Do we all agree that, notwithstanding his penchant for distant murder-by-disembodied-aerial-vehicle, not-as-surgical-as-you’d-wish-it-were, drone strikes (what I like to call a “passive-aggressive” military policy), the president’s favored foreign policy is a preference for ‘soft power’? Which is to say, don’t you think the Obama Administration’s approach to the world is to rely more on influence than on coercion? I think he (and Secretary of State John Kerry too) would say so himself. He’d much prefer (well, either of them would, I suppose) to rely on what he considers (ahem) his extraordinarily outsized powers of charm and persuasion to win over other heads of state, rather than the inelegant and clumsy use of force to dictate his way when it comes to what other countries do.
Contrast that with his approach to the issues with America’s healthcare system.
Although I disagree with the premise (a topic for another post altogether), President Obama and the Leftist technocrats with whom he finds common cause believe in the scheme of health “insurance” and feel the third-party payment system is good because healthcare (which for some reason they feel is synonymous with health insurance) is “different” and thus not to be entrusted to market forces…then again, the things in life that should be influenced by market forces is pretty limited anyway.
Anyway. From their perspective, the answer has always been that not enough of the ‘young invincibles’ were bought into the cockamamie scheme and thus not participating, pushing the cost up due to what’s called ‘adverse selection’. Not enough people willing to pay more into a system and voluntarily get less out means that the whole thing collapses under the weight of those who are taking more than they’re putting in. It’s not even economics…it’s basic physics.
Their answer to this was (and is) that more people need to abandon their own better judgment and personal motivations and jump right in. But how to achieve that?
Well, with a super-majority in the Senate and an overwhelming majority in the House in 2009 those who know better than you pushed through the ACA without a single Republican vote in either chamber. For your own good, they forced an unpopular (at the time, and downright detested now) gigantic overhaul of an enormous chunk of our economy. Let’s call that “hard power”.
Of course, we see what hath the ACA wrought: With higher premiums than before for young and healthy individuals, those needed to save the sinking ship are now even less inclined to climb aboard. So now the very solution to the problem (as the health-insurance-scheme supporters see it) is even farther out of grasp.
This struck me as ironic because now the president and his lickspittle sycophants in the press/Leftist Hollywood/sports/entertainment/etc. are reduced to begging, pleading, brow-beating, heavy-handedly imploring every 20-something to please, please, please sign up for health “insurance” through the exchange, lest the signature program of your benighted leader fall to pieces and all we’ve worked for (WE!, not me, this is about YOU and how important all that work YOU! did on the campaign for…well, yes, me, but anyway…YOU! did to get…well, yes, me, but anyway…elected so I could serve YOU, because after all, YOU are the ones YOU’VE been waiting for, and thank goodness I came along to make YOU feel special about needing ME…oh, I mean ‘me’, but anyway….) tragically succumb to the machinations of the awful powers of cynicism and the Koch brothers and Rush Limbaugh and the War on Women, and…okay, where was I going with this? Oh, right. Please sign up for health insurance and talk about it in your pajamas with your friends at your kegger parties…
The president is in an all-out campaign to get the least-likely people to sign up for health “insurance” to…sign up for health “insurance”. But if he’d done that when he was popular (and his ACA handn’t ironically increased the price of it), couldn’t he have avoided all this?
Consider: when he was elected, Barack Obama had an incredible amount of popularity and political capital (before his inauguration, his approval rating was 79%). With that, he had the power to influence and persuade. Let’s call that “soft power”. What’s ironic is that, had he chosen to use his soft power (and been successful), he may have been able to convince a ton of the 20-something sheep who voted for CHANGE! and HOPE! to actually do things (even things against their own better interest) through the influence of this “soft power”. Who knows? It may have actually kept the system afloat.
*(No, The system still would have eventually collapsed, of course, because the problem wasn’t ever that young people weren’t buying “insurance”, rather the dis-incentive for consumers to shop for, and for providers to offer prices commensurate with their actual value…well, you know how that story goes…)
This suave and persuasive dude who had just sailed into the Oval Office because he was too cool for the room and was able to exercise the lost art of subtlety was loved by damned-near everybody in the Country. He believed in The System. He realized (believed) that the problem with it was that not enough people were active participants in it. His solution? Heavy-handedly and by force, to coerce everybody into doing what he wanted them to do.
Way to go, Cowboy!
-Nick (ColoradoPatriot, from The Ranch)