Thursday, April 2, 2015

Qualitating the Quantifiable

Yesterday's Washington Post editorial section had a cartoon by their extreme leftist cartoonist, Tom Toles.  It was essentially an elephant (the GOP glyph) saying things that Republicans would not normally say, ending with "April Fool."

One of those alleged "facts" was this: "Obamacare is actually working."

So I asked myself, and I suppose I ask you, dear readers -- how do you define success?  I was not an engineer at MIT, but still I think things through fairly analytically, which makes me gasp at reading something like that.

I gasp, because in order to say that some action has succeeded and is working, we need to have determined the purpose, and then do two things -- decide if the purpose was accomplished, and determine if the cost was worth it.

The first should not be hard to do; all we have to do is revisit the intent stated at the time.  Not five years later, mind you, but back then.  And one has to decide whether even that has been accomplished in the Obamacare story.

The intent at the time, of course, was to eliminate the absence of health insurance in the 40 million or so uninsured.  Lots of people did not have it, which troubled Obama so much that he set off to the side things like, oh, jobs for the unemployed and the depressing economy, in a forlorn search for a law that would force everyone to have health insurance.  He promised along the way that we peons could keep our doctor (often a lie) and keep our plans (generally a lie).  He also ignored the fact that many, particularly younger people, chose not to have health coverage, deciding they didn't need it.

The result?  Something like a fifth, certainly not more than a third, of those formerly without coverage now have it.  Certainly far fewer than half the uninsured are now covered.

Any objective evaluation would light up the "Failure" light -- when you mandate coverage by law and still can't get everyone covered, or even half of them, the law has to be thought a horrible failure, particularly given its costs -- more on that.

So why does Toles -- and he's just parroting the leftist, Obama boot-licking narrative -- even try to say that it is actually "working"?  Well, he is simply applying a qualitative (i.e., non-numeric, non-mathematical) description to something that has to be actually counted.  Here, then, is what I mean -- if five years back, anyone had said we'd spend $100 billion, let alone $500 billion, and the result would be that 60% of the uninsured would still be uninsured, even the Democrats would have shied away from it.

In other words, by its intent, Obamacare has failed, even before we look at the people whose insurance premiums have doubled -- like mine -- without any change in medical status.  That, of course, means that the leftist Obama boot-lickers need to come up with a way to say it has succeeded even if it has failed.

So what does the Alinsky book tell them to do?  They simply declare success!  Lie over and over and it will be picked up as the "truth."

What else could be the reason for their touting a recent estimate that the law's cost would be only egregiously onerous, as opposed to execrably high (Toles himself actually tried to do one on that point)?  Spouting the numbers of people now covered -- a high percentage of whom are actually covered by state Medicaid plans, not Obamacare -- and ignoring that, as a percentage of the uninsured, it is still pitifully low?

Sure, just say it works.  Make it a qualitative thing, because the numbers stink relative to the initial justification for the law.  And then use the equally boot-licking media to get out that narrative.  Get the Tom Toleses of the world to portray it as if it were a settled fact that the law worked.  Piece of cake.

Well, the costs have been ridiculously high and will continue to be.  The impact on uninsured Americans has been far, far too inadequate for those costs.  The effect on the innocent, those who lost their policies and have doubled premiums, is embarrassing to the Administration and the Democrats.

But don't let pesky facts get in the way of a fraudulent narrative.

Right, Tom?  Enjoy the Post's health insurance.

Copyright 2015 by Robert Sutton, now paying $542.60 more for health insurance every month

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