Friday, December 14, 2018

#OBAMACARE--Henry Thoreau Examines the Affordable Care Act.--THE MANDATE & THE TAX


 Final Exam Response (Prompt 001)-- by James C. L'Angelle

      In FDR’s State of the Union delivered in 1944 during World War 2, he promised a second “Bill of Rights” which included the following provision:
     “The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health”
The question was, as it is today, at what cost?  What seemed like a lofty proposal in the middle of a major war in the last century had to wait until the first decade in the new millennium for a solution. But it would come at a cost and that cost would be a restriction on freedom itself, and came to be known as “Obamacare.”

     The law required all citizens to declare a health care provider under a tax penalty if the individual didn’t meet the deadline and the rules. However, there were so many deferrals, exemptions, credits and restrictions applied to the penalty that it came under the scrutiny of the judicial branch of government. Were it up to Henry David Thoreau, he would toss the tax out with the government. In Civil Disobedience, 1848, Thoreau argued friction on machinery and the oil to reduce friction was taxation. But if the machine was no good, it was time to dispose of it. Apparently, the Obama Affordable Care Act (ACA) has reached the point of the machine no longer able, after only a few years, to function, as what Thoreau would refer to “oppression and robbery.”
     Further, with Thoreau’s analogy of the parts of the machinery as compared to the whole, various components of the ACA came into focus when one did not run properly and the effect it had initially on the other and finally on the entire machine. Oiling did not help as it had already become obsolete due to the friction created by interaction of its parts. Those parts included the “Individual Mandate” and “Shared Responsibility Payment.” 
     When tax cuts were introduced in 2017 and the second of the two was reduced to zero, a major component of the machine was removed. Many times when a part no longer operates in a machine, certain controls can offset functionality, not so in the case of the payment. Because the Mandate could no longer be enforced by a triggered tax, and due to the fact it was an integral part of the machine, a “linchpin,” then the machine, the ACA, became obsolete.
     Consider that from the outset, disregarding the legalese in the recent Texas court ruling, that a form of coercion was the underlying structure of the ACA from the outset, bolstered by a tax that couldn’t be conceivably enforced due to , as many have, a number of exemptions and deferrals. Add to it political agendas based on tax reduction in order to maintain control of the government, then written into a reform such as the zero shared payment could only spell doom for the entire act. The provisions were so tightly connected, as was the intent of Congress when designing the machine, that, ultimately, it failed altogether.
“In every threat and every compliment there is a blunder.” Thoreau

Supporting Documents:
State of the Union, FDR, 1944:
Civil Disobedience, Henry David Thoreau, 1847, Five Hundred Years, Casper, Davies & deJong, Pearson Solutions, 2016’
Texas v USA , CA et al; US District Court, Fort Worth;