Sunday, September 25, 2016

Debate: An IQ (Intelligence Quotient) Versus an EQ (Emotional Quotient) Contest
It’s 24 hours before the Hillary Clinton-standoff.   The debate is  billed as the biggest TV draw since the Super Bowl,  pitting a non-emotional woman of experience and  substance against an angry male  ignorant of nuanced  political and diplomatic  issues but  focused on business outcomes .  
Going in, the polls indicate a virtual tie. 
The stakes are huge.  According to the WSJ,  one third of voters will make up their minds after witnessing the debate.  To no one’s surprise, the NYT jumped the gun by endorsing Clinton  as an even-minded.  It berated Trump as an empty-headed bigot full of lies and deceit.   This NYT’s attitude is exemplified by its listing of Trump’s “31 biggest whoppers” from September 15 -21. No mention is made of polls showing that 60% of  public thinks Hillary Clinton is distrustful.  Instead. The Times endorses Clinton of her intellect, experience, and courage.
Most agree Hillary Clinton carries the torch for the status quo and  the Obama legacy with a shift to the left , free-college education and so forth,  while Donald Trump claims the Obama-Clinton legacy is a disaster for the economy and for America’s leadership in world affairs.
So far, not much is being said about the state of health reform.  Ms. Clinton says she will fix what’s wrong with health reform, with more taxes and a public option, giving government more control.   Mr. Trump says ObamaCare  will be repealed,  health saving accounts will make consumers more accountable,  state lines will be erased as barriers to competition,  and competition will lower premiums ,   and Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security entitlements real remain untouched, thanks to the booming economy under his watch.
It’s up to the voters who decides who wins the debate and the election.  Will it be the sophisticated elite, intelligentsia,  celebrities,  the mainstream media, the Obama coalition,  and vested Wall Street interests  represented by Hillary Clinton?   Will it be the raw silent majorities,  and the American middleclass, and blue collar workers, two-thirds of whom think the country is headed in the wrong direction?
Or will it be ObamaCare, the progressive movement that has insured 20 million of the previously uninsured?  Or will it be middle class and young taxpayers, who resent ObamaCare’s redistribution health policies at the cost of soaring premiums, unaffordable deductibles and loss of their preferred doctors
That ObamaCare is unraveling  there is little doubt.  Insurers are pulling out of most health exchange markets.  Government sponsored plans are collapsing.  Premiums in 2017 will be $7500 higher than promised in 2010.   Physician and hospital networks are narrowing. And multiple critics are warning the dreaded ObamaCare’s dreaded “death spiral” is at hand.
What and who has undermined ObamaCare.  Some say it’s the failure of the health law to live up to its promises.  Some say it’s because insurers were unable to estimate risk because they could not ask about preexisting conditions.  Some says it’s due to the individual and employer mandates.  Some  say you simply can’t achieve increased coverage with affordability at the same time.    

Most say Americans simply don’t want to give up their plans or physicians.     People don’t want government dictating  which services they should receive and from where.    Americans want their health care services delivered  a la carte rather than as a government buffet where everyone is equal but some are more equal than others and where government policies promise homogenation and standardization.
In the end, I believe the debate will be about policy details,  or  transgressive e-mails, but about emotional entrails concerned over our decline as a society and a nation.  The voters’ reaction may well  be a gut rather a mind reaction.


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