• Asking “Was health reform worth it?” And then what?

    I’m still frustrated by all the “was health reform worth it?” talk. I already wrote about how I think the political interpretation of that question misses something substantial, namely whether or not it was (or will be) good for health.

    Now I’m frustrated in another respect. It’s that nobody I’ve read is addressing the question, “And then what?” That is, pick your favorite politically-based answer to “Was health reform worth it?” Suppose you conclude either “yes” or “no.” What does that conclusion–either one–mean or imply? What are the specific ways in which political actors ought to change how they behave, what they propose, how they vote? What does it suggest about our political institutions or the electorate? What does it suggest about how we, the people, ought to interpret what legislators do? How should it influence our attitude toward the ACA?

    In short, what’s the functional purpose of knowing whether health reform was or was not worth it?

    It’s not that these questions are hard. It’s not that I think there is no value to pursuing them. I could even do it myself. But I won’t. I don’t want to, and I don’t have time. Maybe some have already done it and I’ve not seen it (send URLs please). If not, any wonks care to speculate?

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    • In a sense you’re correct: Because Obama has spent 100% of his political capital, there are no more cost-benefit decisions to be made, The bank account is empty. So, yes, there is no functional purpose to asking the question.

      I hope he thinks it was worth it.