This Obamacare business doesn’t seem to be going well, at least thus far. Things have gotten so bad that the politicians and bureaucrats who cooked it up have lately been forced to concede a few glitches in the system, even as they struggle mightily to assure the public that it will all turn out well in the end, and it makes for a pitiful sight. We feel so badly for these well-intentioned public servants that we feel obliged to offer advice on how to fix what is ailing their beloved law.
The most publicized problem that has afflicted the law in its early stages of implementation concerns the computer program that is supposed to allow a grateful citizenry to sign up for government-sanctioned health insurance. Alas, the program has proved so vexing that only a relative handful of would-be users have been able to complete a transaction. Such an ardent defender of the program as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was forced to admit that the web site “started a little rockier than we’d like” while on The Daily Show, an ostensible comedy program where the formerly friendly host spent the rest of the segment ridiculing her as if she were some sort of Republican, and it broke our hearts to see a fellow Kansan treated so shabbily by a baggy-pants comic. Sebelius is a Democrat, and therefore not fully Kansan, but we still feel enough of a kinship to suggest that she award the Obamacare web site contract to whoever it is that created the “Farmville” game for the Facebook folks.
So far as we can tell “Farmville” is an utterly pointless game that never allows anyone to win anything, and seems to involve endless begging of friends for unearned assistance, but people seem to like it and it apparently works according to design. The peculiar sort of genius that devised such a game seems especially well-suited to the challenges of Obamacare, and might even provide some enticement to the youthful and unemployed Obama supporters whose generous donations to the cause will be required to make the scheme work.
Another problem with Obamacare, and one that even the mainstream media have been noticing, is that those lucky few who have managed to slog through the web site’s obstacles are finding that they insurance on offer is far more expensive than they had been led to expect. The president has frequently boasted that as a result of Obamacare the monthly cost of health insurance will be less than a cell phone bill, but even the most talkative and text-happy cell phone users are finding that the insurance policies on offer are far more expensive than their telecommunications. This is one Obamacare promise that can be easily kept, however, simply by increasing people’s cell phone bills by several hundred dollars a month. That can be quickly achieved by a mere few thousand pages or so new of regulations, an afternoon’s work for the best and brightest of the Obama administration, but we would recommend increasing the cell phone taxes by several hundred times. Doing so would not only spare the overworked regulation-writers an afternoon’s labor, it would also raise some revenues that could be used to pay Democrat-affiliated interests to embark a campaign to convince everyone how happy they should be about the new policy. The drastic reduction in cell phone use that would follow might have disastrous economic consequences, but on the other hand it might revive the lost art of conversation.
A few nit-pickers in the business press and other corners of the conservative media have been griping that Obamacare’s mandate that employers provide insurance to full-time employees has resulted in an economy that is only creating part-time jobs, a point the administration has tacitly conceded by waiving the mandate until after the mid-term elections, but this pesky problem can also be easily remedied. Just impose similar economic disincentives on part-time jobs, or any other sort of private sector economic activity, which is so gauche anyway, and employers won’t have any choice but to submit or stop offering work altogether. Either option would suit the purposes of the administration, which is always pleased to be offered submission and just as eager to sign up voters at the unemployment line.
There are other problems with Obamacare, of course, but we are not yet so sympathetic to our Democratic friends that we are willing to solve them all. They’ll just have to figure those things out own their own, otherwise they’ll never grow.
— Bud Norman