Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Obamacare - Hope and Rope-A-Dope

The rope-a-dope is performed by a boxer assuming a protected stance (in Ali's classic pose, lying against the ropes, which allows much of the punch's energy to be absorbed by the ropes' elasticity rather than the boxer's body) while allowing his opponent to hit him, providing only enough counter-attack to avoid the referee thinking the boxer is no longer able to continue and thus ending the match via technical knockout. The plan is to cause the opponent to "punch himself out" and make mistakes which the boxer can then exploit in a counter-attack.

Rope-A-Dope,  Wikipedia

The current Democratic approach to defending ObamaCare against aggressive Republican attacks relies on the hope that ObamaCare will win in the end because the GOP will “punch itself out.”

It is a strategy based on multiple hopes:
  • hope that premiums and deductibles to be announced in May will not generate outrage among the insured;   
  •  hope that the young and healthy will sign on in sufficient numbers to deflect an insurance death spiral; 
  • hope that enough of  the uninsured will enroll to justify ObamaCare’s goal of decreasing the number of uninsured; 
  •  hope that Republicans and their Koch brothers will swing wildly and in the process  look like such callous, cold-blooded, profit-mongers that the outraged Democratic base and the undecided Independents  will be incentivized to turn out to vote in November.
It is a calculated political risk.  It might work, and it might not if Republicans run well-qualified centrist candidates and if they present a rational,  alternative , understandable plan that preserves the best in ObamaCare while eviscerating the worst.

The final judges in this bout are the American public.  They are watching closely the punches and counterpunches.  The referees do not have the power  declare  a technical knockout.  A  clear knockout in unlikely.   The final decision will rest on  split decision in the 12th round.

Tweet:  On ObamaCare,  Democrats are pursuing a hope-based rope -a-dope strategy while Republicans believe hard punching will decide the outcome.

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