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Commentary

Obamacare Comedy Tour
Guidance for the Affordable Care Act


     
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In March, President Barack Obama appeared on “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” on the Funny or Die website, popular with the younger set. The show provided some laughs, but it’s hardly the only material on the Affordable Care Act that is both funny and educational.

Covered California, one of Obamacare’s wholly owned subsidiaries, produced a video featuring flabby exercise guru Richard Simmons cavorting with a contortionist. Covered California faces a budget shortfall of $78 million but still spent $1.37 million on the absurd video that is supposed to bring young people into the fold.

That kind of waste might make young people hesitant to consult Obamacare “navigators” who could be convicted felons. Young people realize that the Affordable Care Act is after their money. They might check out the Monty Python hospital sketch that outlines the “cashectomy,” the “total removal off all monies from the patient.” But it’s about more than that.

As supporters endlessly intone, Obamacare is “the law of the land.” It takes your money and in return you get higher deductibles and inferior coverage. And if you are less than worshipful in response, your patriotism is suspect.

This recalls Woody Allen’s 1971 film Bananas, in which Miss America testifies against Fielding Mellish, a product tester with a rebellious anti-government streak.

“I think Mr. Mellish is a traitor to this country because his views are different from the views of the president and others of his kind,” Miss America says. “Differences of opinion should be tolerated, but not when they are too different. Then he becomes a subversive mother.”

Young people seem to understand that they need not hold the same views as President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and endlessly hilarious HHS boss Kathleen Sebelius.

During the final days to the March 31 enrollment deadline, all Americans might have recalled the president’s big punch line: “If you like your health plan you can keep it.” Actually, you can’t keep it because as the New York Times said, that was an “incorrect promise,” another laugh line.

Still, young people are supposed to go along 100 percent on the grounds that the president is hip and cool. As Huey Lewis said, cool may be a rule, but sometimes bad is bad. And the young have precedent for resistance of bad ideas from the government establishment.

Prohibition was once “the law of the land,” causing endless havoc and fueling the growth of organized crime. The people resisted and Prohibition was overturned. Now Americans can legally get a cold beer on a hot day and have wine with dinner.

The military draft, conscription, was once “the law of the land.” Young people resisted, sometimes burning their draft cards. In 1973 the United States ended conscription and launched the all-volunteer military, a much better system.

The United States can do a lot better than Obamacare, an utter disaster that is going to get much worse. So as in the sixties, young people have good reason to speak the truth to power, stand up to the man, and do their own thing. And like Zach Galifianakis, they can have some fun doing it.


K. Lloyd Billingsley is Policy Fellow and Communications Counsel at the Independent Institute.






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