The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


There's a mathematical concept that, interestingly, can be used to create fascinating and beautiful digital art, and at the same time, can be used as a metaphor for the unrelenting dishonesty that has been used to promote and describe Obamacare. The concept is the "fractal."

For those who are unfamilar with this mathematical term, let's take a quick look at a small part of the Wikipedia discussion:
A fractal is a mathematical set that typically displays self-similar patterns, which means they are "the same from near as from far". Often, they have an "irregular" and "fractured" appearance, but not always. Fractals may be exactly the same at every scale, or ... they may be nearly the same at different scales ...

The feature of "self-similarity", for instance, is easily understood by analogy to zooming in with a lens or other device that zooms in on digital images to uncover finer, previously invisible, new structure. If this is done on fractals, however, no new detail appears; nothing changes and the same pattern repeats over and over, or for some fractals, nearly the same pattern reappears over and over. [

With Obamacare, no matter at what degree of magnification we look at the legislation and/or its details, the same pattern of dishonesty repeats over and over again. Back in 2009, Barack Obama promised that the A.C.A. "wouldn't cost taxpayers a dime." In fact, his administration claimed it would save a family of four about $2,500 each year. Jonah Goldberg reports:
In September, the Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services used far more rigorous methods to predict that Obamacare would increase national health-care spending by $621 billion. Using Obama’s own math, that would mean — according to Chris Conover, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute and Duke University — each family of four in America will spend an additional $7,450 thanks to Obamacare.
At a slightly more significant level of magnification, Obama touted the A.C.A.'s requirement that everyone get "free" preventative care (ahem, nothing is free) and that this would "save money" over the long term. Again from Goldberg:
According to the National Cancer Institute, 12.4 percent of American women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. So for every positive diagnosis there are seven negative diagnoses. Those tests cost a lot of money. Moreover, of the women who do get it, premature screenings won’t necessarily catch it. That in no way means that screenings don’t make sense. They do, particularly for women in high-risk groups. But testing everybody isn’t a great way to save money. As the Congressional Budget Office reported in August, “The evidence suggests that for most preventive services, expanded utilization leads to higher, not lower, medical spending overall.”
Yes, preventative care may be a good idea in theory, but it's simply untrue to suggest that it will save money in the aggregate.

Increasing our level of magnification to examine a few details, we all now understand that the President's promises that "you can keep your existing health insurance" and "you can keep your doctor" we both lies—not misunderstandings or equivocations, but outright lies—dishonesty offered solely for political purposes.

I suspect that in the weeks and months ahead, fractals will continue to haunt the Obama administration. The President unilaterally delayed the employer mandate until after the 2014 elections, but when we do have a chance to look at it once initiated, it's likely to uncover still more lies. Millions, possibly 10s of millions, of employees will lose their insurance, magnifying the mendacity of the "keep your insurance" promise.

And once a stonewalling administration is forced to release accurate enrollment numbers, we'll see that millions of "uninsured" are being unfairly subsidized by hidden taxes on the middle class and young people—those who are least equipped to absorb inflated pricing.

Unlike fractal art that becomes more and more beautiful as you look more deeply, the fractal dishonesty that characterizes Obamacare becomes more and more ugly as we understand its true nature.


The world of fractals has even begun to affect New York City hipsters, young professionals and glitterati—most are ardent Obama supporters and vocal proponents of Obamacare — until they got insurance cancellation notices. The New York Times reports that over the years, the city's hipsters, young professionals, and glitterati used professional associations for artists, writers, fashion designers, musicians and the like to create group plans that provided them with good, relatively low cost medical insurance. Under magnification, Obamacare disallows this and forces each of them to purchase new insurance that meets the law's arbitrary standards.

From The New York Times report:
“We are the Obama people,” said Camille Sweeney, a New York writer and member of the Authors Guild. Her insurance is being canceled, and she is dismayed that neither her pediatrician nor her general practitioner appears to be on the exchange plans. What to do has become a hot topic on Facebook and at dinner parties frequented by her fellow writers and artists.

“I’m for it,” she said. “But what is the reality of it?”

“Ms. Meinwald, the lawyer, said she was a lifelong Democrat who still supported better health care for all, but had she known what was in store for her, she would have voted for Mitt Romney.”
Ms. Meinwald has just experienced the fractal nature of Obamacare, and what she sees is the ugliness of big government control, not beauty.

Richard Fernandez comments on the use of young professionals like Ms. Meinwald to fund others who will pay little or nothing for health insurance:
This is called a transfer payment. This is called redistribution. You may want or not want it, but you cannot pretend that redistribution does not redistribute.

If Ms. Meinwald wanted to avoid getting slugged her group should have imitated Detroit. When you’re bust you’re off the hook. No stash, no tab. Or, as classic Marxian theory puts it from each according to his ability, to each according to his need. Of course the modern Democratic Party has rewritten the slogan slightly to “from each according to his gullibility to each according to his greed”, but that’s a mere detail; that’s progress for you.
Ahhh ... the wonder of fractals.