Obamacare may take its place among Sasquatch, crop circles, and the Loch Ness monster as one of the great hoaxes of all time. Before the 2012 election, Americans swallowed hook, line, and sinker the con that they could all at once keep their existing health plans, keep their own doctors, keep their 25-year-olds on the family health plan, never be denied coverage for a costly preexisting condition, sign up instantaneously on a website, buy insurance only after becoming seriously ill — and yet save $2,500 in annual premiums as part of the bargain. And all that without any new taxes on the middle class.
In 2013, the ruse was revealed. Voters learned that nothing is free, and that it’s impossible to get more coverage for more people at less cost. Plans were canceled, doctors were dropped, premiums soared, websites crashed. Medicare was raided. Taxes were raised on everything from medical devices to real-estate sales. Medicaid enrollments spiraled.
In 2013, the grievance industry also fizzled. For all the demands to change the supposedly insensitive name of the Washington Redskins, team owner Daniel Snyder said no, the public nodded, and that apparently was that.
No one much bought Oprah Winfrey’s contention that a tony boutique in Switzerland had discriminated against her because a clerk at Trois Pommes failed to recognize the billionaire — and therefore was reluctant to show Oprah her desired $38,000 crocodile bag. For that matter, few were convinced that an entire generation of Americans must die off, as she suggested in a BBC interview, to satisfy her visions of a racially harmonious America.
GLAAD, a gay and lesbian advocacy group, was no more convincing in its demands that Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty be summarily fired from the show for making insensitive remarks. Although A&E caved for a few days by suspending Robertson for his rude comments in a magazine interview, the network’s outrage apparently did not last long.
With finger to the monetary wind, executives at A&E discovered that more viewers sided with free speech than with GLAAD’s demands for censorship, so they flip-flopped to cash in with a Christmas marathon session of moneymaking Duck Dynasty reruns. Even the customary intervention of Jesse Jackson did not result in Duck apologies or curb A&E’s desire for lucre.