American Elephants


Michael Ramirez’s Perfect Metaphor: by The Elephant's Child

The marvelous Michael Ramirez strikes again. Economist Greg Mankiw commented as well:

Consider these two policies:

A. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance that covers birth control.

B. An employer is required to provide its employees health insurance.  The health insurance company is required to cover birth control.

I can understand someone endorsing both A and B, and I can understand someone rejecting both A and B.  But I cannot understand someone rejecting A and embracing B, because they are effectively the same policy.  Ultimately, all insurance costs are passed on to the purchaser, so I cannot see how policy B is different in any way from policy A, other than using slightly different words to describe it.

Yet it seems that the White House yesterday switched from A to B, and that change is being viewed by some as a significant accommodation to those who objected to policy A.  The whole thing leaves me scratching my head.

Perhaps the president’s greatest talent is his use of euphemisms, or to put it another way, putting earrings on an elephant. Just keep changing the words until you find something that sounds sufficiently pleasant.

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