The new announcement to delay the implementation of Obamacare will
offer a new directive that will pave the way for insurance companies
to go back to issuing healthcare policies that people have had in
the past, even if those plans do not meet the minimum standards set
by the Obamacare minimum coverage requirements. Millions of people
lost their coverage because the Affordable Care Act defines the care
in their current policies as substandard as compared with the
requirements of the Obama plans.
Aside from the fact that many of the people who had their policies
canceled because it didn't meet the requirements of the government
plan, if the same plan is reissued based on the new directive,
doesn't that negate the intent of the Affordable Care Act to provide
a higher quality of product to the American public? Further, by
delaying the implementation until after the midterm elections,
doesn't that beg the question about the action being taken purely
for political reasons? Of course the full implementation of the Obamacare would have resulted in millions more having their plans
canceled just weeks prior to the Election Day in November.
So, the question of delay is obviously, "Will this help or hurt the
midterm election?" Of course it is obvious the Democrats believe
this maneuver will serve as a help to them. Aside from polls and
pundits, there is a definite learning principle at play with all the
delay of the implementation. That learning condition lies in the
operation of operant conditioning.
Losing one's insurance policy is not a pleasant experience. In fact,
it is a very punishing experience because it leaves the
policyholder losing the insurance coverage that has been paid for
throughout the policy life. The policy has given "peace of mind"
knowing that when the policyholder needed expensive medical care, it
would be available without hassle. Most people think that losing a
policy like that is actually aversive and would try to avoid
experiencing that aversive loss for as long as they can.
In learning theory, especially in operant conditioning, simply put,
there are only four things applied to a person that will directly
affect behavior. Those four things are (1) giving the person
something they really like; (2) giving the person something they
really don't like; (3) taking away something the person really
likes; and (4) taking away something the person really does not like. Now,
if we agree that when one loses their healthcare insurance policy,
it is a devastating thing and has a very negative effect on them. It
is something they would really like to avoid if possible.
Now enters the voter with an insurance policy he really likes. He
has already seen the consequences of millions of people losing their
policy, the tremendous problems associated with trying to interact
with the government's exchanges, and what will happen when he is not
covered by the policy he has paid into perhaps for many years. The
administration has decided to make use of learning theory principles
to remove something aversive.
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Of the four consequences listed above, two will increase the strength of a behavior and two will decrease the strength of a behavior. Increases are
a result of "reinforcement" being used to follow the behavior, while
decreases are a result of "punishment" being used to follow a
behavior. The types of reinforcement used are both positive and
negative. Both result in the behavior being increased
in strength, or repeated.
Think about it. If there is a foreboding
event coming in a person's life, something that is dreaded, feared and makes
the person afraid, they wish with all their might that the horrible
thing could be removed from them. When that happens, whatever it was
that stopped the bad event from happening is called negative
reinforcement. So the next time something bad is going to happen,
the person wants the same event to "take it away" like it did
before. That is what the president is doing.
When both types of reinforcement are used at the same time, it has a
more powerful effect on the behavior. If you give a person something
positive while at the same time taking away something aversive, the
result is a powerful behavior effect that will likely be repeated. The
administration knows that and is attempting to use it with the delay
of the implementation of Obamacare.
Here is how they
hope it will work:
Voters are very displeased at having the Obamacare insurance thrust
down their throats. They have seen the aversive effects it has had
on the people during the implementation phase. Each time a large
group of people lose their insurance or encounter any other aversive
side effect of the implementation, it makes people angry, and they
tend to blame the president for the pain they feel. So the
president had decided to "take away" the aversive pain of losing
their policy just prior to the election (negative reinforcement). He
"gives" them a positive reinforcement by delaying the inevitable
pain by making it go away, not to come until another day. People are
happy because they don't have to experience the pain, and even
happier because they may not have to experience it for a long time
to come. Hence, they will pull the lever for their Democrat friends
who voted for the bill in the first place so as to give them another
chance to get it right the next time.
The greatest problem with that method the president is using
with his "pen and phone" to change the law once again is that there will
be a reaper who will visit the people some day. There is going to be
a "day of reckoning" after the election is over. It may save the
president's bacon and his supporters who brought to law to the
American people, but you can be sure the bacon of the American voter
will eventually be cooked!
[By JIM KILLEBREW]
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