Shortly after the end of World War II, a pair of allergists gave some medication to a patient suffering from hives. Surprisingly, the patient reported her lifelong battle with carsickness had disappeared. After follow-up testing, Dramamine quickly became standard issue for fighting motion sickness.
This is one of many unexpected discoveries highlighted in "Happy Accidents," a fascinating book by Morton Meyers, M.D.
But the world of medical care is not the only place where the outcomes often baffle the careful planners.
In the 1920s, Republicans controlled all branches of the government and passed significant laws dramatically reducing immigration. However, that policy success had an unanticipated side effect. Millions of immigrants at the time were routinely going back and forth between the U.S. and their homeland. The new laws eliminated that option, and so they had to make a choice, and many opted for U.S. citizenship. In the 1930s, they became a key part of the New Deal coalition that gave political control to the Democrats for a generation. That certainly was not what the Republicans had in mind.
Today, the chattering class in D.C. is virtually unanimous in declaring that the Democrats have won the political battle over the so-called government shutdown. But it's hard to see the overheated rhetoric of the past few weeks having a major impact on the midterm elections. Substantive issues like the economy and the president's health-care law are far more likely to determine the outcome.
That could be a problem for Harry Reid's team. The Democrats won the current news cycle by lashing themselves ever more tightly to the president's health-care law.
Talk about a high-risk strategy!
Perhaps some Democrats still believe the law will work and someday become popular. They may agree with conservative Pat Buchanan who wrote, "If Obamacare is funded, the subsidies starting in January will constitute a morphine drip from which America's health-care system will not recover. If not stopped now, Obamacare is forever."
The "morphine drip" view that the public will get hooked and vote against their own interests is wrong. In fact, implementation of the law may turn out to be the best thing politically for its opponents.
The problems with the law are much deeper than the widely publicized glitches of the government website. The sticker shock from the new insurance premiums and deductibles will create 2014 problems for the president's party. The fact that millions will lose their existing coverage and their doctor despite promises to the contrary will be another problem. Employers already are dropping coverage and dropping workers to 29 hours a week because of the cost burdens imposed by the new law.
Even where the system appears to work, it will encounter problems. The simple fact is that most Americans would be better off with more take-home pay and less comprehensive insurance. The president's law pushes them in the opposite direction. You can be sure that employers will point to the president's law as a prime reason why pay raises have become so small or nonexistent.
So, the enduring story of the shutdown debacle may be that the Democrats in Congress failed to grasp their last chance to delay or ease the pain of the president's health-care law. That failure could haunt the party for a long time to come.
I have to agree with this so much. We didn't see the conservatives lose anything, the won and the Democrats and Obama especially are crowing over something they mistakenly think they won which indeed it was a fatal error on their part. The Republicans played them and they still don't see this and that is just fine.
One thing that the Democrats did was so tie themselves to a program that the majority of American does not want, Obamacare. They want health care reform, just not Obamacare and not the Democrats are just as tied to this as Obama himself. They will remember this. More and more not realize, thanks to the efforts of Cruz, Lee, and not to be forgotten Vitter, Sessons and Rand Paul that this is a law that the Democrats will do anything to keep in force, even at the expense of the feelings to the opposite of their constituents. This was a huge mistake and well played by the Republicans.
Further, the Republicans know that this will never be fully implemented and what has been is easy for the Republicans to end and then real health care reform can be addressed, but they need the majority in both sides of Congress to do this and to weaken the Democrats further by, as it is put by both conservative and liberal media and talk show hosts, "caving" to the Democrats they did actually seal the fate of the Democrats over this issue which has a good chance of being a deciding factor, along with the economy, in the 2014 elections and how that goes will shape the 2016 presidential elections.
What we see on the outside and the media presentation (all media not just liberal) is not always what we should really see. We have to remember that we don't want to be led by the conservative media and their spin any more than we would the liberal media; it is about looking close, analyzing on our own and seeing more than the obvious. It is about placing some trust on those that deserve that. And the more outspoken dissidents of the Republican party should be ignored at all cost, but they are such a small minority; McCain, Lindsay Graham and a few others. I have been down on McConnell but not sure that is warranted.
Look at how he is being villified now, as well. I feel that any Senator and Representative in Kentucky, regardless of party, is a part of receiving the earmark as you cannot tell me that McConnell alone is party to it. Rand Paul could have stepped up and stopped it as could the others. My question is this, while Rand Paul speaks out about how he would not allow something like this, didn't he? He certainly has done nothing to stop it and he could. He is letting McConnell hang in the wind alone and that is wrong. But then if we want to crucify McConnell, then we need to go after so many past and present Senators and Representatives for doing just the same. There is no State that does not benefit from this; it is the special bills attached to major legislation, those that we don't see, and they happen all the time. Look at the billions that Bryd gained for W. Virginia over the years as an example. As I stated on another article, remember the"highway to nowhere"? Classic example.
This is just one more example of trying to discredit a man that is running for the Senate in 2014 on the Republican ticket and I am not sure that it is justified. He represents a big voice for the Republicans and Obama wants him out; question what the media has to say when you determine whether to go after McConnell or not. Who is manipulating your thinking? Further, if you do come out against McConnell, hold Paul equally culpible as again, he didn't stop it and it helps his constituents equally and his State.
I totally agree, Linda!!!