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Monthly Archives: October 2013

It’s a Metaphor

The high hopes of all the poor uninsured masses were recently dashed when the shiny new Obamacare website turned out to be a complete failure. This marvel of technology didn’t come cheap, costing anywhere from 180 million to over 1 billion [1,2], depending on who you ask, and yet after spending all that money on it, it still doesn’t fulfill its purpose.

The website has turned into one big sad metaphor for the entire Affordable Care Act. To begin with, the ACA can’t possibly hope to support the insurance needs of the population as written, and neither can the website. Neither the technology nor our existing health care network can handle what it’s being asked to handle, and no pep talk from the president is going to change that. Don’t forget, the same President that assured us that the website will get fixed is the one that assured the country that nobody would lose their insurance plans, and look how that turned out [3].

Also, the cost of the website is just like the cost of the act for which it was created: grossly inflated, wasteful, and embarrassing. The government doesn’t have a very encouraging track record when it comes to efficiency in its business practices, and it doesn’t look like this is going to be any different. The health care exchanges, which rely on enrolling large numbers of participants, have astonishingly low rates of participation. In North Dakota, the rate of enrollment has been just one person per day since the federal exchange went live on the first of October. It’s not surprising that the feds asked that this information not be made public [4].

The whole Obamacare website debacle can really be summed up on one question; If the government can’t be trusted to run a website, how can we trust it to oversee healthcare for the entire population?

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2013 in Social Programs

 

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The Parable of the Mid-Life Crisis

Our government has become like a household in which the children are governed by the dictates of parents who have become increasingly hostile to one another. The children who agree with the rules of one parent are verbally abused by the other, and the household is in dire financial straits, with both parties refusing to cut any of their expenditures.

One day, the father gets his heart set on a new Ferrari (because all the other dads have one) and goes out and buys one without the approval of the mother. Predictably, she’s upset and demands that he take it back because they can’t afford it. They can’t agree on the subject and shut down the household, and to show how serious they are, they refuse to let the children enter their own rooms because the heat may have been turned off.

This dysfunctional home is our country. The parties who should be running our country have chosen petty bickering over doing their job. And because one party decided to shove a bloated and ineffective health care bill on people who never wanted it, the other has decided to stop paying for anything until it’s taken back to the dealership.

Government shutdowns are not anything new; this is the eighteenth since 1976. But the level of petty partisanship is unprecedented. Neither side is providing any information on what’s happening, and negotiations with the President didn’t even start until we were 10 days into the shutdown. Perhaps the administration was too busy giving Charlie Sheen-esque quotes about winning, kicking people out of their homes, and barricading open-air war memorials.

In a dysfunctional home, it’s the children who suffer from the poor behavior of the parents, and in our country, it is the citizens who are suffering from the childishness of our politicians. It’s time for the kids to tell mom and dad to grow up.

 

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Try It, You’ll Like It

In the movie Dave, the President falls into a coma and a presidential impersonator named Dave is chosen to take his place. While there, Dave starts to take a look at the way things are being run, and while looking at the budget, he finds that the government is spending thousands of dollars on a campaign to make people feel better about the cars they’ve already purchased. The senators responsible for this campaign look sheepish when confronted with their wastefulness, and the program is discontinued.

Now, this bit in the movie is a joke, a little dig at the many ways politicians find to waste our money. Life imitates art, but instead of buying billboards telling people how great their own cars are, they are hiring people to go out and educate American citizens about the wonders of their government programs.

We have those who are hired to find and enroll new food stamps recipients. The federal government is offering $54 million in grants to “navigate” people through the so-called health insurance exchanges, and school districts are holding pep rallies for parents to get them fired up about common core.

The American people have purchased, through our votes for our legislators, these social program lemons, and just like in the movie, the government is increasing our deficit to try to make us feel better about our decision. If it were true that our country desperately needed these programs, then why should it be necessary to hire people to encourage people to use them? It’s like claiming someone is starving, and then having to spoon feed them because it turns out they weren’t that hungry after all.

I know there are people who legitimately need assistance, but perhaps the reason that people aren’t flocking to Obamacare or food stamps as expected is because their numbers were drastically inflated to begin with.

 
 

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