The presidential election's lessons on overconfidenceArticle added by Paul Wilson on December 27, 2016
Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson

Denver, CO

Joined: May 30, 2007

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Whatever your current mood, this election offers a good reminder of the importance of Plan B.

In 2012, the Denver Broncos threw caution to the wind and signed an injured, aging quarterback whose future was very much in doubt. At Peyton Manning’s introductory press conference, John Elway, executive vice president of football operations, was understandably asked about his backup plan in case the risky move didn’t go well. “I don’t have a Plan B,” Elway said. “I’m going with Plan A.”

Plan A paid off last year with the Broncos winning it all — Elway’s lack of a contingency plan was rewarded in a big way. But there’s a reason their season is already being called a storybook ending — this approach rarely works in real life, as many Democrats are now finding out the hard way.

Few thought Donald Trump had a realistic chance of becoming the 45th president of the United States, so it’s somewhat understandable that many Democrats were confident leading up to Election Day. According to Buzzfeed’s Kate Nocera, many Dems preceding the election found “the idea of Trump actually winning so unimaginable, no one [had] given much thought to how they’d handle him winning the election.”

Texas Rep. Marc Veasy said, “It’s never talked about in much depth or detail because the guy is such a joke. We can’t fathom it and therefore are not planning for it … If Donald Trump wins, it would be chaos.”

One senior Democratic Senate aide told BuzzFeed, “No one is sitting around planning for a President Trump. No one is meeting, no one is contemplating, no one is meditating about this.”

To be fair, some interviewees specified that no plan was necessary “because they disagree with everything he says,” so their course was already laid out. Still, some on the left are likely ruing their lack of planning as they scramble to make sense of the new political landscape.

Meanwhile, many in the benefits industry are celebrating the forthcoming Trump presidency and impending ACA repeal. But Eric Johnson, a brokers sales executive for freshbenies, (who recently shared three of his health care predictions), advises caution and circumspection.

“Before criticizing one side and assuming the other side will fix everything, I recommend studying the history of the ACA. We know it was based on a program that was put in place under a Republican governor, but many don't realize that the Massachusetts bill had its origins in a 1993 bill with 20 Republican co-sponsors that was introduced as an alternative to Hillarycare. One reason Republicans have had so much trouble introducing a replacement plan is because nearly every idea they had was embedded in the ACA. And that's part of the reason why they plan to replace it with many of the same provisions that are currently in place (like the age 26 rule). One other bit of history: Trump used to support the idea of a single-payer system, so I'm not terribly confident in his ability to fix this mess. Are you? Really? We'll see ...”

Whatever your current mood, this election offers a good reminder of the importance of Plan B. Because no matter which side of the aisle you sit on, there will never be a happily ever after.

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