Monday, July 9, 2012

There is No "New Gestapo" Coming with ObamaCare and the IRS

Gov. Paul LePage (R-ME) recently said the following about the Supreme Court ruling on health care reform, a ruling that allows the government to mandate that people purchase health insurance or be penalized:
This decision has made America less free. We the people have been told there is no choice. You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo – the I.R.S.

The original Gestapo were the secret police in Nazi Germany. It investigated and punished acts and individuals considered to be a threat to the Nazi Party and/or the German nation. It did so without any judicial review. Germans would frequently inform on the "treasonous" acts of other Germans -- acts such as criticizing the Nazi Party, being a member of a rival political party, being Jewish or having intimate relations with a Jewish person -- to the Gestapo. And people arrested by the Gestapo frequently "disappeared".

LePage is free to disagree with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka "ObamaCare"). There's a reasonable debate to be had about whether requiring people to buy health insurance is a good way to improve the U.S. health care system and -- even if it is -- whether such a requirement involves an acceptable loss of freedom and autonomy.

But the Internal Revenue Service (the I.R.S.), in enforcing this mandate, is not behaving anything like the Gestapo. LePage is grossly distorting and exaggerating the insurance mandate.

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