Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Health Reform Metaphors

The greatest thing in style is have command of the metaphor.


I am a sucker for metaphors that crystallize what is happening to the U.S. economy related to health reform.

I was reminded of my weakness by this concluding paragraph in yeterday's WSJ Op-Ed piece by Phil Gramm, former Republican Senator from Texas:

“With better economic policies America was like the fabled farmer with the goose that laid golden eggs. He kept the pond clean and full, threw out corn for the goose and every day the goose laid a golden egg. Mr. Obama has drained the pond, burned down the coop and let the dogs loose to chase the goose around the barnyard. Now that the goose has stopped laying golden eggs – the administration’s apologist – arguing that we are now in ‘secular stagnation’ – add insult to injury by suggesting that something is wrong with he goose.’

Mr. Gramm is suggesting that if we would simply lower taxes and lift regulations, economic growth would renew and American exceptionalism would reassert itself. Gramm asserts under Obama, “Compared with average postwar recovery, the economy in the past six years has created 12.1 million fewer jobs and $6,175 less income for average for every man, woman and child in the country.’ He goes on to say income tax rates are up 24%, capital gains and and dividends up 59%, estate-taxes up 14%, and the U.S. corporate tax rate is the highest in the world. And, he adds, “With ObamaCare, the government now effectively controls the health-care market.”

I don’t know about his figures, but Gramm certainly is a master of the metaphor. Speaking of the metaphor, in yesterday’s blog, I said in yesterday’s blog that hospital monopolies were “Kings of the Health Care Mountain” in most major markets because of their organizational structure and physicians were “Stray Cats,” difficult to herd because of their lack of structure. I could have added the golden goose of private practice has stopped laying golden eggs, and the employer mandate was killing the golden goose of small business growth, but I did not. But my liberal readers might have objected that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander and that the goose is a greedy bird.

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