Hank  Adler

New Coke was introduced to the marketplace on April 23, 1985. On that same date, old Coke was removed from the marketplace. On July 10, 1985, the old Coke product was returned to the marketplace. It only took 78 days for the people at Coca Cola to recognize and admit that they had made a huge mistake. Obamacare will be 78 days old on Tuesday, December 17, 2013. There is a message here.

While the Pottery Barn Company does not have such a rule, in business and politics, there is a rule often referred to as the 'pottery barn rule'. In terms of Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell warned President Bush of the 'pottery barn rule' and suggested that if he invaded Iraq, “You are going to be the proud owner of 25 million people, you will own all their hopes, aspirations, and problems. You'll own it all.” John Kerry essentially evoked the 'pottery barn rule' when he stated about Iraq: "Now if you break it, you made a mistake. It's the wrong thing to do. But you own it. And then you've got to fix it and do something with it. Now that's what we have to do."

At this point, it strains credibility for the Administration not to recognize and admit that significant portions of Obamacare are a terrible mistake. “Significant portions” may be one of the great understatements since astronaut James Lovell told the Houston Control Center that “We have had a problem” after an oxygen tank exploded on Apollo 13. It is not within the realm of possibility that a Democratically controlled Congress and the President of the United States inadvertently teamed up to destroy American healthcare. They, like the board of directors at Coca Cola, may have had the best of intentions, but it certainly appears they may have managed to un-insure literally millions of Americans. They have also raised health insurance costs for virtually everyone not eligible for a significant healthcare insurance subsidy.

The President continues to attack Republicans with the rejoinder that "I've been hearing about this whole replacement thing for two years, now I just don't hear about it because basically they don't have an agenda to provide health insurance to people at affordable rates." While his claim is essentially false, the Republican plan(s)for healthcare are based on entirely different approaches to the issue of healthcare and with less than fifty votes in the US Senate effectively meaningless. What is not meaningless is the law of the land: Obamacare.

Congress will reconvene January 6, 2014. It is the responsibility of the President to provide legislative fixes to Obamacare literally on the morning of January 6th. The problems that various Americans will face on that date are legion:

Hank Adler

Hank Adler is an Assistant Professor at Chapman University.

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