Obamacare and the Principle of Jury Nullification

Is it possible that the American people have found a way to stop Obamacare? Are ordinary citizens succeeding where Republicans in Congress have failed? What could people possibly do that would amount to a defacto repeal of Obamacare? Is it even possible for Ordinary Americans to stop the liberal takeover of our health care system by the Orwellian “Affordable Care Act” that is anything but affordable for the vast majority of Americans? The appropriate response to the above questions is, “The jury is still out.”

In criminal cases the judge instructs the jury that their job is to make a determination on guilt or innocense solely based on the evidence, in the light of the law. However, from time to time a case comes along in which the jury declares the accused to be innocent, even though the evidence indicates guilt because the jury decides that the law is not just. This is called “jury nullification”. A jury has the right to set aside a law that it deems to be unjust. So what does the principle of jury nullification have to do with stopping Obamacare?

A popular antiwar slogan in the 1960s was, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” It may well be that the anti-Obamacare slogan of the 2010s will be, “What if the government tried to force an unwanted, unaffordable health care law down the throats of the American people and nobody signed up?” There have been numerous articles and news reports about the “glitches” in the Obamacare website. More recent articles have suggested that the problems are not glitches, but rather a combination of incompetence and an attempt to prevent the public from discovering the skyrocketing price of heath care under the misnamed “Affordable Care Act”. But it is possible that there is another reason to add to the list. The original claims that the “glitches” which caused the website failure were the result of the overwhelming demand of the American public to sign up for Obamacare may have been poor attempts to cover up the refusal of millions of Americans to sign up. Are people just saying, “No!” to Obamacare?

Are We The People boycotting Obamacare? There are certainly indications that this may indeed be the case. If this is what is happening, then it is truly a grassroots movement that no one has organized. While a few members of Congress have attempted to stop Obamacare, it is only a matter of time before they tell us, “We tried, but the forces against us were too strong. Please send money to our reelection campaign so we can continue the fight.” But where the politicians have failed, is it possible that the people will succeed? When it comes to the laws passed by an increasingly divisive and totalitarian government, the American people are still the jury that holds the power to nullify laws which are deemed to be illegitimate. Could this be America’s Bartleby moment, when Big Government says, “You must comply!” and the people simply reply, “I would prefer not to.”?

If, as appears to be the case, millions of Americans are making the choice not to participate in Obamacare, it will be interesting to see if those same millions refuse to pay the tax penalty for nonparticipation as well. The jury is still out, but a verdict is expected very, very soon. And the government ruling class had better brace itself for a decision that they never even considered possible.

What are some of the reasons being given for refusing to participate in Obamacare?

1. The Cost: According to Avik Roy, the cheapest available plans under Obamacare will be 99% more expensive for men and 62% more expensive for women than plans available under the old system. Premiums for many middle class families will rise even more.

2. The Deductibles: Not only is the cost of premiums increasing, so are the deductibles. Health care plans on the Illinois Obamacare site have annual deductibles of $4000 for an individual and $8000 for a family. That means that a family would get no help from Obamacare until they had paid $8000 out of pocket, in addition to their monthly insurance payments.

3. Young people will see some of the biggest increases in the cost of premiums as their payments (along with everyone else’s) go to subsidize the high risk pool.

4. Middle class Americans have discovered that one of the reasons their premiums are going up exponentially is to enable the Democrats to buy the votes provide subsidized health care to their constituency groups.

5. Middle class Americans have discovered that not only are they expected to pay outrageous prices for their own coverage, they are also expected to pick up the tab for members of Congress and their staffers.

6. People recognize that Obamacare is turning America into a nation of part time workers as employers seek to avoid the repressive requirements of the new law. Obamacare has the potential of turning the recession into an outright depression. If Obamacare is not stopped, people will have little left over for discretionary spending after buying food and paying for Obamacare. Already, some people are suggesting that they will have to choose between buying food and paying for health care.

7. People are wondering why, if Obamacare is as wonderful and the Democrats say, are there so many exemptions being requested by, and granted to, those with close ties to the Democrats (the most recent being a proposed exemption for the Unions). Why doesn’t the President have to sign up? Why does Congress get massive subsidies. In fact, if it is really so great, why did they feel a need to have a mandate that penalizes people who refuse to sign up?

8. People realize that if Obamacare is allowed to stand, the death panels are just around the corner, with government bureaucrats making decisions on who lives and who dies based on a person’s perceived value to society, or their political affiliation (which to the bureaucrats may be the same thing).

9. People complaining about the high cost of Obamacare are being told that if they want to pay less all they need to do is make less money! But if everybody were to make less money so they qualified for large subsidies, then who would pay the taxes to cover the costs of all the subsidies? Obamacare may yet succeed in turning America into a third world country.

10. People who believe abortion is murder will become accessories under Obamacare. All Obamacare plans are required to cover contraceptives, including abortion inducing drugs. Everyone’s premiums will help pay to kill unborn babies. Obamacare seeks to run roughshod over religious liberty and freedom of conscience. For years liberals shrieked at conservatives that they had no right to impose their values and morality on other people. Now liberals have passed a law that imposes their values and immorality on everyone.

I’d like to hear from you. Have you signed up for Obamacare? If so, why? If not, why not? Do you think that ordinary citizens can/will stop Obamacare by simply refusing to participate?

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