It's actually kind of refreshing to see an awful political analogy from the Village these days that doesn't involve Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump, but this one from the WSJ's James Taranto may be one of the all-time duds ever misfired as he compares Obamacare to...exploding cell phones?
Outside of politics, perhaps the worst new-product launch of 2016 was the Samsung Galaxy Note 7. Released in August, it was recalled twice and finally withdrawn from the market last week, all because the device has a tendency to catch fire or explode.
It’s an apt analogy for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as ObamaCare—and that’s not our opinion but that of President Obama himself. Here’s the president in a speech yesterday at Miami Dade College in Florida:
The point is, now is not the time to move backwards on health care reform. Now is the time to move forward. The problems that may have arisen from the Affordable Care Act is [sic] not because government is too involved in the process. The problem is, is that we have not reached everybody and pulled them in. And think about it. When one of these companies comes out with a new smartphone and it had a few bugs, what do they do? They fix it. They upgrade—unless it catches fire, and they just—then they pull it off the market. But you don’t go back to using a rotary phone. You don’t say, well, we’re repealing smartphones—we’re just going to do the dial-up thing. That’s not what you do.
It turns out ObamaCare compares unfavorably even by that analogy. Several years ago this columnist switched our TV and internet service to Verizon Fios, the fiber-optic service offered by the company whose local operation was long ago known as New York Telephone. Signing up for Fios, it turned out, also entailed giving up traditional copper-wire analog phone service in favor of the newfangled digital kind.
We hadn’t used a rotary phone since childhood, but we happen to own an antique one. This morning we plugged it into the wall and attempted to dial a number. It took a long time, as you have to dial 11 digits now even for a local call—but it worked. If you like your phone, you can keep your phone (save for the Note 7). Verizon 1, ObamaCare 0.
Well, if you think a national health care exchange is like making a phone call, sure, Taranto has a point. He goes on to cherry-pick and complain about the parts of Obamacare that haven't come to pass yet, mainly because individual GOP governors have done everything they can to make sure the system fails, with the stated goal being that enough broken, badly running GOP spit and bailing wire nightmares will cause the whole health care system to collapse.
They don't really have a plan B.
That would be the correct analogy to the Samsung Note 7.
But we could instead talk about the tens of millions who have insurance now and the fact that despite Republican sabotage, the plan is still covering more than 90% of Americans.
But sure, let's keep making lazy, silly, and ignorantly cutesy analogies about a guy the GOP has chosen to replace with an orange racist snack product covered in cat hair. We should really trust the judgment of the folks who thought Donald Trump should be president, right?
Tell me another one. Pants on fire.