Saturday, November 7, 2015

ObamaCare: End of the Ninth Inning

Baseball breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else, begins anew, and it blossoms in the summer, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops, and leaves you to the face the fall alone.

A.Bartlett Giamatti (1938-1989), Commissioner of Baseball, The Green Fields of the Mind>

ObamaCare may be in the last inning of a health care game that has now lasted for five years. The game began in March 2010 and may end in December 2016. It is likely to go extra innings. It pits the middle class, many of whom feel they cannot afford to stay in the game, against the lower income class, who cannot stay in the game without subsidies.

The middle class pitcher is part of a team that is angry because it feels shortchanged. Most of his teammates are journeymen blue collar players who hail from the south and midwest, and they feel the media and national politicians have neglected them. The media has trumpeted the success of their opponents. It is almost like the Kansas City Royals against the New York Mets, the darlings of the Eastern elite.

Here is how the ninth inning has gone so far, for the pitcher, with his center right fastballs against center left batters.
Batter Number One

Strike one - “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.”

Strike two – ObamaCare “will save you $2500 per family.”
Strike three - ObamaCare will add “not one dime” to the budget deficit.
Batter Number Two
Strike one - launch is botched.

Strike two - Jonathon Gruber, an MIT professor and a chief architect of health law, admits the game was rigged from the beginning.

Strike three – 100% of Congressional GOP did not vote for health law, polls indicate 50% to 60% of Americans oppose ObamaCare, 25% have been hurt by its provisions, and 70% to 80% say they don’t understand it and are confused by it.

Batter Number Three, still at the plate.

Strike one - Individual mandates, employer mandates, and contraceptive mandates run into political flak.

Strike two - 20 of 50 states, most with budgets that must be balanced by law. oppose Medicaid expansion because it blows holes in their budget and takes away from other priorities, such as roads and bridges and education.

Batter Number Three - Final pitch has yet to be thrown, but premiums and deductibles and budget deficit is growing, and dissatisfaction is mounting among 90% of citizens whose income and taxes are being re-distributed to support the lower 10 %.

It is possible the batter will hit a foul ball, the pitcher will walk four batters after striking out the first two batters and the game will go extra innings. Another possibility is he will strike out the third batter, and ObamaCare will be out of there.

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