Is It So Wrong To Admit You Don't Know?

(NOTE: Based on time elapsed since the posting of this entry, the BS-o-meter calculates this is 14.472% likely to be something that Ferrett now regrets.)

Obamacare is now in full force across the nation.
I have no idea whether it’s a good idea.
Oh, it sounds good to me – not so much the whole “give extra money to insurance companies” schtick, but the whole “preexisting conditions” seems extremely useful to me as a heart patient, and I like the way that insurance seems cheaper for most (not all, but most) people.
But how’s it gonna work out five years from now?  Ten?  Will it be too expensive for America, will it cover the poor, will it break the insurance companies, will it raise or lower rates?
Nobody knows.
Let me repeat: nobody fucking knows.
Everyone has hopes, backed by a bit of data – but the entire health care industry is as complex as the economy, and nobody’s been able to predict the economy consistently, either.  There’s too goddamned many moving parts.  Obviously, Obama hopes it’ll do more good than harm, and Republicans think it’ll do more harm than good, but…
…over the last month, I’ve seen a lot of very firm predictions that Obamacare is either a total success or a shivering flop, and they all drive me batty.  It’s like looking at a month-old baby boy and congratulating the parents on his Noble Prize win, or giving them the sad news that they’ve just given birth to a hobo.
Even if no further laws affected Obamacare, we’d still have no clue how this was going to go.  And that’s scary to a lot of people, to think that Congress passed a law that they really had no clue as to its far-ranging effects – but if you look closely at American history, that’s pretty much every major law.  They all had unintended consequences.  Some of which were severe, some of which had been predicted, and – and this is important – some of which were predicted, and turned out to be seriously overblown.
All we ever do with this country is make educated guesses.  Because there’s literally billions of moving parts.  Because there’s literally millions of people looking to profit off of this in some way, either as a consumer or a business, and they’ll warp and twist the intent to suit their own needs.  Because the government either will or will not enforce selected bits of it, depending on which parts they feel are important.
Nobody knows.  Not you.  Not anyone.
Which is not to say that you can’t have opinions.  But stop pronouncing judgment as though it’s a fait accompli.  Like the Iraq war, you can have your suspicions, and I think the only thing we can say for certain is that enacting it will be more difficult than we thought.  That’s already proven to be true, and it’s true of any major change.
But it’s okay.  Be ignorant.  You don’t need certainty in your life, especially when it’s an illusion that excuses you from looking at the facts.
All we know is that it’s here to stay, and hopefully it’ll get massaged into something workable.  And like I felt during the Iraq war, even if you’re dubious you should be hoping this works out.  Because you’re kind of a scumbag if you hope that millions of people suffer just so you get to say “I told you so.”


  1. Jericka
    Dec 13, 2013

    It’s a complicated thing. It’s complicated for the people who need it most, which I find annoying. The people who need it the most really don’t need more complications.
    That said, I may end up unemployed or employed by someone that isn’t a big corporation with nice health insurance soon. I appreciate having an option other than COBRA, because that tends to be expensive like a second rent check.
    A cure all? Nope. Those don’t actually exist. Even single payer or a public option aren’t cure alls. I do appreciate the attempt to make things better for the poor and uninsured. I also wish the people attacking the ACA would at least put their plan on the table. It’s hard to usefully critique something that doesn’t actually exist even on paper.

  2. Jim Ryan
    Dec 13, 2013

    You almost get to the core of the biggest problem we face in these times:
    We all want certainty. We all want to know *exactly* what’s coming, because we have become a horribly risk-adverse society. We can’t stand fluctuations in our markets, we can’t take a few hits on the road to a better future that we deep down don’t believe in.
    I blame the 20th Century. Compare the mindset of someone from 1901 versus someone from 1999, and the creeping cynicism, the lowered expectations from having said yes to too many things that went so horribly wrong, that came along in those years.
    We want certainty because we’ve been sold too many bills of goods over the years, that we longer believe how good it could be. If there were a Second Coming of some sort, most of us would be horribly wary of it because we’d hear of some grand promise and go, “Yeah, pull the other one…”

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