In the movie Becket, King Henry II of England is trying to raise money for a war with the French and imposes a tax on the Church. After strenuous objections by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the other bishops, Henry’s new Chancellor of England, Thomas Becket, barks that it is pointless to continue the discussion. Then, with sweetly sinister cordiality he states,
“The law has given us the means of coercion, we will use it.”
So it is with the pending enrollment in Obamacare. Those who refuse to be enrolled will eventually be fined by the IRS with a fine that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled is not a fine, but a tax. The mgovernment has given itself the means of coercion, and it will use it.
Many pro-lifers believe that they cannot in good conscience pay for healthcare that pays for abortion. Many will declare their refusal to cooperate, no matter what.
While that sounds good, and is most noble, there are hard truths to consider for any contemplating such an action. First, there is the issue of a third of a billion federal dollars annually given to America’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. We already fund abortion through this malignant giant.
Then there are all of the states that use federal and state tax revenues to fund abortion through Medicaid. In New York State, more than 40,000 Medicaid-funded abortions are performed annually.
School districts all across the country partner with Planned Parenthood, using tax revenues and school facilities to promote the organization and its agenda.
The list goes on and on, but suffice it to say that Obamacare is not the first large-scale government funding or promotion of abortion. So what is to be the point of civil disobedience here, especially when the government will simply garnish one’s salary through the same confiscatory practice that is used to collect taxes in arrears?
Focussing on the abortion dimension may be the least of all pro-life considerations in this debate, as it ignores the much larger issue of rationing healthcare and the subsequent denial of services to desperately ill people. That is an issue that so very many pro-lifers refuse to engage, and in so doing they alienate large constituencies with whom we could build effective coalitions. It is the trap of being more anti-abortion than being wholistically pro-life.
So what is to be gained by declaring one’s disobedience to a law that gives the government the power to simply garnish wages? Apart from a moral victory, I suspect not much. However, there a plenty of ambivalent, and outright pro-choice folk who stand to suffer greatly under Obamacare as premiums skyrocket to over $20,000 in many markets, who will be denied lifesaving therapies as has been the case for years in Oregon.
It seems that the only way to defeat Obamacare is to rise up at the polls. We’ll get there one way or the other. When we do, it will be less through statements of noncompliance that fail to stop the confiscatory power of the government and more through the suffering of people broken financially by Obamacare’s obscene costs, and emotionally by its heartless parsimony.
Until then the law has given Obama the means of coercion, and he will use it.