My friend Marcus Sanborn sent me a link to Shelley Broadway's blog, where she explains to her children that Obamacare is terrible by using the analogy of getting free entertainment but having to pay an entertainment tax irrespective of whether you see movies or go bowling:
Last night, at the dinner table, I presented the boys with a scenario. What if the government wrote a law that made all forms of entertainment free for everyone? No one would have to pay for movies, to go bowling, skating, watch a ballgame, etc.
Earlier in the day I’d been reading comments on the Right Wing Obamacare Myths Debunked post by Matt Walsh. There was a lady, who wasn’t even an American, saying she didn’t understand why so many were against Obamacare when it would help so many. All I could think was “My ten-year old would understand why this isn’t a good idea.”
Let’s leave aside the ridiculousness of comparing health care to movies.
What’s far more interesting, at least to me, is that Broadway’s two children seemingly can’t understand the benefits of the entertainment tax that their mother proposes. She begins by noting that her family often chooses not to go to the movies because they don’t have the extra money to pay for the high ticket and snack prices.
The kids seemingly don’t recognize that the entertainment tax means that they can see any movie they want and they can go bowling or skating any time they’d like … without worrying about whether they can afford it. They’ve already paid in the form of the tax, sure, but if they can now consume as much entertainment as they’d like whenever they feel it’s appropriate. And, as children, their tax burden would be quite low … as they themselves recognize (and as Broadway attempts to use to make some sort of ill-conceived point about socialism). Interestingly, Broadway never mentions to her kids that they might be eligible for the federal subsidy; in her goofy entertainment comparison, there simply isn’t a subsidy in her scheme.
Finally, this whole point about being able to now enjoy all sorts of entertainment is, of course, also true of people who are worse off than they are. Now, everyone has access to entertainment. The kids don’t discuss this at all.
Now imagine that we’re talking about health care rather than entertainment.
What’s more, Broadway provides some interesting personal information in a reply to one of the many, many comments on her post:
We have insurance, now, through my husband’s job. When my first son was born, we had no insurance and had to use Medicaid. That went away 3 months after his birth and we had to pay for everything out of pocket. My husband’s boss FINALLY got him a family insurance plan. Once he did, we got pregnant with my second son. When I went to the doctor, I found out his boss hadn’t been paying the dues and we were without insurance – again. I had to go on Medicaid again and again it went away 3 months after he was born.
In other words, she thought it was perfectly appropriate to make use of Medicaid when she needed it, allowing all the other good taxpayers out there to pay for the health care she needed. I wonder what that would look like in her entertainment example?