Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Parallels Between U.S. World Cup Soccer and Health Policy

Like tens of millions of other Americans, the Population Health Blog's productivity nosedived during yesterday's United States versus Belgium World Cup game. Against significant odds, the scrappy American team had advanced to the second stage, only to lose in a heartbreaking nail-biter against a country no bigger than the state of Maryland.

Naturally, that didn't stop the PHB from seeing parallels between World Cup soccer and U.S. health policy:

Waiting for an eternity through normal play, only to lose by one or two points in overtime on a trick play, is what makes the World Cup so exciting. It's also what happened to Obamacare's contraceptive mandate.

The American goalie Tim Howard made 16 saves against a highly talented Belgian team.  He is among the top-ranked goalies in the world and will have to figure out how to pay U.S. income tax on all those Euros he'll be making next year. This also makes him qualified to make oral arguments the next time anyone has to pull out a long-odds victory at the Supreme Court.

Soccer players periodically collapse on the ground writhing in pain, only to make a miraculous recovery minutes later. That is not only a useful strategy to pause the game and steal the opponent's momentum, it's a demonstration of optimum use of Obamacare's "essential health benefit."  By the way, it is also inspiration for partisan outrage at any adverse decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Strangely, cheerleaders are absent at world cup soccer games.  That may be one reason why soccer hasn't captured America's attention, but it's ultimately because the European Union's civil service has yet to issue regulations pertaining to the use of les pom-poms.

Image from Wikipedia

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