Monday, September 30, 2013

Six Political Games People Will Play with ObamaCare
Game theory applies to a whole range of behavioral relations and has developed into an umbrella term for the logical side of decision making to include both human and non-human activities, like computers
Game Theory
ObamaCare  officially starts tomorrow, October 2. 
With this auspicious start,  let the games begin.
·         Game One - Here It Comes,  Ready or Not -   This was originally a child’s game but it has been transformed into a childish  game for political grownup.  Democrats are adept at this game.  Their computer systems are not ready,  but they claim they will be, given a few hundred glitches or so, and confusion among businesses, and especially  among  those 48 million uninsured or underinsured, who  are being asked to sign up electronically  on those online marketplaces,  even though many have no online access.

·         Game Two – Chicken - The game of chicken, also known as the hawk-dove game or snow-drift game, is a conflict for two players in game theory. The principle of the game is that while each player prefers not to yield to the other, the worst possible outcome occurs when both players do not yield. In this case, the worst outcome is a government shutdown  with the government being unable to pay its bills.   

·         Game Three – Blame Game -  This is a situation  in which one party blames others for something bad or unfortunate rather than attempting to seek a solution.   It is characterized by each party saying the other is acting in bad faith and using personal expletives to explain their bad behaviors – “extremists,” “anarchist,”  “extortionists,” “terrorists,”  “socialists,” or  “tea-partyists.”  A variation of this game is “Pin the Tail on the Donkey,”  where-in blindfolded politicians seek to cast blame on the other for having closed or irrevocably biased mindsets.

·         Game Four – Budget Games -  This is an arcane  game perfected inside the Washington Beltway.   It pits those decrying  the current budget deficits ($17 trillion and growing) against those describing the budgetary slowdown and assuming future budget projections by a responsible government.  The latter are known as Rosy Scenarios.    In the case of ObamaCare, its backers assume “government savings” will offset health inflation.  It also assumes most ObamaCare provisions are “mandatory,” untouchable politically, rather than “descretionary,” negotiable between parties. 

·         Game Five – The Waiting Game – This is a stratagem of deferring actin and allowing the passage of time to work in one’s favor.   The Republican bill delaying ObamaCare for a year is an example.   The Waiting Game may include action points, such as repealing the medical device tax, which is favored by 75 senators,  to  make it more credible and to curry the vote of Red State Democrats, whose states contain  vibrant  medical device industries which may close down or not expand because of the tax.  On the GOP side,  a variation of the game is to let ObamaCare proceed and hope it collapses or results in a monumental mess before the 2014 midterms.  Democrats dislike the ObamaCare Waiting Game, preferring to chance a rapid introduction with a a subsequent irreversible public addiction. 

·         Game Six -  Computer Games -  These games used to be called PC or video games, played mostly by the young or consenting adults.   But now Iphones, smartphones, tablets, and other forms of mobile devices have eclipsed the older information technologies.  It is assumed in the near future, smartphones and their variants will link more than half the population with government websites telling them where to shop for government-approved health plans and where to sign up for these plans.   In this way,  centralized government will become capable of controlling the health care action.
Health care gamesmanship and one-upsmanship are  afoot.  These health  games are serious political gambits   They designed to give one party an advantage over the other without really admitting it.
Tweet:   With tomorrow’s introduction of ObamaCare, a series of health care games are underway which will the determine the fact of health care law.


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