Saturday, August 10, 2013

Obamacare: Train Wreck or All Hands on Deck?
All hands on deck – American idiom meaning something where everybody’s help is needed, especially to do a lot more in a short amount of time.
American Idiom

There are only two families in the world,  the Haves and the Have-Nots.
Cervantes (1547-1616),  Don Quixote

Obamacare’s fate hangs in the balance.  Whether it survives or stumbles may depend on what happens in the next 52 days – how many young and healthy sign up for exchanges after that day through January 1, 2014.    It may also may hinge what happens in the midterm elections in November 2014.   If there is a repeat of the last midterms,  when Republicans swept into power, and if in addition Republicans take the Senate, Obamacare would be in deep trouble.
The  Obamacare controversy is a classic contest between Big Government and Free Enterprise.  Where, when, and if the twain shall meet is still unsettled.  Both sides are calling for all hands on deck to either speed or halt un unpopular law. 

Both sides have good intentions. Conservatives want  to protect freedom of choice and free enterprise will bail out American taxpayers and American business,  and they honeslty believe  a rising tide  will lift all boats. 

Liberals think of Obamacare as  part of the natural evolution of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs to protect the poor and the old and the sick. 

The contest is being played out in the Halls of Congress and the Town Halls of America.
Conservatives feel Americans should not be “forced” to do anything, specifically to buy health insurance or to be compelled to buy  insurance to cover employees . 

Liberals maintain that everybody’s help is needed to avoid adverse selection.  In short, all for one, and one for all.  But time is short to get the exchanges debugged and ready to avoid a train wreck tirggred by too many gliches  Adverse selection may occur if the young and healthy do not buy insurance on the marketplace exchanges,  and the middle class, the sick, and the elderly  must pick up the slack.
President Obama believes by redistributing wealth and health benefits, and by getting everybody on deck,   premiums for all can be lowered.   All families  in societies, said Cervantes, consist of the haves and have-nots.  

Somehow if you split the difference,  the middle class can be served.   Yet under Obama’s stewardship, upper class incomes have increased 27%,   middle class take-home pay has dropped 11%, and the poor are down by 5%. And  47.5 million, many of them middle class, are on food stamps.  According to recent polls,  74% of Americans say government is trying to do too much for too many at too much cost for people in the middle.
Yet Obama’s ideological fixation and his political message has been saving the middle class.   Another irony is that Obama is focusing on signing up the young, the healthy, and uninsured,  many of whom are unemployed or have low incomes and who could be classified as have-nots.  

Obama wooed and won the middle class in 2012 by not focusing on the economy but  by concentrating  on the interests of the middle class in a time of historic and transition and labeling Romney as a rich man interested only  on the rich.   Yet  only the rich have prospered under Obama as reflected by a booming stock market.  Somehow all of this doesn’t compute.
Though focus groups, the Obama team learned the middle class was thinking The guys at the top and the bottom are being taken care of while I get squeezed (Peggy Noonan, “How Obama Wooed the Middle Class,” WSJ, August 10-11, 2013).   

Whether the Obama strategy of promising to lift the middle class at the cost of the rich, when this is clearly not happening,  will continue to work politically. Further deterioration of middle class wealth and a paucity of middle class jobs may be the key to the 2014 midterms. As things now stand,  Obama’s  average job approval in multiple national polls  is at its lowest point at 43.6% and Obamacare favorability is 39.4%.

Tweet:   Will Obamacare be a “train wreck,” will having  “all hands on deck” ward off high premiums for the middle class?

1 comment:

emmanuel said...

I believe in life, no one should be forced to do anything, we are all humans and we deserve our freedom. visit for more.