The ObamaCare Shoe Store

If Obama Ran a Shoe StoreÖ.
By Dave Dyer

Shoes are essential for living a civilized life. Without shoes, you canít work, shop, or get health care. But there are millions of people without shoes; they are mostly trapped in their homes although you do sometimes see them at the beach. Worse yet, millions more have sub-standard shoes that they were tricked into buying by unscrupulous shoe vendors. Women, in particular, are often discriminated against with higher prices and features like bows that have no functionality. The discrimination is so complete that womenís shoes have a different sizing scale than menís shoes.

The shoe market is confusing to many participants. There are so many styles, colors, designs, and types of materials that good decisions are difficult. The complexity is only increased by the necessity of buying two shoes at once that are almost, but not quite, identical. People who select the wrong shoes often fall down, injure themselves, and add needless costs to the nationís healthcare system. People canít be trusted to make these complex decisions on their own.

Since shoes play such a central role in our civilization, they should be recognized as a basic human right. Shoe equality should be a national goal, and shoes should be available to all, even if subsidies are required.

The best solution is to set up a national network of Shoe Exchanges where people can buy appropriate shoes at affordable prices. Government standards will specify the exact characteristics of the approved shoes and make sure that they are available to all. There will be three approved models:

Bronze: A one-size-fits-all rubber flip-flop
Silver: A fur-lined bootie that comes in one size
Gold: Steel toed work boots that come in 3 sizes and one color

The discriminatory distinction between menís and womenís shoes will be eliminated. All citizens will be required to buy one and only one pair per year in one of the above approved styles. Children can wear their parentsí shoes until they turn 26; then they must buy their own shoes. People who already own shoes can keep them if they like them, at least until the government thinks you have had them long enough.
The exchanges will be staffed by political appointees and placed in strategic areas of each state. The hours of operation will vary by locality, but they will be posted (in Spanish) on the front door. People who qualify for a shoe subsidy will be required to register on-line and submit their last 5 years of tax records along with receipts for any shoes that they have bought in the past. As an additional cost-saving measure, shoe manufacturers will also qualify for a subsidy if the shoes they make are not all sold.

After the exchanges are established, only the approved models will be sold to the general public. All citizens will be required to report their annual shoe purchase on their income tax return and thousands of new IRS agents will be hired to enforce this rule. Of course, government officials, their staff, and families are exempt from the shoe requirement; since they are busy working for the good of all, they should be able to wear any kind of shoes that they want.