A call for civil disobedience
Shikha Dalmia, in a thoughtful essay, calls upon Americans to channel their dissent with the passage of Obamacare “into a grassroots, Gandhi-style civil disobedience movement powerful enough to undo this monstrosity.” She gives wise counsel, including:
Opponents of ObamaCare cannot–cannot–let Mitt Romney come within sniffing distance of their cause. He is trying to position himself at the forefront of the Repeal ObamaCare movement to further his presidential ambitions. But he couldn’t be a worse spokesman given that as governor he was responsible for implementing a universal coverage program in the Bay State that is identical in every essential respect to ObamaCare, including the individual mandate. He has to be banished from every anti-ObamaCare panel, podium and platform lest the movement be accused of partisanship and hypocrisy.
Dalmia also commends the political and legal means of the Senate and the various Attorney Generals to block reconciliation or to challenge Obamacare in court. She warns that any hint of violence, even metaphorical, will be counterproductive.
But ultimately, the time for individual citizens to stand against Obamacare will be on December 31, 2013:
That’s when the individual mandate will go into effect. If ObamaCare hasn’t been repealed by Congress or nullified in court by then, its opponents would be justified in urging Americans to refuse to buy coverage or pay fines and dare authorities to come after them. By some estimates, Uncle Sam will need to hire an additional 17,000 IRS agents or so just to enforce the coverage mandate. But even if a few million Americans simultaneously refuse to abide by it, they could easily overwhelm the system.
That’s a long way off, and a great deal will happen between now and then: the elections this November, and a Presidential election, at the very least. I suspect those who crafted this legislation created such a long lead time partially to allow the anger and opposition dissipate. It will be interesting to see if such an approach will be necessary in three years, and how much support for it there will be.