Our Galaxy Note7 of Health Plans

obamacare-cartoon-july-15-4During a speech at Miami Dade College last Thursday, President Obama drew an analogy between Obamacare and Samsung’s unfortunate Galaxy Note7 smartphone. You know, the one that bursts into flames in your pocket?  I imagine in retrospect he might wish he wasn’t so inadvertently revealing.

When one of these companies comes out with a new smartphone,” he said, “and it had a few bugs, what do they do? They fix it. They upgrade – unless it catches fire, and they just – [laughter] – then they pull it off the market. But you don’t go back to using a rotary phone. [Laughter.] You don’t say, well, we’re repealing smartphones.

Samsung was smarter than that, although they did initially try the “fix and retain” ploy. Then they quickly recognized that its design was fundamentally and dangerously flawed. So they pulled it completely off the market and reimbursed all of its customers. Putting lipstick on a pig rarely makes it a beauty pageant winner. Samsung isn’t transitioning to making rotary phones; they will continue to make excellent smartphones that do what they are advertised to do without exploding.

Republicans have long argued that Obamacare is hopelessly flawed and that it must be repealed and replaced with something workable. They are right, but they can’t be trusted to follow through. They basically still support the public healthcare system that has been failing us for decades. Hillary should make this a priority, but do you think she is smart and brave enough to take it on after seeing what happened last time?

Obamacare was always a jerry-built structure based on faulty assumptions and vain hopes. It took the essence of a public plan, with all of its advantages, and packaged it into a public/private patchwork that is actuarially unsound. They did this with the best of intentions because they desperately wanted something and this was all they could get.

What this shows to me is that our Democratic politicians have really big hearts and really tiny brains. They seem to be a living counter-example to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Of course Republican politicians, with their tiny hearts and tiny brains, are evolutionarily recognizable throwbacks to our early Triassic forebears.