Thursday, June 28, 2012
The Freeloader Argument
Hurray for the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, but now there will be increased zeal to strike down Obama himself and elect Romney, who wants to repeal it. President Obama really needs to get out there and sell Obamacare, and especially the individual mandate, in a way that speaks to conservatives, not just liberals. It's all wrong to think the individual mandate is a nanny-state provision that forces rugged individualists to take care of themselves. Quite the opposite--it reins in freeloaders who are poised to take advantage of emergency rooms, but don't want to pay for the safety net until they actually land in it. This is like refusing to pay for the fire department until you have a fire, or refusing to pay for the safety net at the circus, until you actually fall off the high wire. It's also like not having your kids vaccinated, because all the other kids at school are vaccinated. As it stands, people without insurance are ripping off the rest of us, and they shouldn't be allowed to continue. See? It's an argument that appeals to a sense of fairness, not to the compassion that the anti-Obama conservatives are so evidently missing. It could easily be done--Republicans against the ACA could be cast as letting freeloaders get away with continuing to rip us all off. Compassion is part of the argument for other provisions in the ACA, but Obama needs to make the freeloader argument to get conservatives to shut-up about the individual mandate, and its alleged assault on our freedoms. We shouldn't have the freedom to be freeloaders. That's what Obama needs to say ... over, and over, and over again.