It’s hugely fashionable these days to make analogies between Obamacare and all kinds of things. So I will jump right on board: Obamacare is like my toilet, and I can explain why.
Jon and I are remodeling our condo in Dallas, and as part of this project we bought a gorgeous one-piece dual-flush Kohler toilet for $700. Sure, it’s a little pricey, but it’s beautiful, its design means there will be no leaks and it will be easy to clean, and in the long run it will save us a lot of money.
Unfortunately, since we’ve never done this before, we made some stupid mistakes. We didn’t realize that, due to the construction of our bathroom, the plumbing for the toilet is placed too close to the wall for the size of the toilet.
In fact, we discovered that the underlying construction of our condo is flawed: the “rough-in” distance is 9.5 inches, which is a non-standard distance to the wall. After calling around, we discovered that there is only one company that makes toilets that could possibly fit, and it is a cheap company that makes cheap, poorly-made toilets.
Thus, we have bought this beautiful, gorgeous, expensive toilet that will save us money in the long run if we could install it. However, we can only install it with a lot of disruption and cost. Specifically: we would have to tear up a portion of our concrete floor, move out the underlying plumbing so that it is farther away from the wall, and then re-pour concrete.
It would be costly, it would be time and labor intensive. It would mean several more days before we are able to use that toilet. It will be inconvenient in the short-run.
On the other hand, we could return the nice, beautiful, expensive toilet, and just say: Hey! Our plumbing is messed up, but it would be too disruptive and expensive to fix it. We’ll just settle with buying the cheap, low-quality toilet. Sure, it will have ongoing problems. Sure, it will probably cost more in repairs and water-waste in the long run. But at least it can be fixed quickly, and we won’t have to pay very much right now.
So, my friends, let me ask you what the smart consumer decision is in this situation.
Faced with this kind of toilet dilemma, what should an intelligent, thoughtful consumer do?
Pay a lot more in the short run, break open the floor, deal with the mess and disruption in the short-run, so that in the long run we can have a nice, gorgeous, cost-saving toilet?
Or return the expensive toilet, and spend $99 on the cheap toilet that fits the existing plumbing, and will continue to break year after year?
Obamacare is exactly like our new toilet.