On Monday morning's edition of his regular 'Coffee With Scott Adams' Periscope broadcast, the startup expert and creator of the 'Dilbert' cartoon brainstormed ways to help President Trump find out-of-the-box ideas to lower health care costs.
"It could be that [such a plan] gets modified down the road by Congress, but as a starting place, why don't we give our populist president something to sell? We hired a salesman and gave him no product to sell... We sent him into battle unarmed," he explained.
He wrote a simple elevator pitch in his blog later that day:
We the People of the United States elected a populist president to go to Washington DC and make the changes the people want. Sounds good on paper.
Unless the people don’t know what they want.
That’s the situation with health care. The public doesn’t have any majority opinion on what a comprehensive plan should look like. The topic is too complicated and the public is too uninformed. We sent President Trump into battle unarmed. If We the People find a way to tell our president what we want, I have confidence he can help us get it. But if we don’t know what we want, our populist president has nothing to sell. That’s our situation today. We elected the world’s greatest salesman and gave him no product to sell to Congress.
Don’t say 'repeal Obamacare.' That’s not a health care plan. That’s just a step.
What we need is a 'people’s plan' for health care that does not originate from congress or lobbyists or the healthcare industry. We need 1-3 sensible plans created by the public, and presented to our populist president for selling to Congress. No other path is likely to succeed.
To get the ball rolling, I created the hashtag #PeoplesPlanHealth to capture the various ideas coming from the public. If any of those plans emerge as popular (based on retweets, likes, etc.) I have offered to help turn what is likely to be a complicated idea into something simple and persuasive. Once we have a plan with popular support, and persuasive packaging, I will make sure it gets to the right people in the White House. One way or another.
Scott Adams is the author of the upcoming book, Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don't Matter, where he will reveal why he calls President Trump a "Master Persuader" and what clues led him to be one of the first to predict that Trump would win the 2016 election.
But before he explains the health care idea, he makes a prediction that sounds as bold as the one he made about President Trump's election: If the president gets health care (and a few other things) right, the United States could be on the brink of a Golden Age.
He lists potential wins: "If you get health care, something with taxes, ISIS is beaten back, and you have North Korea starting to look good, that is the Golden Age, my friends. Economy is already good, optimism would be sky high, even the VA is looking better."
"If we don't get health care, we can't say we ever had a Golden Age, even if other stuff goes well. But if we get health care, and it comes from the people, and it looks like a success, we will start to see a pattern of success that is unparalleled-- something we've never seen before," he explained.
"Half the country is thinking we're on the verge of complete civil war, breakdown, country falls apart," he also said. "At the same time, I'm telling you a story in which the country is one good idea away from a Golden Age."
Scott's call for help finding a plan for the president to sell: "How does some individual who just knows a lot about insurance get their plan in front of the public? And that's what I'm offering to help today. Chances are that whoever is smart enough in the public to put together a health care plan that helps everybody, if such a person exists, it is unlikely that they also possess good packaging, branding, persuasion skills. So that is what I am here to offer."
SCOTT ADAMS: I promised that I was going to solve the biggest problems in the world. And I'm going to lay out a path for doing that. Here's my starting supposition: I believe that if President Trump's administration starts getting some momentum, and they get on a roll, all kinds of good things could begin to happen, and we could be entering a Golden Age.
By Golden Age, I mean a period where things are relatviely peaceful, the economy is good, people are figuring stuff out, health care is good. But in order to get momentum, first you have to accomplish a few things that both sides say is good.
So far, the president has accomplished things that one side, his own side, says are good, but the other side says are bad or unneccesary. I'm thinking about the executive orders, here.
But suppose he were to get a few things done that were unambiguously good for everyone. That could create a momentum which could be quite important. You've seen already that President Trump has some momentum on North Korea, by cleverly reframing the situation from the old way of "North Korea vs. the United States," a spunky little wannabe country that is taking on the big monster devil U.S., into:
You may have noticed just in the last few days, the frame was completely changed --and I've never seen this done before, so I think it is not a coincidence-- that you get someone with President Trump's persuasion skills in office and suddenly the frame changes. You notice the new frame from the U.N. security council? They voted unanimously, which means that China and Russia were on our side on this, to sanction the hell out of North Korea, to put pressure on them. So you have seen for the first time [since World War Two] a military alliance that includes China, Russia, and the U.S. on the same side. It is one of the biggest events in human history, but it has been reported as just 'security council is saying something.'
Think about it: What just happened this week is that Russia, China, and the U.S. declared war, essentially not just on North Korea, but on several Chinese companies who do business with North Korea. The government of China probably did not have as much control over their corporations as you would like, because of nepotism and connectivity and corruption, so even the government couldn't control their companies. So what did the government of China do? It formed a military alliance with Russia and the U.S. against its own corporations, because that is the only way the corporations are going to do what the government of China tells them to do, which is to stop trading [with North Korea], otherwise they keep doing it. So that is amazing, but that wasn't even the point I was going to talk about today...
I'm going to tell you a story in which you could imagine President Trump having two big wins -- one, North Korea, which hasn't happened yet, but looks like its going in a good direction. And the other: health care.
Listen to this next part, because this is key to understanding where we're going on health care: I had this realizaton yesterday. See if this realization matches with your view of things? The reason that President Trump is the president is because he is a populist, and he essentially magnifies the will of the people. So if you say we want better security, he brands that as 'The Wall' and he amplifies it. If the country wants to fight ISIS better, he tells Gen. Mattis to go nuts, gives him more freedom to go fight ISIS and it happens. So when you have a populist president, what he or she does is amplify what the public wants.
Now look at health care. Do you know what the problem was? Why President Trump couldn't get health care for the people? Because there was nothing to amplify. Because the people --you and I-- we didn't have a plan. We had no plan for him to sell. We hired him to sell what we want to the world, the government, the Congress in particular. What was the plan we asked our president to sell?
We elected him to sell our stuff, right? We put him in office to do what we want to do, and we have no plan, he's just flailing on our behalf.
What was the best he could do in that situation? He said whatever Congress produces, my pen is ready, I'll sign it. The populist president went into battle unarmed. We sent President Trump into the health care battle completely unarmed, because we didn't have a plan, we didn't know what we wanted. We just wanted better --get rid of Obamacare-- which isn't really a plan. It is just one part of a larger thing.
Next, Scott offers his services to popularize a good plan, if we can find one.
SCOTT ADAMS: So here's the deal, it seems like there are people somewhere in America who understand the health care situation, and are free of the control of the lobbyists and the insurance companies, etc. Probably there is someone who understands it well enough that they can put together a plan, and we could call it the public plan, perhaps we would discuss it... But there is probably someone who has the public interest in mind, who understands the space, is not biased, and could put together a plan.
Where is the problem if such a person does that? If someone does this, they know no one will sell their plan right? How does some individual who just knows a lot about insurance get their plan in front of the public? And that's what I'm offering to help with today. Chances are that whoever is smart enough in the public to put together a health care plan that helps everybody, if such a person exists, it is unlikely that they also possess good packaging, branding, persuasion skills. So that is what I am here to offer, if you can, collectively, find me that person that has the information, the knowledge, and is sufficiently free of bias from lobbyists, that their plan could be a starting place.
It could be that it gets modified down the road by Congress, but as a starting place, why don't we give our populist president something to sell? We hired a salesman and gave him no product to sell... I will help package it, and then collectively we can pitch it to our populist president and if he likes it, he would for the first time have something to sell!
He has nothing to sell, it is a complete waste of talent.
I'm going to say a political statement that no one here will argue with: Congress is the wrong tool for the job... of coming up with ideas. Congress is not the right tool for this job. The idea has to come from the public, because it is what we want, not what the pharmaceutical or insurance companies want. I actually trust that President Trump could sell the hell out of anything that was actually sellable.
If you put together a plan that has a few key points --and that is where I'll help. I'll trim down your complicated plan to its three bullet points to sell it. So that is what I'm asking of you.
I don't want to look at a link or talk to a guy, but if there is someone who has that plan, they've already done it, or they're working on it, once it is fully packaged, I'll clean it up and I will guarantee it will get to the right people, and by the time it gets to them it will be very persuasive.
It could be that we need three plans -- because people like choices. We could have a market based one, a single payer one, and before you say you hate single payer, just assume there are probably a million variations on that and they can't all be bad. There are more than one way to do things...
So that's my offer, let me pull this all together. People see that two points make a line, if two good things happen people start being irrational about it and say if two good things happened it might be a trend.
So North Korea is poised to be a big win, it could take some time, but it looks like it is heading in the right direction with the Chinese pressure on North Korea.
If health care could be also a win-- And this would require somebody to come up with a plan, and somebody to help package it, so our president can sell it to Congress. He's not selling to the people, he is selling to the Congress. If we could get a health care plan that is better than what is talked about so far, progress in North Korea, and some improvements in tax rates --smaller changes not big ones-- he'll have a tax success, health care success, and North Korea success, and probably ISIS will be in mop-up territory, with a strong economy and good jobs. That's what we're looking at.
To me, the whole key to the Golden Age is health care. If we don't get health care, we can't say we ever had a Golden Age, even if other stuff goes well. But if we get health care, and it comes from the people, and it looks like a success, we will start to see a pattern of success that is unparalleled-- something we've never seen before.
Hold this thought in mind: There are so many situations in life where it can look like you are on the verge of complete failure, this is how half the country looks at the Trump presidency: "We're on the edge of Civil War, and society is breaking down, falling apart."
Half the country is thinking we're on the verge of complete civil war, breakdown, country falls apart. At the same time, I'm telling you a story which is one good idea away from a Golden Age. All we need is from the public --the president doesn't even need to do it-- the public needs to just put forward a plan, and it will put him in the heart of the greatest winning streak this country has ever had. If you get health care, something with taxes, ISIS is beaten back, and you have North Korea starting to look good, that is the Golden Age, my friends. Economy is already good, optimism would be sky high, even the VA is looking better.
Next, he talks to people in the comments and brainstorms a hashtag: #PeoplesPlanHealth