Why ObamaCare Isn’t New Coke

Prominent Democrat Patrick Caddell recently wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal (4/24/10) about how ObamaCare is, he says, like New Coke. New Coke was put on the market by Coca Cola back in 1985. It was Coca Cola with a slightly revised taste and flavor, and was a catastrophic marketing failure. Coca Cola was forced, by consumer demand, to revert to the original soda formula people know and love to this day. Caddell claims that the government made a similar mistake by passing ObamaCare into law, and now should reverse course.

It’s a sweet analogy, but a wrong one. The analogy ignores the overriding difference between a private company — even a massive and profitable one like Coca Cola — and the government. Government has the power of force. Coca Cola holds no such power. Coca Cola could not, for example, monopolize all soft drinks on the market and force people to drink New Coke whether they like it or not. Coca Cola could not take over the entire water and drinking supply and force people to drink ONLY New Coke or otherwise die of dehydration. Government has such power, more than ever now that ObamaCare has become law. The politicians who passed ObamaCare don’t care that at least two-thirds of the nation doesn’t want it, and that 85 percent of the population is satisfied enough with health care as we know it rather than nationalizing it under government control. Politicians don’t care because they don’t have to care. The current crop of politicians are worse than we have ever seen in America. Not only do they not care, and pass the bill anyway — they would merely have “deemed” it passed if they couldn’t have eked out the votes through a semi-Constitutional legislative process known as budget reconciliation. The largest takeover of a private enterprise in human history passed not only by a hair, but on a technicality of questionable Constitutionality.

Neither Coca Cola, nor any sector of the private economy, has any such power over its customers or over anyone. And, until or unless American citizens take it back, the American government now has life or death control over all medical care in America. Americans may still enjoy some liberty and some pursuit of happiness — but life, insofar as it requires medical care, now belongs to the government.