Imagine an army of government-sponsored trainers pushing across the landscape, eager to engulf a targeted population and train them about the options of Obamacare (a.k.a., Affordable Care Act). There’s been a deadline for getting the army in place and conquering the masses that don’t know how to interpret and implement the 1500-page law and the many tens of thousands of pages of interpretations and procedures concerning the law (Oct. 1, 2013). The Obamacare Facts web site is an example of the voluminous electronic version of the explanations. Change a few words to the above scenario and it could resemble a religious crusade (whether one from medieval times or the current Islamic extremist efforts).
So, it came to pass that I started wondering what this tells us about Obamacare on many fronts.
In the beginning, recall, it was Nancy Pelosi (D - CA) who quipped, “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”
Hence, it could be that the law is simply too cumbersome and there needs to be, “some” interpretation. Wow, this sounds like the IRS tax code, something about which most people (and even many CPAs) can’t understand. However, the IRS has made it clear that any non-written advice one gets from the IRS isn’t binding. It’s designed to help, but, “don’t hold us accountable.” If it is written, and it’s incorrect, and other conditions are met (the fine print), you can embark upon a cumbersome procedure to obtain penalty abatement relief. However, it is on the taxpayer to prove his/her case.
Well, if the IRS doesn’t know its tax laws enough to explain them, then what can we expect from the army of trainers explaining Obamacare verbally or on non-official code web sites? What can we expect from the people at the IRS as their employees start to explain health care law going forward?
Another interpretation is that we, the people, are simply too dumb to understand the law. The law has to be explained to us. Well, if that’s the case, then where was our educational system that has consumed countless gazillions of dollars? It has to have failed us, if we can’t make a simple life-defining decision, such as what health plan option to choose.
And, if this is the case, then does that mean the government has to train us in the type of car to buy (and the options or mandatory equipment the car contains and the type of automobile insurance to have)? Oops. They are already doing that, aren’t they? In fact, a web search on Oct. 2, 2013, yielded nearly 2.6 million hits for “government mandated auto”.
Or maybe the government will have to explain to us simpletons how to spend our money. Oops, they already do this to food stamp and related social service support recipients.
Or maybe, they’ll even tell us, from on high, what the Ten Commandments of Education are, including when we learn them, how we are taught about them and how we are supposed to learn them. Oops, this, too, has already been done through various curricula, pacing charts, and standards (e.g., No Child Left Behind and the current rage of Common Core Standards).
Seems that the government has to do just about everything for us, except what they should be doing under the Constitution – protecting our Nation from foreign and domestic attackers, spending money and resources for the common good (versus special interests) and serving the people, rather than the other way around.
Obamacare’s army of trainers tells us a lot about what we aren’t learning in school (how to make life-defining decisions on our own either by thinking logically and/or by thinking, period, without a government mentor at our side).
Part II of this story, “what kids really should be learning in school” is already being drafted.
© 2013 H. Michael Mogil