Instead of outreach programs and sappy TV ads with parents imploring their kids to sign up for Obamacare, President Barack Obama needs to start thinking creatively if he wants his signature legislative achievement to be a success. What motivates kids? In fact, what motivates any of us? Incentives. This White House has failed to grasp what makes individuals and businesses tick. Whether it’s taxes or regulations, Obama doesn’t understand the basis of a capitalist economy. Whoever was responsible for setting the Accountable Care Act penalty – a tax, according to the Supreme Court — wasn’t thinking because it’s much too low: $95 a person, or 1 percent of taxable income, whichever is greater, beginning next year. The penalty rises sharply after that. But if the point is to create an onrush of enrollees at the start, the penalty rate is cheaper for many young, healthy individuals than the premium cost of a health-care policy. [...] First, announce and advertise that everyone between the ages of 18 and 34 who enrolls on the health-care exchanges by the end of the year is automatically entered in a lottery. Winners will receive everything from a free iPhone or iPad to a full-year of health-care underwritten by Uncle Sam. Refer a friend and get a discount. Buy one (year), get one free. In states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use — Colorado and Washington — by all means, throw in a bag of cannabis. It isn’t fair, you say? Who said life is fair? Obamacare is based on the idea of young, healthy people, who don’t use a lot of health-care services, subsidizing the sick and elderly. Their generation is on the hook for the debt incurred to provide for the baby boomers in retirement. So forget fair.It’s amazing that Baum can, seemingly, understand that life isn’t fair yet still crusade for a healthcare system where the underlying tenet is that healthcare insurance is a right. “Throw in a bag of weed to get the kids to sign up!” – That’s the level of nonsense emerging from the left. When these kinds of ideas are taken seriously enough to make it into a lefty rag like Bloomberg, it’s become clear that we are witnessing sheer panic coming from the left.
The failures of Obamacare has the left panicked. While political turbulence can certainly be weathered by beltway veterans who know the drill, Obamacare is different; Obamacare is not merely political choppy water, it is a tidal wave that will sink the boat. There are two distinct factions within the Democrat Party: those that know Obamacare is doomed and those that are still in denial. Like arrogant blue bloods on board the Titanic, there are many Democrats still erroneously believing, “This ship can’t sink!” Those who have accepted that Obamacare is a political liability have tried to distance themselves from the disaster and hope that in doing so, they may be politically redeemed. Others, like President Obama, Sen. Reid, Rep. Pelosi and the go-to fallgirl, Kathleen Sebelius, are all trying to hold strong as Obamacare threatens to tank Democrats’ chances at reelection in 2014. This panic has brought out the crazier elements of the left who are doing everything they can to detract from the disaster that continues to unfold. MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry, a woman not prone to strictly rational arguments who once adorned her earrings with tampons to make some kind of irrelevant point, declared “Obamacare” a racist term, coined by wealthy white men. Of course, the fact that President Obama has embraced the term seems to be lost on Harris-Perry. Obamacare relies on a large percentage of young people voluntarily purchasing overpriced insurance that covers things they don’t want or need in order for them to offset the costs of healthcare that the elderly or otherwise unhealthy need. The Obama Administration has run into a snag, however, as they are shocked to learn that young people are not lining up to sign up for overpriced healthcare. Now, Bloomberg columnist Caroline Baum has come to the rescue to offer a solution: give them marijuana. In a recent column, Baum discusses the need to incentivize buying insurance to keep Obamacare afloat. To do that, she suggests bribing young people with goodies such as iPads and iPhones and yes, even marijuana. Baum writes, (emphasis added)