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Spare me your polls

December 10, 2013

Apparently the silly season has started. I got my first issues poll today. “What would you like us to focus on in the upcoming election?” and a list of 20-25 items. All the usual suspects were included, but like all of these stupid things, it only allowed a “for”, “against” and a “no opinion” answer. Since it came from a particular political group, it was sort of superfluous. If they don’t know by now how their base thinks, it’s too late anyway.

I’m glad someone cares enough to send out the email, but it would be nice if they allowed for a comment or addition at the very least. That’s the trouble with polling; it seems to assume that everyone is completely for or completely against an issue. The answers were more or less pre-ordained from the way the survey was constructed. I admit to having a perverse thought about voting against everything these folks obviously thought I was for, but I just deleted the thing instead. Issues just aren’t that simple.

Take Obamacare for instance. The people who like it or are ideologically welded to its underlying concept are always going to be for it, and the opposing side is always going to be against it. But what about someone that actually thinks about it?

It would have been wonderful if everyone not in Congress or the White House had known in advance about all of its little surprises and it hadn’t become law. But the problem is, it is the law, and this one happens to be one that you can’t fix with a simple vote to repeal or defund it.

Many on the far right are already demanding that the House defund the thing this year. If only it were that simple.

What happens to all the people have lost or will lose their current insurance plans? What about all the people shoved into Medicaid?  If it is summarily defunded or even repealed, who pays the insurance claims? The government is going to prop up the insurance industry by paying the subsidies directly to the insurers. That was their payoff for going along with the thing, that and threatening people who were healthy into signing up.

Insurance companies pay claims out of policy revenue,  investment income and stock value. If you remove the revenue or a substantial part of it, and you still have all the really sick folks signed up, what happens to them? Insurance companies take months if not years to craft their policies so that the healthy folks pay for the unhealthy ones, but heretofore they could count the number of policy-holders, project income and outgo, and through a complex system  known as addition and subtraction, figure out if they could pay the bills. If they couldn’t they sold more policies or cut the payments so that they could at least pay something.

Stop the government payments and the whole thing falls on its head even faster than current sales would predict.

I would love to see how the right plans to dismantle this thing without making sure no one has insurance. Oh sure, the insurers will eventually get back to a so-called free market system, but what about the interim? Giving the left that advantage in the next election will not produce a good result. I can see the ads already, and they ain’t pretty.

Spare me your polls. Give me real plans that have not only a chance of success, but produce a better result in practice. 

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