There is no professional sport more popular in America right now than the National Football League. It seems the entire nation shuts down each and every Sunday to follow the various games being played throughout the day, strategically timed so that from 1 p.m. through Midnight Eastern there’s almost always a live game being broadcast by CBS, FOX, or NBC.
So you’d think this would offer the Obama administration the perfect opportunity to have a captive audience ready and willing to be inundated with propaganda regarding that lovable disaster we so affectionately refer to as Obamacare.
OK, so Obamacare is about as popular as a DVD documenting the greatest plays of Vince McMahon’s XFL or a Fog Hat Christmas album. But you’d think the NFL, considering it has a tax-exempt status (meaning it pays no taxes on revenues north of $9 billion), would see the Obama administration use this nonprofit categorization as a basis for forcing the league to promote Obamacare.
Though individual teams must pay taxes as for-profit entities, the NFL’s headquarters operate under a nonprofit status, using this tax-free exemption to administer the leagues 32-franchises and various intellectual properties, including those unbelievably lucrative television contracts.
As someone who once wrote a two-word love note to the IRS at the bottom of a rather sizable check, I won’t befall anyone who finds a legal way around paying taxes to support the bloated, irresponsible government and its projects to redistribute our hard-earned wealth, but it’s amazing the Obama administration hasn’t tried to muscle the NFL to do more to promote the socialization of our health-care system.
Thus far, only the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers have voluntarily agreed to promote Obamacare, while the NFL released a statement the Washington Post called a “blow to the administration” when the league passed on committing to peddle the health-care law like some insurance salesman well below his monthly sales quota:
“We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about [the health-care law's] implementation.”
So the NFL, as the corporate entity protecting the financial interests of the 32 franchises (that tax-exempt shield keeps the enormous television contract revenue safe and sound from the bean-counters at the IRS), passed on Obamacare promotion; but the Ravens and Steelers volunteered to aid a government program that, when enrollments of the 50 states are combined, wouldn’t be able to fill the 16 stadiums hosting NFL games on a given Sunday.
So consider the lie of 2013 and how it could impact those athletes on the Ravens and Steelers who at some point could face a career-ending injury: “If you’ve got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor.”
As someone who had to undergo major surgery while under contract with the Tampa Bay Rays, I can tell you that finding the top surgeon was my primary concern before going under the knife.
Like so many athletes – in not just the NFL, but in all professional sports – finding the best surgeon to perform a surgery (be it reconstruction of an ACL/MCL tear or Tommy Johns surgery to repair a damaged elbow) and help prolong a career is one of the greatest indicators that a form of the free market not only once existed in sports medicine, but that the whole concept of Obamacare is just a farce.
When an athlete is injured in professional sports, the employer/franchise will pay for the most advanced medical care so that their investment can return to the field of play in top shape; but as someone who must pay for my own insurance now, wouldn’t I want to have the luxury of finding the best doctor possible to keep me healthy in my post-baseball years? Just because I’m retired doesn’t mean that the desire to be in the hands of the best possible doctor has subsided, and I think it would be ridiculous to think that anyone is any different than me. I rarely use absolutes, but when it comes to our health everyone wants to be attended to by the best, and, generally speaking, the best is only found by trial and error along with an emphatic search.
Doesn’t it make more sense for American’s to have the opportunity to seek out the right medical provider for themselves, just as a professional athlete would when they are injured and need to find the best physician, surgeon or physical therapist?
How many great athletes have Dr. James Andrews’ number in Birmingham, Ala., on speed dial, knowing he’s the best doctor for mending knees, shoulders and elbows? Speaking from experience, it was a veritable who’s who in his rehab facility. Everyone from professional wrestlers to recent Cy Young winners and NFL MVPs had all sought Dr. Andrews out at their own discretion because we all wanted the best care we could possibly provide ourselves. In doing so we received that unprecedented care, but also exercised a right found only in the capitalistic free-market environment: choice. Obamacare is taking away our choice and therefore killing the very basis of the free market within our health-care system – and I have no doubt that as this debacle moves forward it will begin killing us … literally.
How many athletes would never play a down in football again if they were told they couldn’t see Dr. Andrews again (or even the first time for that matter) even though his magic hands were the absolute best ones for the job?
America’s health-care system wasn’t broken before President Obama decided to shove socialism down our collective throats. Sure, like many things in our imperfect world U.S. health care in its original state needed some adjustments, but the nuclear option that is Obamacare is not the answer. Capitalism and free markets have created the greatest economy the world has ever seen in a relatively short period of time. Is everything within free-market enterprise always perfect? Is anything? But socialism and government mandate is certainly not the answer.
The government can’t even run the Post Office properly yet are now crudely heaving themselves into a segment of an individual’s life most people hold in very high regard. I don’t know about you, but I don’t recall inviting them.
Though we all can’t be professional athletes, we all don’t have to be lab rats in the great Obamacare experiment, either.
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