Post reported that Secretary Sebelius has been soliciting donations from health industry executives to help finance Obamacare implementation, because she doesn’t have enough money in her own budget to do so.
Meredith McGehee, government ethics expert and policy director for the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, noted that this last move was deeply troubling because Secretary Sebelius appeared to be “using the power of government to compel giving or insinuate that giving is going to be looked at favorably by the government.” Given her regulatory authority over the industries being asked to donate, health executives could easily interpret her solicitations for money as a thinly veiled shakedown threat: “Nice little health company you have here; it’d be a shame if something happened to it.”
So why the big push to get patients signed up for Obamacare?
One clue comes from this recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel (former White House health policy advisor and brother to former Obama chief of staff Rahm Emanuel). He stated that Obamacare wouldn’t work unless enough young healthy people signed up. In effect, the young people who incur relatively fewer medical expenses must pay enough in premiums into the system to subsidize the expenses of older, sicker patients.
In effect, the Obama administration is openly admitting that their health law won’t work without the willing cooperation of people who can expect to be harmed by the law — including young people, doctors, and health industry workers.
As author Ayn Rand’s noted in her novel Atlas Shrugged:
A viler evil than to murder a man, is to sell him suicide as an act of virtue. A viler evil than to throw a man into a sacrificial furnace, is to demand that he leap in, of his own will, and that he build the furnace, besides.
That’s what is happening with Obamacare.
But this also means that Americans have a powerful weapon — their ability to say “no.” If the Obama administration needs our willing cooperation for their law to work, we can fight back by withdrawing that cooperation. As Dr. Megan Edison recently wrote in response to the call for her and her fellow pediatricians to funnel more patients into ObamaCare, “Primum non nocere. I will not comply.”
Peaceful non-cooperation with the authorities is a tactic with a long and noble tradition, used successfully by men such as Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King.
ObamaCare won’t go down without a tough political fight. But Americans have the ultimate weapon on their side — their ability to say “no.” Don’t buy into the coming PR campaign. Don’t encourage people to sign up for the government-run insurance “exchanges.” Circulate articles and blog posts critiquing the health law. Support state governors who refuse to cooperate with federal mandates. But most importantly, don’t be a willing accomplice to a health law you don’t support.
Millions of concerned Americans, including Dr. Edison, are already saying “no” to ObamaCare. Will you join them?
(Also read Stephen Green’s “Your Obamacare Fail of the Day”)