Why Obamacare Can’t Expect Word-Of-Mouth Marketing: Revisiting The iPhone Rollout

I wrote earlier about the Obamacare “peak”—how we can expect support to taper off. I think it might help to elaborate on one thing I mentioned. You need to read the post for the context, but my final sentence was:

What I don’t see happening is people who love their new health insurance so much that they convince their friends and family to jump on board.

I don’t think that goes far enough. It isn’t just that I don’t see it happening. Rather, it is completely impossible. Physically impossible. It can’t happen.

To see why, let me share what I remember about the iPhone’s first appearance. I had several friends who were able to afford the first iPhones and who wanted one bad enough to pay that price. So I got to see them use them. I got to hear one acquaintance at church mention how the phone mail feature was revolutionary since he no longer had to listen through all his messages in sequence. He simply picked what he wanted.

At the time (and much of the time until recently) I owned a dumbphone. It wasn’t a handheld computer. It just made calls and allowed me to text. I never needed a data plan. When my friends showed me their iPhones, they didn’t change my quality of life one bit. My ability to make and receive voice calls and text messages continued unabated. My disposable income level wasn’t altered or hampered by anyone else’s choice to purchase an iPhone.

Eventually, once Apple was able to make some money and then do some more development, an improved version of that iPhone came at a price that I could afford. While there are cheaper versions on the market, the one I have now is comparable in quality to the original and superior in features.

Now compare that to the Obamacare rollout. Yes, there are some people who are better off because they didn’t have insurance before even though they strongly desired to have it. That’s great. But every single instance of such good news represents bad news for most other people around him or her.

It would be like my friends showing up at my door and telling me that I am no longer allowed to use my phone. Because they bought an iPhone that they liked, I have to give up my phone too and get one that costs five times as much. And this new one is too big to fit in my pocket, charges me for every text message, and only allows voice calls during daylight hours.

Even if Apple had stolen our phones to make us buy their genuinely better phone, that would have been recognized as a criminal act. Our government gets to do that and hand most of us impoverishment—and still claim to be our benefactor.

Obamacare has forced us into an arena where we are directly opposed to one another. Rather than allowing the market to allocate resources, the Affordable Care Act forces people to buy stuff they don’t want and takes away stuff they do want. Every person who is marginally better off now enjoys his or her new benefits at the expense of several who are now being ripped off.

The happy customers can’t spread the good news. Their good news is everyone else’s bad news.

Here is an example of what I mean by “bad news.”

Thanks to Mish, for the video.