Sir Isaac’s Laws – Redneck Version

Now what happens?

Following Friday’s dramatic withdrawal of the Republican healthcare bill from the House before even subjecting it to a vote (Hey, the Whip can count and the math was not good), everyone is apoplectic about what happens now.

Is Trump already fatally wounded? Is House Speaker Eddie Munster (check it out…separated at birth?) even more so?  Is Nancy Pelosi pulling her Speaker’s office curtains out of storage?

Trying to process the political and policy implications of an early legislative failure of this magnitude, especially after seven years of carping, will take some time.  Will the exchange markets collapse? Do the  Medicaid entitlement roots just dig deeper? More broadly, DC watchers wonder about the implications on tax and immigration reform.  Are we now to expect nothing but a Twitter war?

As I pondered the implications over the weekend, I found myself thinking about Sir Isaac Newton’s three laws of motion.  Really, isn’t that level of random free association a sign that I should lay off the coffee? I am not yet entirely sure how these three laws shed light on what happens next with healthcare policy, but I think they may offer a helpful framework as we think through things.

 In case your physics is a little rusty, here is a refresher.

First, if something is stuck, it is probably going to stay stuck.  And if it is rolling down hill, it is just going to keep rolling.

But, second, if you want to get a stuck something unstuck, get a dang hammer and hit it.  The more stuck, the harder you better hit it.  Likewise, if you have something loose and rattling around, well, that is why they created Duct Tape.  If it is really loose, it may take a lot of tape.

Last, and this really goes back to the hammer above…when you swing really hard to get that thing unstuck, be careful because that hammer just might bounce back and clock you right in the head.

Now, if you went to some hoity-toity school with such high academic standards that your football team is NEVER televised on a Saturday (nor would you want it to be), you might quibble a bit with my summary of Newton’s Laws of Motion, but if you have such a high need to be precise, this blog will disappoint you frequently.  Being a semi-recovering redneck affords one a certain latitude with the English language.

What does all this have to do with healthcare policy? 

As I said, it will take a little time to sort things out, but all I know is there has been a lot of force exerted to change the momentum of the objects (whether those objects were stuck and needed to move, or they were careening downhill and needed to be stopped is just a matter of your preference on the metaphor…the point is the same).  Apparently, the hammer (or the Duct Tape – again, depending on which side of the analogy you prefer) was not big enough and now that thing is ricocheting back all over the place and someone is about to get popped hard in the noggin.

[Now folks, that is redneck philosophy at its best – colorful euphemisms that engage the imagination, but say dang near nothing.  Sort of like the Republican repeal and replace effort to date.]


12 + seventeen =


Tim Coan, ALN’s CEO, writes an insightful and witty blog three times a week about a variety of topics relevant to independent physician practices.

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