With only a small penalty for abstaining, the numbers for signing up not only don’t add up — they’re absurd. Here’s one of the supposedly attractive deals: “One option available only to people under 30 is a so-called catastrophic policy that kicks in after a $6,350 annual deductible. In Monroe County, you can buy that policy on the New York State of Health exchange for as low as $131 a month for single coverage.”
Over fifteen hundred a year for a sixty-three hundred plus deductible? What healthy thirty year old would waste his or her money?
Who invented this plan? Certainly not Obama or Pelosi, neither of whom was paying close attention, I would bet. (Pelosi admitted she wasn’t. All Obama wanted was something to put his name next to, something that sounded vaguely “progressive.”)
I am writing this before Obama speaks on Monday, so have little idea of what he is going to say. But his only choice is to put his best face on the dreadful enrollment figures. Otherwise, he has to announce a delay in the program — the very thing Republicans shut the government over! (He’ll never do that. It’s too easy to point out.)
So what should Republicans do? First, as Hippocrates said, do no harm. Stop attacking each other. Follow Ronald Reagan’s prescription about never speaking ill of fellow Republicans. That kind of behavior turns off voters.
Never cease to point out the problems of Obamacare, but do it with humility and grace, maybe a little humor. Trust me — the public gets it. They’re supposed to enroll in the damn thing.
Also, it might be helpful to come up with a few market-oriented suggestions of your own to improve healthcare. But don’t be revolutionary about it. Keep it simple. Be specific and targeted.
And then keep smiling as you sweep up the winnings — in the elections of 2014 and 2016.
(Artwork created using multiple Shutterstock.com images.)